AS WE get on further into seniorhood, my husband and I seem to be developing an eye for little blessings that are ours for the taking. Indeed, nothing offered in our area passes our notice. But these blessings don’t come without effort, or some risks, on the part of the claimant.
Getting to them on our feet at all is a matter entailing concentrated effort. I am myself careful with every step, to avoid falls, a not unusual senior accident; in fact, I’ve just lost friend, a more senior one, to one fall too many. I’m only thankful for a yet agile husband to look after me.
Admittedly, the extra care I take has also to do with the small vanity of avoiding giving away my age, itself not a healthy consideration. How many falls, indeed, could have been prevented by a wheelchair or a walker or a mere cane!
My friend had had a hip replacement and seemed well on the way to recovery when she suffered another fall, which required a leg surgery, which in turn may have caused the fatal embolism that struck fatally in her sleep.
But let me tell you about this older cousin—she’s 95, the same age as Mom, now gone 10 years.
She has come away from a number of falls without ever breaking a bone, just bruises. Surely it helps that she’s lucid, slim and fit. She’s never idle and can still touch her toes on straight knees. Her simple advice to us younger seniors is that we must all learn how to fall: “Best to not try to stop a fall but to roll with it.”
I’m afraid, though, that practicing the limb-saving roll this late would pose a bigger risk, but I’ll still try to remember the advice.
Next to walking at Greenbelt, our front yard to all intents and purposes, I think the safer thing is treadmilling in the gym. I’m still overweight so I have no authority to set examples. At any rate, I enjoy most walking with my husband around the green and lush Greenbelt, though, again, I suspect it’s his way of forcing me to exercise, and his excuse for a break for coffee or yoghurt.
At one such break, we ventured into Time Zone, looking definitely out of place without children in tow, and there found the massage chairs we had been tipped about. We’ve been hooked since.
I, in fact, know someone who bought one for his private use. We prefer to get our jollies on the cheap—P20 per five-minute session! Time Zone happens to be right beside the theaters, at Greenbelt 3—a proposition completely free of charge.
Another treat, only lately discovered, lies across the promenade in Greenbelt 5, beside our favorite ramen house—two massage chairs that work intensely from calves to toes. Not only does it cost nothing, one can stay as long as one’s sense of propriety permits.
My own sense of swapang caused my feet and calves to hurt for two days the first time. But knowing the right adjustments to make in the machine, one should be able to deal with that.
Along with the perks, alas, are traps, too. A chain of restaurants owned by one group offered us a Premium Membership Card for P2,500, good for a year. The deal gave a 20-percent discount, 30 percent on Mondays, plus several cash coupons of P250 each, one or two coupons for free appetizers, one free dessert when your bill reaches a certain amount, and a free coffee. A special treat yet awaits the cardholder on his or her birthday.
With a 20-percent discount and a VAT exemption on top of it all, how could a senior go wrong? Vergel had worked it out on his mathematical mind quickly.
Suddenly, after being in the deal all these three years, we were told upon settling our bill that seniors were no longer eligible for the promotional deal, unless they agreed to renounce their senior privilege. It became a choice between using our senior card or the discount card. The least the restaurant chain could have done was wait for the deal to expire—in our case, in March 2017.
Apparently the chain, surely by their own miscalculations, were losing on their own promotions, losing so much it was risking afoul of not only this activist senior couple but the law itself.
In one of the branches, the red-faced manager offered to buy back our card at the price we had bought it, which, of course, doesn’t resolve the issue. We suggested their chain take the loss and fire the genius who conceptualized the deal, bringing the choice down to a fundamental one: between money and goodwill.
Meanwhile, we’re punishing the chain with a boycott, and it is just the beginning. We’re making it understand that in the lush, clean, beautiful and hospitable environment of Greenbelt, it is simply out of place.