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As old as you feel, Dec. 22, 2005

We tend to remember momentous days in our lives: Our wedding days, graduation, communion, where we were when Kennedy was shot and those you don’t speak of on a family Web site.

Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005 will be forever etched in my memory.

My wife and I had just finished delivering our weekly Meals on Wheels route. We took our coolers back to Obici and went to the cafeteria to get a bite of lunch. Cathy had a headache and just went and sat down while I took our food to the cashier.

As she was ringing it up, I thought I saw something flash on the monitor but convinced myself I was mistaken. When I sat down with the food I started looking over my receipt and there it was, screaming out at me: &uot;Senior Citizen discount, 10 percent.&uot;

At first, I thought it was funny. I mean, I’m only 44 and until fairly recently was still carded from time to time for spirits.

Then I noticed Cathy wasn’t laughing.

&uot;How old do you have to be considered a senior citizen? she asked.

&uot;I don’t know, 55 maybe,&uot; I replied.

&uot;You look it.&uot;

Things got pretty quiet at our table for a minute.

&uot;Excuse me?&uot;

&uot;Your hair is gray and you’re getting wrinkles,&uot; she said.

I was too shocked to reply.

&uot;How old is Doug, (News-Herald managing editor Douglas Grant)?&uot;

&uot;He’s 53.&uot;

&uot;You look older than he does,&uot; she said.

&uot;Ask people at your office, though they probably won’t tell you.&uot;

Somewhat dazed, I mumbled something about buying Grecian formula to get the gray out, but Cathy stopped me.

&uot;No,&uot; she said, &uot;that’s tacky.&uot; &uot;Gray hair looks distinguished and sexy on men…and if I wanted a man who looked younger than me, I’d get one who really is so I could get some good out it,

but I don’t want to be like Demi Moore.&uot;

I wasn’t sure exactly how to interpret that, so I decided it was a compliment. Age is a state of mind, I’ve been told.