Rabid Senior Citizens

Rabid senior citizens. Everywhere.. This is what yesterday at my job was like. I work at a supermarket in Surfside Beach, SC and yesterday was what we call Senior Bonus Day, where all senior citizens with a Senior Bonus Card get five percent off of their total grocery purchase. I arrived at my job around two in the afternoon to see a store swamped with these elderly people, all there for one thing, to save a little bit of money while shopping for what they need.

I’m not saying it is a bad thing for them to want to save money, but it’s the hell-bent, cutthroat way in which some of them do it that astounds me. I’d swear some of them were stocking up for a possible nuclear holocaust. The average bill yesterday had to be somewhere in the $175-$200 range, not to mention the discount. I guess that’s the reward you get for not dying after at least sixty years, five percent off your total grocery purchase.

Supposedly, if you’re over 85 years old, you also get an additional one percent off, even on non-Wednesdays. I’m not sure if that’s a valid incentive to live to that age, but I can see the merit behind it, to some extent. WE reward those who have paid numerous taxes over the years. I believe that’s what it’s all about. These people most likely single-handedly supported seven or eight welfare cases each in their lifetime, individually of course. But this sort of lifestyle for the elderly kind of interests me to a reasonable extent.

A life filled with golfing, senior discounts, early bird specials, and bingo on Friday nights sounds like a very leisurely life. But at the same time it’s kind of sad because these people are simply waiting for death to come and get them. They have little time on this earth, and they choose to spend it saving as much money of restaurant meals and grocery bills as possible. It’s almost like they center their whole lives around saving money, as if they are trying to preserve a legacy for themselves. Some people do this to give a bit of their money to their families when they die, and that’s noble of them. But then there are the other seniors who are just cheap. They’ll cut out every cost at all costs. They’ll fight over ten cents. Those are the ones I call rabid senior citizens.

I won’t say anything more bad about the seniors because the majority of them are very good people. There is a group of rather bitter ones, but those are the minority. Most of them are very loving people and are full of great wisdom. They’ve passed a point in their lives where they know what life is all about. And they feel truly grateful to have lived this long. Many of them always have something interesting to say and their spirit is often very soothing. And they love to share bits of wisdom with you.

I feel like it is very pertinent to take some bits and pieces of information from these people because they’ve lived a full life and they know about all sorts of things that you may have no idea about. They’ve been through some of your life’s problems and could often give you great advice on how to overcome them. They can serve as great mentors and help you reach clarity as to finding out what is really important to you. Most of them are filled with positive energy, and I often pick up on it.

Ironically, last night before I went to bed, my mother was watching a TV show about how many people will ignore elderly abuse and she called me over to watch it. There was this actor, playing a 90-year old man in a wheelchair and another actor physically and verbally abusing him in public and they videotaped all the people just walking by as this man was slapping the elderly man in the head, throwing his water all over the floor, saying, “You want water? Too bad, it’s all gone,” as well as saying, “You’re stupid, you’re worthless.” And it was really sad to see that many elderly people are abused and hardly anyone does anything about it. I think out of 100 people, only 25 did anything to help the elderly man. So sad, yet so true. These are the fathers of our country right now, so I encourage you to treat the elderly with respect. They’re too knowledgeable and kind to allow these sort of things to happen to them. They don’t deserve this kind of treatment, so please, if you see any kind of elderly abuse, please step in and say something because it’s not fair to people who simply refuse to die. I’ll close with a quote from the book, Tuesdays with Morrie:

“The Red Sox were in town, but I didn’t care, it was Tuesday, and I went to go visit Morrie. He couldn’t go to the bathroom anymore, but in indomitable spirit…”


3 Responses to Rabid Senior Citizens

  1. My Mom is a rabid senior citizen, living for discounts and coupons. She lives in FL, in an over-55 gated community. I find your anecdotes amusing, and have experienced similar phenomena in her neighborhood.

    2 comments: First, most of the active SrCits are depression babies, and their formative years happened concurrent with the Great Depression era prior to WWII. I know my mom is convinced that scarcity is the rule and there isn’t enough to go around.

    Second, the whole concept of retirement at 65 was manufactured in the early part of the last century to encourage older employees to make room for younger folks entering the work force. It is sad to think people are just hanging around waiting to die, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If I do something with my life that I love and am passionate about, I’ll want to keep doing it at some level until I drop dead.

  2. Jay H. says:

    It’s funny you mention this because just recently CVS had it’s employee appreciation day. I remember working at the local CVS for about 3 years, and every time that day would come it was a nightmare.

    In Rhode Island almost everyone knows someone who works for CVS Corporate, so everyone and their cousin would get a little piece of paper that gave them 30% off all purchases for that day. Let me tell you, it was a hellish experience, actually it was so busy that two years in a row the network that CVS uses to process any type of card completely crashed. Not fun, at all.

    So I feel your pain, our experiences were mostly the same.

    On a side note, Tuesday’s with Morrie is one of the best books I’ve ever read. A quote that particularly stood out for me was, “Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too–even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling”. Now that is a great quote to live by.

    Keep up the great work.

  3. Check out my rabid senior citizen blog called Old fart in the Fast Lane at http://fartlane.blogspot.com/.

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