Saturday night I had a date.The most adorable little boy in the world asked me out. I was thrilled! You see, the movie he'd been waiting for had finally hit Cinema Showcase and he was chomping at the bit to get there. His proposition was was if I would drive us there, he would pay for our tickets. My first reaction was to say, "I'll take you to the movie, but you don't have to pay for the tickets." Then, I realized that this could be a very good thing for him to do. For one thing he would be getting a lesson in the value of a dollar. For another thing, he would get to be the giver instead of the taker. He was very proud to pick up his wallet and I think he felt very powerful as we headed towards the cinema.
We walked into the theater and headed to the ticket counter. He had his little wallet in his hands and his little eight year old self said to the lady taking the money, "We want tickets for FLUSHED AWAY." The thirty-something woman behind the counter looked him straight in the eye and said, "Ok, let's see that will be one child and one senior, that comes to $11.75." He opened his wallet and began counting out his money. I was busy trying to decide if I had heard her right! My mouth had fallen open, and I heard myself saying in a voice I didn't even recognize as my own, "Surely I don't qualify for a senior citizen's discount!" I guess she could tell by the mournful tone of my voice that she had made a serious faux pas. "Oh, ma'am, I'm so sorry", she gushed as her face turned red. She then gave Austin the revised price of $13.75. He very correctly counted out two five dollar bills, three one dollar bills and three quarters. She went on and on about how perfectly he had counted the correct amount of money to give to her. It was too late, she could have declared him as the newest child math prodigy to the world at large and it was not going to make up for the fact that she had looked at me and deduced in some twisted corner of her demented mind that I was a senior citizen!!!! I just simply could not get over it. I know that I'm not a spring chicken. I realize that I'm closer to 50 than 40. I even realize that it's possible and maybe even expected that people could assume I'm Austin's grandmother rather than his mother. But I refuse to admit that I look like I would qualify for a discount that is only available to people over 62, or is it 65? See, I don't even know when it kicks in, because it's not something that is even within the realm of possibility for me yet. At least I didn't think so!
From the ticket counter we made our way to the concession stand and when Austin started to pay for our Cokes and popcorn I told him to put his wallet back in his pocket, "Granny is going to pay for the treats", I grumbled. He thanked me and we made our way into the semi-dark theater. After we got ourselves settled in our seats and were munching away on our popcorn I began to let the memory of the dumb ticket lady fade away. Then, out of nowhere, Austin turned to me and said, "Mommy, you shouldn't have said anything to that lady, I could have saved $2.00!
You know, there is something to be said for mothers who eat their young.