It’s one thing when I decide to embrace the aging process by exploring changes in my identity and getting in touch with my newfound power but I draw the line at this sort of crap. This lovely little piece of mail showed up over a year ago when I was still 49. It may seem a small distinction but it’s not, all right? 49 is not 50, it’s your late forties. No one wants to be rushed into a milestone birthday unless it’s your 21st when you can look forward to getting so drunk you projectile vomit next to the waste basket, fall into bed and awaken completely refreshed because you are, after all, only 21 and have the metabolism of a race horse. Not that I would know anything about that but I’ve heard.
Now that I am officially 50 I’ve got AARP on my back sending me a membership card (which is a bit presumptuous), along with a bill to become a member, every month. Can we talk waste here? Is there where my dues would go- soliciting uninterested people with piles of cheery brochures showing happy energetic white-haired folk strolling on beaches? Let’s forget for a moment that retirement isn’t even in my lexicon anymore, so if your organization is for Retired Persons then you might want to check your data because I don't, and may never, qualify. Semantics aside, I still don’t appreciate the full court press to register myself as a senior citizen. What about holding off until I’m 60- unless that is, you can do something about my inability to find a job or healthcare, in which case, let’s talk.
Obviously, this is not an organization run by women or they’d know to soft sell the whole idea. Maybe with a ‘junior’ membership promising discounts at Ann Taylor (much more interesting then knowing I qualify for the early bird special at the local Sizzler). Ooooo…better yet, discount coupons for anti-aging skincare products like the Olay Pro-X series (apparently the closest thing to a facelift without the knife) or any fun girly thing aimed at women who want to maintain their youthful looks.
The point is, once I become a member mailings like the one above will flood my mailbox potentially crimping the pages of this month’s Vogue. Reading about the latest in sit-down-showers, adult diapers, assisted living facilities, law firms that specialize in estate planning (what estate?!) or scooters is not what I need right now. That time will come soon enough (and you can bet I’m getting a scooter and having J replace the engine with a turbine so I can terrorize everyone at Nordstrom’s) but for now I’m still focused on looking at pretty clothes.
I know AARP is a lobbying juggernaut and wields power in many circles but none that currently apply to me and, let’s not forget, it’s all about me. So, until such a time that I feel being a member will serve me, AARP please leave me alone. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.