"Can I see some ID with your date of birth please?" The last time I had to prove my age was 26 years ago outside the Pier nightclub in Cleethorpes. I was an optimistic 16 year old with a beard I'd been cultivating for 2 weeks and £10 burning a hole in my pocket.
"How old are you?"
"What's your date of birth?"
"The fifteenth of December, 19... err... 19..."
Maths was never my strong suit and subtracting 18 from 87 with a stroppy bouncer breathing down my neck was too much. I got the next bus home.
So being asked to prove my age 26 years later was both a surprise and a compliment. I was visiting an aeronautical museum in Canada and the nice old lady taking my money clearly mistook me for a student.
"I'm sorry I don't have any ID"
"It's okay," she said, "I've given you the seniors discount anyway."
I had two choices, (a) swallow the insult and take the discount or, (b) proclaim my (relative) youth and pay full price.
Frugality beat vanity and I took the discount. I'll put the money I saved towards a face lift.
This happens to me a lot.
I'm singing on a Saga cruise this week. I like Saga. It's easy to settle in to the routine of afternoon naps, high seat chairs and milky bedtime drinks. I was sitting chatting to an elderly lady this morning, let's call her Nana 1, when another lady, Nana 2, joined us.
"Is this your mum?" asked Nana 2.
"No, no," said Nana 1, "he's my boyfriend." We all laughed, except it soon became apparent that Nana 2 thought she was serious. Now Nana 1 quickly realised this and decided to go with it.
"Oh yes," she said putting her hand on my knee, "we're very happy."
I didn't say anything.
The last time I was on a cruise with my seventy year old mother everyone thought she was my wife. She loved it. Me, not so much.
People keep telling me I should learn to grow old gracefully, but I'd rather do it disgracefully. That way, at least I'll be having a nice time the next time someone insults me.