We're Here to See the King
My mom didn't really like getting older. Who does?
She got around ok, despite some health problems, but she
complained about not being as active as she used to be.
She especially disliked how much energy it took to do things
that most of us take for granted. Walking up a flight of stairs
was harder, not being able to swim as long as she used to (she loved swimming)…things like that.
However, the one thing she absolutely loved about being older,
was getting her senior citizen discount.
Loved it like a child loves Christmas morning.
She treated her AARP card like it was an All-Access laminated
backstage pass to the good life. She flaunted it like it was an
Academy Award and would proudly show it to anyone that asked.
Discounts, rebates, buy-one-get-one, it didn't matter what it is was for
or where she had to go to get it. She took full advantage of every perk,
bonus and benefit.
And she reveled in every second.
It's not that my mom was a cheap person. …I mean, in some respect she was.
But this was more about a privilege earned that a penny saved.
She felt that she lived on this planet long enough and deserved
a few breaks here and there.
And you know what?
She was absolutely right.
She goddamn well did deserve it.
But her favorite perk…the one she loved the most.
The one she cherished above all others…
.59¢ coffee at Burger King with unlimited free refills.
To her, that was the epitome of a life well lived and a reward well earned.
Every single time we went out to lunch or dinner, she would always ask me
if I wanted to stop at Burger King for coffee. "I get a discount, you know".
She would say it as if she had an inside connection.
As if she knew a guy that could hook us up.
Get us past the red velvet rope and in to see the Burger King himself.
She was just that proud of it.
But the funny thing was, my mom hated fast food.
She would never even consider eating at Burger King.
(she loved 7-11 hot dogs, but that's another story for another time)
Truthfully, she didn't even really care for their coffee.
But hot damn if she didn't love the discount.
Occasionally I would oblige her and we would go and get
senior citizen discount coffee. She would proudly strut up to the counter
like John Travolta in the opening scene of Saturday Night Fever and say
"Two Senior Citizen Coffee's please".
And when the cashier would cast a glance my way, knowing that I clearly do not qualify for the discount, she would always say, with that notorious sly smile,
"It's ok, he's with me".
And I was.
I was with her.
And we never had to wait in line.
We skipped the velvet ropes, breezed right past the doorman
and were ushered into the VIP section.
Where the tables were clean, the booths were
plush and the coffee was only .59¢.
I miss you so much mom.
I love you.