I Am Not Looking
OpinionClosing Thoughts

I Am Not Looking

Shaindle Schmuckler would rather not be labeled a senior.

Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

Shaindle Schmuckler
Shaindle Schmuckler

No, I am not looking for a beautiful, decked out, senior adult or senior citizen living facility. However you refer to them, I really am not moved by their beauty, their creative architecture, their perfectly kept lawns, their swimming pools, their shopping at the mall trips in little buses, all their activities and programs (my own mom, z”l, was the Purim queen at her Delray Beach home), their tennis courts or their golf courses. I don’t even play golf, for goodness sakes, and to be truthful, I don’t see myself wearing a bathing suit anytime soon.

F.Y.I.: I am a Purim queen each year as I lead The Weinstein School preschool in their Purim parade. This is infinitely more exciting.

Why, you ask, am I not looking?

First of all, and actually most of all, living in the land of denial as I happily do, the why you ask is an easy one to respond to: I do not identify myself as a senior, and certainly not as elderly. Well, not where I live my life, I’m not. I am not any age. I am simply and comfortably me. Life is so much more interesting in my neck of the woods. Denial has everything anyone would want in life.

Do you realize the moment you admit you are a senior citizen there is a certain look, a certain way you are addressed, sometimes spoken to in a voice too loud and too slow? It is crazy-making.

And who says I am in the later stage of life? I am in a stage, but who knows if it’s earlier or later? I prefer not to label it at all.

In case you are wondering how to identify a senior citizen, and in case you require a translation, here it is: Senior citizens are also known as elderly persons or simply as seniors. Categorically, a senior citizen is a social demographic based on age.

Someone who is 35, for example, cannot be a senior. Being a senior citizen typically means that a person is at the age in which they retire from work. They are transitioned from a working adult to a retiree.

I bristle at the word elderly. My grandparents were elderly; I am not elderly.

It is true, if I were to move from denial to reality, I could get so many discounts handed to me. I don’t really need the seat on the bus (I have not even been on a bus in ages; just thought I’d throw this in).

OK, you may say, Shaindle, you are such an ahktion (stubborn). Why not think of it as being wiser with age, being freer with age? Nope, tried it, can’t do it.

Shaindle, how about considering all the discounts and money you would save?

Nope, tried it, can’t do it.

Shaindle, how about considering all the respect you would garner? Are you kidding me, if I have to wait to be identified as a senior, or elderly, to garner respect, what a foolish life I would have led. Am I right, or am I right?

Our own government is not sure when one should be considered a senior citizen or elderly. According to Medicare, a senior is 65 years old or older. However, Social Security benefits are eligible for seniors starting at 62, even though the Social Security office reports that 67 is the age of retirement. Yet if you are 55 and you visit an Arby’s or McDonald’s, you can get a senior discount. By the way, Burger King requires you to be at least 60.

Now I ask you, why even get involved in such narishkeit (craziness)?

Do I have children who are the same age as I am? Well, in a manner of speaking, I suppose I do. Of course, my 10 grandchildren would laugh at this, however, my mantra is let them laugh; it does not stop me from adoring them. Knowing how much I do care for and about my ‘babies,’ why would I live in a place where they are not welcome? Oy, this would be enough to age me on the spot.

My actual residence is in a beautiful country-feeling community. Lots of different ages, children, teens, a school, a lake, trails, tennis courts, so many ethnicities, cultures, and let me not forget the deer.

And best of all, my 10 ‘babies’ can stay with me as many times as they wish, and for as long as they wish.

Why would I look for anything else? Besides, should we decide to make such a move, I would have to leave my beloved land of denial.

Are you kidding me? My dear readers, this will never happen.

read more: