There is a fairly popular Italian restaurant situated at the end of the plaza that I park near during my lunch hours during the week. From my vantage point I can see dozen of people walk in and out of the restaurant, going about their daily business and doing their thing. For the most part they seem content.
Near the end of my lunch hour yesterday, I noticed an older woman walking out of the restaurant by herself. From what I could tell, she seemed to be in her 70s. I’d guess her around 75 or so. She was dressed fairly nice. Her hair was covered in a scarf in such the fashion that older women of a previous generation tended to do. I noticed she was wearing a pant suit. She wore glasses. She moved without mechanical assist, but her step wasn’t overly lively. She walked slowly, which is understandable for a woman of the age I perceived her to be. She looked pleasant.
As she walked towards the parking lot, I expected her to stop at the Taurus that was parked in the handicapped spot. In this part of the state, when you reach a certain age you are an absolute no one until you have a handicapped tag hanging from your mirror. It doesn’t matter if you’re actually handicapped or not for this tag seems to have an air of status about it for a certain set of people. I envision folks sitting around a cup of coffee during their seventh hour at Dunkin’ Donuts comparing the date that they obtained their handicapped privileges. He or she with the most junior date has to pay the check and ward off anyone that may suggest to them that they may be loitering.
The pleasant looking woman with the scarf walked right by the Taurus and continued her trek up the parking lot aisle. I was quite surprised when she stopped and hopped into her vehicle. There was no handicapped sticker on her ride, for she had hopped up into a late 1990s Jeep Wrangler soft-top with the side and back windows removed. Once situated in her Wrangler, she tightened up her scarf a bit, donned a pair of sunglasses, started up her Jeep and proceeded to head out of the lot. The sound of her engine indicated that she was driving a stick. And like all good Jeep Wrangler drivers, she waved at me as she passed by my Rubicon. I smiled and waved back.
And that, my friends, is how one stays young.