It happened again but in this case it became quite obvious that sk and I are moving in the total opposite direction. Sk is quickly approaching the big 5-0 and decided to quit dying her hair so instead of looking 35ish, she looks more 40ish. Me? The big 4-0 is in sight and dye hasn’t touched my hair in several years. . .not since my stylist talked me into highlights. My hair follicles went into shock mode that dreadful day. The whole ordeal was just too much for them to handle: bleach, heat from the dryers, the foil, not to mention the dye itself. Needless to say, they didn’t sit pretty for me that day or thereafter for a good three to four months. Every follicle protested by non-cooperative displays each morning until the highlights were mostly gone. I can’t say I blame them, they were not me. I learned my lesson and nothing stronger than gel and hairspray graces my locks nowadays.
However, my perceived age seems to be decreasing, not increasing. I don’t know how this keeps happening. A couple of weeks ago, sk and I took in our local university’s men’s and women’s basketball games one afternoon. A friend of ours invited us and had informed me all this entertainment was practically in our backyard for the low low price of $10. What can I say? College basketball in Canada is
not what it is in the States. The gym (Believe me it was a gym and not an arena) was almost as big as my high school gymnasium but the crowd was a fourth of what was the norm. I’m originally from Indiana, where basketball reigns king of all sports. High school basketball is where some peak in life, which is sad, but they become local legends. One of my favorite movies, Hoosiers, is about this phenomenon set in the 1950s starring Gene Hackman. Wonderful little tale, a David vs Goliath kind of story, set around Hickory High and their journey for the state title.
As we approached the ticket booth, my butchness kicked in as I went for my wallet. This is a silent message to let sk know I will pay. I know she is more than capable of paying her own way or for both of us, that’s not the point. It makes me feel good. I’m not “taking care of my woman” and it’s not about control, (Oh, readers, even that made me laugh.) it has to do with treating a woman like a lady, a little old-fashioned, I’ll give you that one, but I am a bit old fashion in that manner. I hold the door open for sk and consequently anyone else right behind us. When walking along the sidewalk, I try to always get the outside along the street without her noticing. If we are going upstairs, I let her lead while I follow behind and vice versa going down. In theory, this is chivalrous because if sk were to slip, I would break her fall. I’m not saying this because she is clumsy, I’m saying this because if you were to get a visual of this you would see how ridiculous that conclusion is. If sk, or anyone else for that matter, were to fall on me, I would be little more than a speed bump along their path to the bottom of the stairwell. All these actions are how I grew up and apparently it’s endearing.
So I saunter up to the ticket booth window, hand the female student worker a $20, and asked for two tickets. She responds by sliding me two tickets and a $5. Now, I’m confused. I didn’t want to appear stupid so I walked away looking at the items in my hands like it was the first time I’d ever held paper products and I couldn’t quite figure out its function. I asked sk to confirm the pricing information our friend had given us as I showed her the three items in my hands. Our friend came over to us and I showed him as well. He took the two tickets the student gave me. He quickly read that one ticket said “Non-university student” with a $5 price value. He laughs and tells me I was mistaken for a student and that I owed them the $5.
I walked back to the ticket booth, as butch and as tall as I could muster my 5′ frame. I thanked her for the compliment but I was indeed way past student age as I handed the $5 over to her. She looked at me, and I’ve seen that look before. It’s that blank “I don’t have any idea what you are talking about” look sk gets when I try to explain an unfamiliar cooking method or recipe. Again, the student tried to give me the money, muttering about how it was her fault. Well, yes, that was true, it was her fault but from the looks of the crowd, whichever student-run group worked the basketball games ticket booth and refreshment stand would not be getting rich, not that particular day anyway. I handed the money back to her a second time and then quickly turned my back so she had no option but to take the bill. Geesh, sometimes people make it so difficult to perform a good deed.
By this time, our friend filled in sk on the mistake made at the ticket booth so now she is laughing at me as I approached them. She’s good-natured in her teasing, I know she doesn’t do it to be mean. However, if you’ve read some of my past posts you’ll remember this is one topic that really burns my britches. I quickly pointed out to her that she could laugh all she wanted to but that wouldn’t stop strangers from thinking she was my cougar momma while I was her student-aged toy. She stopped laughing and suggested that I wear my glasses since I look more mature with them on, according to her. I pointed to my face and asked, “you mean these?” We walked into the gym arm in arm laughing our way to our seats.
I now have a new goal. It’s not a serious life changing or challenging goal but it’s something to strive for nonetheless. Just for the hell of it, the next time we attend a game, I want to see if I can get sk in on a senior discount and I’ll still slide by as a student. I think I have a good chance, especially if she continues to lay off the dye and she lets those white hairs multiply. Hey, if people are going to continue making the same mistake, I might as well start having fun with it.