Saturday, October 5, 2013

Special Senior Allowances

A few days back, my husband was sitting next to me at the breakfast table when I noticed that he had a sticker affixed to his eyeglasses. I wondered what that was about. Turns out it was the magnification number. I asked if he kept it on the glasses as a sort of announcement, and did he think he would get some type of special treatment because he wears 3.0 magnifiers.

Of course he didn’t, but that gave me an idea. We should get price reductions on things because of our diminishing eyesight. Call it a “Visual Acuity Discount” for seniors. This led me to develop a list of various allowances to which seniors should be entitled.

I was 66 and change before I learned that a local market gives 5% senior discounts on Tuesdays. “Not too bad,” thought I. “I’ve only missed out on about a year of savings.” Turns out I missed out on 11 years because of my ignorance. They begin this privilege when you turn 55. I want our allowances to go beyond that standard day-of-the-week percent off. I want special treatment for senior circumstances every day.

We’ll start with that “Visual Acuity Discount.” Anyone who wears glasses with a magnification level of 3.0 or higher will get eBooks for free from Kindle. They’ll also get to make younger people give up their seats in the primo rows at the movie theater when they arrive so late that only the first three rows or the last six have seats together. That’s not a discount, but it’s even better than one.

There’s also the “Gray Hair Respect Grant”. You’re entitled to some respect when your hair is anywhere from totally gray to having 3/4” of gray roots showing. (That would be me most of the time.) Under this grant, you go straight to the front of the line at the bank, the post office, the DMV, or at any other facility run by the government or by a quasi-governmental entity. There isn’t any special consideration for bald men. Too many young bucks shave their heads today.

The “Meandering Balance” decreases in proportion to a senior’s feebleness. The amount you pay is calculated by dividing the forward progress by the horizontal movement getting there. If you teeter-totter sideways across a two-feet wide space in order to move 8 inches forward, your ratio is 8 divided by 24, or one third. A ten-dollar item will cost you just $3.33. The more decrepit you become, the wider you’ll teeter, reducing your Meandering Balance and lowering your prices.

Older folks seem to acquire more bruises, especially post-retirement, when they spend more time in that most-dangerous of all places: home. Fortunately, there’s an upside to this. Flash just one black-and-blue mark and you’ll get the “Bruise Allowance” at any health club, fitness center or sports facility.

One of the easiest senior considerations to snag is the “Medication Provision.” Provide proof that you’re on just one prescription for a chronic condition and you automatically go to the head of the line at emergency rooms, movie theaters and the dressing rooms at all national discount clothing chains. Lipitor, Plavix, Lisinopril, Fosamax—all qualify you. Sorry, but Viagra and Cialis are regarded as treatments for acute shortcomings; if that’s all you’ve got, you’ll just have to wait your turn.

The “Vertigo Variance” is provided to seniors who get dizzy if they stand up from a prone position without a midway rest stop. It allows them to show up as much as an hour late for meetings, doctors’ appointments, lunch dates—anything that has a fixed time when they’re supposed to be there. Documented stages of vertigo are coded to match Affordable Care Health Insurance. That is: bronze (15 minutes late), silver (1/2 hour), gold (45 minutes) and platinum (one hour late).

The “Age Spot Accommodation” is determined by the number and density of the liver spot patterns on visible skin areas (generally, your hands and face). Add up the total number of clearly visible spots you have. Multiply that by the number of distinct areas of spot patterns. The result is your accommodation score. For every one hundred points, you get 10% off your purchase in any participating retailer. Do the math: If your points exceed 1,000, you get stuff for free. I am so there.

These special allowances for seniors will significantly improve our lives. You have to wonder why no one thought of them before. This post pretty much wrote itself. All it took was some careful observation of the seniors around me (and in my mirror). Well, that and a few glasses of wine.

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