Boomer Variation on Pay to Play

Boomer Variation on Pay to Play

I first heard the term “Pay to Play” when my kids were in elementary through high school. They were on traveling soccer teams, school soccer teams, played some baseball and basketball, and were even on a swim team for a bit.  My husband and I were on all the committees so were paying not only with money, but also time, sweat and …

As a senior citizen, the term has a different definition for me. Now it means “my paycheck goes to the theater.”  Although I’m twice retired, once from a career and once from a job, I am working part-time as a substitute teacher to fund my expensive extracurricular activities.  I attend over 100 stage plays a year, plus, ballet, opera and musical events. I am always looking for discount options as a way to continue the playtime activities. A few theaters grant me an “educators’ discount” on a season subscription to stage plays.  A few offer senior discounts.  A few offer discounts through goldstar.com or livingsocial.com.

Although I have several activities planned this weekend, I thought stage plays were not among them.  Was I wrong! Today I went beyond my comfort zone to substitute at an elementary school. Besides covering science, math, and composition for third-graders who spoke English as a second language, I took these third-graders to the cafeteria to watch the sixth-graders perform “Stone Soup” and then went on a bus with second-graders as a field trip chaperone to The Lesher Theater for a Theater Works production of “Junie B. Moon.”  Who knew I’d see two plays today and get paid to see them?

We didn’t know that Landon Jones would coin the term “Baby Boomer” and explore our lives in a book, “Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation,” but we always knew we would redefine “Old.”  The time when we would “grow older, losing our hair, many years from now” arrived; however, the world around us changed in unexpected ways. We just have to pay attention so that we can enjoy this new world.

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