AARP Is Stalking Me!
I am not one of those gays who worry all that much about getting older. When you’ve got a boyish face like mine that time has not ravaged all that much you pray every morning that you don’t wake to find that your face has fallen or that someone has stolen your “portrait” that has been doing all the aging for you in your closet and destroyed it! Seriously, I know I’m lucky (especially when I see pictures of people I graduated from high school with on Facebook and think it’s their parents trying to friend me and not them) usually when I tell people my age of forty-six they are surprised (or good actors) and ask how I look so young. My reply is always the same, a pat one I’ve been using for years, “I sleep in formaldehyde. Smells a little funny, but it works!” So aside from some aches and pains and the usual emotional mid to post mid-life crisis (or as I like to call them mid-life reviews) I don’t worry that much about age. So when the first thing arrived in the mail from AARP (Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons) I didn’t give a second thought to throwing it in the garbage, surely they had made some sort of mistake, I’m nowhere near the age to be getting correspondence from them. But I guess the spies from AARP saw me do this and before I knew it there was stuff arriving first monthly, then weekly and even started appearing in my email inbox. AARP is stalking me! – Don’t Get Me Started!
Look, I was freaked out when I learned that our noses and ears continue to grow throughout our lives. I figure at the rate I’m going, I’ll be able to play Dumbo in a splashy Broadway musical based on the beloved Disney character in the next few years without any special effects makeup. But other than that, some gray hairs above, below and the ones struggling to be acknowledged growing like a forest out of my nose are really the only signs of aging that I can be sure are attributed strictly to age. As a self diagnosed manifestationchondriac (this to me is different than a hypochondriac in that I don’t always think I’m sick but if someone told me I looked like I had cancer, I’d have it by the end of the day, I’m a people pleaser that way and strongly believe in the power of suggestion) I suppose I was worried that once I opened an envelope from AARP that I might become one of them. Sort of like those pods under the bed in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. So I have continually resisted the temptation to open anything from AARP, I even managed to not open the envelope that came with the preprinted personalized plastic AARP card, which for me is hard because I’m like a kid when I see these come in the mail. I know that the cards they send for credit card applications and whatnot are just ways to play on our ability to put ourselves more in debt but there’s a part of me that feels like a little kid who wants to put the cards in my wallet I made at Boy Scouts with the leather cord that I “stitched” through the holes to hold it together. Made me feel and still makes me feel like a grown up!
The thing is even when I get to the appropriate age, four years from now, I have the sneaking suspicion that I will not in any way shape or form be one of the “Retired Persons” they claim to represent. Sure, I know I could still join and most likely will. After all, I was famous for going to colleges to get the ID card for discounts only to never finish and get a college degree from anywhere. I suppose this isn’t all that different, right? And let’s not overlook that as much as I’d like to say the stereotypical comments about Jews being cheap doesn’t count, I cannot deny how much I love a good discount. Coincidence? You decide. So you get it, I don’t see myself being financially able to retire in four years. (I know, I know, I need to visualize it, blah, blah, blah)
So knowing all of the above, I have to wonder why it bothers me so much that AARP is calling so early? It’s not like the grim reaper, right? Still when I see those envelopes with the AARP logo on them, I can’t get them into the garbage fast enough. There have been few things in life I’ve denied when asked about myself and I won’t deny it when the time comes but for now, I would appreciate AARP going a little softer on their sell for those of us yet eligible. Perhaps they could start with some lovely return address labels (who doesn’t love free return address labels?). And then they could move onto some greeting cards. The first ones could be birthday cards for your friends who ARE turning 50, they could say, “You’re 50!” and then when you open it up, it’ll say, “I’m still not there yet but you certainly are in a big ass way! Consider joining AARP!” Finally they could send us our membership cards with our names preprinted on them but give us the option of uploading a Glamour Shot of ourselves for the card that would read, “This is what 50 looks like on me, bitches!”
By all accounts, AARP is a great organization. I’m not arguing that they’re a good group or good group to be a member of at all; I’m just wishing they weren’t pushing so hard for my early induction into the order. Feels a little too much like Mormon boys at the door on their “Mission” or the Jehovah Witnesses (to whom I always tell I’m in the witness relocation program – a program that relocates me as far from any Jehovah’s Witness as possible, cue door slam). Let me come to terms with my aging in my own way, AARP. Stop the mailings, the emailings and everything else until the year before I turn 50, okay? Otherwise it’s just like elections and everything else, all the advertising and getting us worked up about something that is so far away too soon makes us desensitized to the importance of it. You’re becoming a little like the boy who cried wolf except you’re the AARP that cried age! AARP is stalking me! – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com