Old Lady Monday

Today is Old Lady Monday at Beall’s Outlets.

Beall’s operates over 500 retail stores across the Sun Belt from its headquarters in Bradenton, Florida. The company is owned by the founding family and its employees. The family apparently pronounces the name as “bells” although the belled-A in their logo has always meant we say it “BE-als.”


The Be(A)lls store I patronize in Marathon carries branded but distress merchandise (mostly clothing) at prices that match or beat most retail sales. Their Monday Club offers 15% off all purchases, every Monday to card carrying shoppers 50 and over. I discovered I am usually the only man in the store on Mondays.Anne notes, “Excuse me, but I am not there, so it must be OLD MAN MONDAY!”

I am usually the only man in a store mobbed by women on Mondays.

Having the Old Lady card is an odd feeling. My mom suffered a minor crisis on my fortieth birthday. She was about ten years older then than I am now but she saw a 39-year old woman looking out of the mirror every morning. Pretty tough for a 39-year old woman to discover so suddenly she has a 40-year old son.

According to Channel 10 News last week, an “elderly woman” named Barbara Epstein was loading her shopping bags into the trunk of her car at the Pembroke Lakes Mall when a man with a gun came up behind her and demanded her purse. The gunman grabbed the handbag and dragged Epstein across the floor of the parking garage. The purse eventually broke, and the gunman ran to a waiting burgundy Nissan Altima.

Barbara Epstein is “in her 60s,” the Channel 10 reporter noted.

Agism is a moving target. AARP, Be(A)ll’s, and others think senior moments start at 50. Retirement communities say 55. Social Security demands you attain 62. Or 65, 66, or 67 depending on your birth certificate. I cling to middle-age and figure that older folk are at least 70 and will always be at least ten years older than I am. Ms. Epstein is less than that on both counts.

Back to Old Lady Monday.

I admit I identify more with Graham_Kerr than Jeff Smith but I am pugnaciously parsimonious. I have membership cards at pretty much every grocery store and (free) discount outlet that offers them and I don’t mind trading my birthday for a discount. After all, we really “cheap bahstids” need to stretch a buck any way we can. More so now than almost any other time in my life.

I guess I’d better pay my AARP dues now. And head for Be(A)ll’s. They have magic dryer balls on sale this week. I never knew a dryer had balls, let alone that they could be magic.

The good news is that Be(A)ll’s also has Young Whippersnapper Fridays.

5 thoughts on “Old Lady Monday

  1. You are wrong, sir. The definition of “old” or even “elderly” is 7 or more years older than I am. If I reckon correctly, that means you have always been old. Elderly, even. Which means, of course, that Be(A)lls should have given you your Old Lady card a long time ago.

    Aging is inevitable. Surviving long enough to be called “old” by the young pups is an accomplishment.

    You may quote me.

  2. I don’t like to comment on things I know nothing about, so I plan to do some research on this topic before I post an opinion. Right now I’m going to look up “parsimonious” to see what it means. I know what pugnaciously means because I take a shot for it every month.

    But I’ve never herard of parsimonious. If I’ve got that too, I might have to join Medicare.


  3. gekko says:

    > You are wrong, sir. The definition of
    > “old” or even “elderly” is 7 or more
    > years older than I am…


    Taken together with the 70-year minimum for elderly, does that mean you were [gasp] born in 1946?

  4. When I wrote my latest book, I had just turned 60 years, and I felt as fit and nubile as when I was in my 30s; and that’s a fact. I went to a conference and referred to myself as middle-age, and everyone laughed told me I was elderly. I was shocked and came home in a blue funk.

    Mrs Poleczech pointed out that all my detractors were paunchy and wheezy when they walked up stairs, and I was not; and that made me feel better. I took it as a wakeup call and resolved to protect my physical health and mental acuity.

    Now, 13 years later I write daily, work out strenuously at the gym, run two miles through the subdivision once or twice a week; and if I use common sense, am none the worse for wear afterward. I have somehow managed to pull the wool over Mother Nature’s eyes.

    However, I have not fooled Father Time.

    Somebody has my number, and they know it is 73. My post box is full of adverts for hearing aids and all manner of prosthetic devices; and my e-mail hawks sexual enhancements that would make Hugh Heffner blush.

    As Dick wrote: The “moving target” of agism moves on — and the older I get, the more it picks up speed.

    For that reason, I thoroughly enjoy Senior rates; I eat the Senior meal at IHOP; I allow young women to open doors for me; and I have never returned a Social Security check unopened.

    My greatest fear is that I will outlive all the expensive dental work I had done.


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