In Texas, we now have a combined inspection/registration sticker. You must get your car inspected, then provide a unique number of proof from the receipt. I recently received an email that I had only a week left before my registration expired (I had forgotten about the first notice!) I immediately left to get an inspection, knowing there would be some time before the registration sticker arrived in the mail.
At the inspection place I was told the wait would be about 20 minutes and was directed inside to sit in the air-conditioned waiting room. As there was no one at the counter, I took a seat with two other men also waiting. As an employee came in, another man entered the building and approached the counter. I walked up and announced that I was next in line. The man who entered said he felt he was next. The employee stuck his head out the door and yelled to the young man who had directed me inside, "Who's next?".
The young man (I'll call John), yelled back, "An old lady!" Well, I could feel the warmth moving up my neck into my face. I knew I was the only woman in the place, so obviously this was me! I sat and waited my turn, trying to see the humor in this all, but feeling a bit shocked. The last man in, trying to alleviate my discomfort, announced that he was older than I and age was just a number.
Soon John entered, telling me he was finished. I approached the counter, smiled, and stated, "John, I am not an "old lady", but an attractive older woman!" He colored and apologized. We finished the transaction with small talk and I was soon ready to go.
As I pulled away, the shock of the comment continued to sting. I do have a lot of gray hair of which I often pull back out of the way. I am in what is called the "youth" of old age, but old age none the less. Should I color my hair and dress more carefully, or just accept myself with humor and grace? I am working on the latter. It may take some time!