Back Off AARP

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.


  1. Hubby was the one that got all the solicitations from AARP, and joined shortly after his birthday. The second person in a household doesn't get solicited, so I got to avoid all the hassle. I'm also a de facto member under his membership.

    We get a couple of magazines from them each month. One looks like a newspaper, and doesn't interest me too much. The other comes on glossy paper and features a celebrity on the cover (often one who's just turned 50). IT'S interesting.

  2. That is so funny! I was just thinking the other day that since I will be turning 49 this year, I will be getting AARP info!

    But, I have already been getting senior citizen discounts at some restaurants because every 19 year old cashier who sees any bit of silver in one's hair assumes the person is a senior citizen. Even when I mention I'm not a senior, I still get the discount. I've been thinking about setting aside the money I save with senior discounts and giving it to an organization that helps real seniors!

  3. A friend of mine who's in her early 40s recently started working at AARP and one of the "benefits" is joining. Her husband joined too and he's 47 I think. I guess the real benefit is they get to avoid the onslaught of membership drive junk mail.

    I wonder if you sign up for that overall junk mail reduction service if it would make a difference. I noticed a difference for awhile but then it seems like the first online order undoes it and all the catalogs and junk mail return.

  4. Maybe I'm just a bitter 20-something, but I don't understand why you get discounts just for being old. (I'm not saying that you're old.) It blows my mind that people who have been retired for 20 years want senior rates. Wait a minute, if you're 82 and need a senior discount; that's just poor planning. If you're 35 and could use a discount; well, who couldn't!

    AARP is a trip. My uncle discontinued his membership because he thought they were "a bunch of whiners."

  5. Oh, not cool. What a thinly veiled way of saying "We think you're going to die soon." Thanks so much AARP. I'd be filing a cease and desist order!

    Stopping by from the Not Mommy Hop :)

  6. They are seriously gunning for member or money or something. I'm not even 30 yet and they sent me a card to be an "honorary member" and support those 50 and over.

  7. Ada- I guess it's a matter of perspective. When I was your age (before they had automobiles) I thought health insurance was ridiculous and deeply resented having money taken out of my paycheck for it. Now? It's not so funny. And I'll have to disagree on your "planning" comment- plenty of people planned but not for an economic crash that would take away their retirement accounts. And planning perfectly for the costs of old age? Not possible. So I don't mind seniors who get discounts.

    Julie- 'honorary' member?! Does that mean you get to adopt one when the time comes? Where do you live?

  8. If it makes you feel better, they sent me one of those when I turned 35...yes, 35. They've been on my shit list ever since. Hahaha! No wonder I'm dreading turning 40 next month. Who knows what they may send next.

    P.S. You're beautiful, screw 'em.


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