Thursday, November 6, 2008

A New Twist on an Old Tradition

Not too long ago, my age was called into question. I'll admit, it was a busy time and I had probably allowed a few gray hairs to pop into existence before taking measures to cover them. Still, when I pushed a shopping cart up to the checkout counter of a local store and a clerk we'll call, "Skippy," asked me if I qualified for the senior discount, I was not amused. In fact, I'm sure I looked rather insulted. A part of me wanted to take the discount just to show the young whipper snapper a thing or two. Instead, I glared at him and said, "No, I don't qualify for the senior discount."

I was depressed the rest of the afternoon. I'm 47, which is old enough, but hardly close to senior citizen material. Devastated, I told a close friend of mine what happened. We were walking for exercise and as I vented, she laughed at my pain. She seemed to think it was hilarious . . . until it happened to her the next week. Same store . . . same clerk. Then it was my turn to laugh. ;)

Let's just say "Skippy" as we lovingly call him, doesn't get much in the way of fan mail from people our age---which is hardly in the 60 range but I digress.
I'm not sure why I shared that story, other than I've noticed lately how much times have changed. This is something I remember my grandparents talking about when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Those kind of conversations always began with a sentence like: "I remember the time . . ." or "In my day . . ." Now it's my turn. =)

We recently celebrated Halloween. As some of you may recall, I even blogged about Halloween traditions. This year proved to be extremely different in our neck of the woods. We held a Halloween party at the local church house. It was explained ahead of time that some of us would be asked to decorate a classroom with Halloween garnishing, and then the little trick-or-treaters could come around and knock on our doors, just like the real thing.

Hmmmm . . . interesting concept. Pretend trick-or-treating. =) It actually worked out rather well. Here in Bear Lake, we usually have snow on the ground around Halloween. So most of the time when trick-or-treaters come to call, they're wearing heavy coats over their costumes. This new version of Halloween provided a nice warm, safe environment where the kids could run around without coats and everyone could see their cute costumes.

Because of the high cost of gas, this was also a popular idea among parents. They only had to drive to one place, instead of 30+. And we had a huge turnout; I handed out over 86 treats that night.

I was one of those who had been asked to decorate a classroom. I may look old on occasion, but most people know I'm extremely young at heart. And since I love all holidays, I decorate my house accordingly. So when I was asked to decorate a classroom, I did so with gusto. As I was putting on the finishing touches, a younger couple walked by, glanced in, and sighed. "Great, we have to compete with you." They were in the classroom just down from mine. I almost called after them, "When you get to be my age, you know how to decorate," but I let it go. ;)

I serve in the YW organization of our ward. I'm the fearless leader. When my first counselor arrived looking like a character out of Disneyland on Halloween night, I invited her to share my classroom. Neither of our husbands could attend this year's Halloween bash, so we decided to discuss upcoming YW activities while we handed out treats to the young tikes who passed through. We had a wonderful time and I found myself wishing I had brought my camera along to record this landmark event.

"Gasp!" you say, "Cheri went somewhere without her camera?!"
Don't make fun. I simply forgot. It happens when you get on in years. ;)

Luckily, a friend of mine had brought her camera and she took a picture of my first counselor and I in the gym, before we retreated to our assigned classroom. (That's the picture at the beginning of this blog. I'm the youthful looking old person dressed in orange, in case you were wondering.)

The night was a huge success. There is already talk of doing something similar next year. I think the powers that be are onto something. This is a marvelous twist on an old tradition. The best part was that we were through by 8:30 p.m., just in time to arrive home to hand out treats to the teenagers. (They were too cool to be seen parading around the church house with the younger set.)

So, yep, the times, they are a changing. And I'm learning that it's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes change is good. Even if people like "Skippy" make us wish that some things, like respect for one's elders, would remain the same. In my day, one never asked women how old they were. Not only was this considered rude, but women used to carry heavy purses that were often used to smack impertinent idiots over the head. I think I like that tradition. ;)

Return to the Neighborhood


Jennie said...

I think I'm going shopping for a new purse.

Cindy Beck said...

You're only 47? Aaahhh, you're just a mere babe in the woods, and you were right to be annoyed by Skippy's question.

And I like the idea of carrying a purse to smack impertinent people. Since I don't usually carry a purse, maybe I'll have to improvise with a backpack! :)

Cheri J. Crane said...

Jennie, I don't blame you one bit. =) I did. ;)

Cindy, you made my day. ;)