I distinctly remember the power of pregnancy, not the “life-changing, awe-inspiring realization of true womanhood” kind of power. I mean the power to cut through lines and attract free unsolicited assistance anytime, anywhere. All I needed to do was exaggerate the difficulty of carrying the biological basketball in front of me and even snatchers gave me a free pass.
Last month, I witnessed an even greater kind of power, the power of senior citizenship. My mother despite having hidden her real age in a top secret, maximum security facility, finally gave a clue to the number of corrupt presidential terms she’s had to live through.
She is at least 6 decades old. The senior citizen card she keeps in a special red flip case proves she passed the application to the exclusive twilight club. Amazingly, her age was an advantage for us when we were in Cebu. We used her like a charm. Everywhere we aimed her at, we got great deals. How did she do it? Aside from discreetly making her eyes glow red in front of service crew, she flashed her ID card like a police badge and exerted her power of discount!
In instances when cashiers declared ignorance over the procedure for processing senior citizen discounts, my mother said the magic words, “I’ll report.” Those that actually cared for their employers suddenly gained the exemplary research abilities of doctorate degree candidates and found out how to work the calculator.
When we left, my mom was still having a blast with her badge but she did have one issue and she asked me to blog about it. Apparently, some who get shown the senior badge kick, scream or put up a fight.
Cebu’s water district is subtle about it but they seem to be succeeding at discouraging some of the more arthritic seniors from jumping through hoops and loops to get price cuts. Ma says, showing the senior ID isn’t enough. To get the discount that’s mandated by law, she’s required to submit a number of documents and a photo of herself holding a recent newspaper issue.
Maybe ma should start using her laser beams.