I turned 50 this year. Not a traumatic event, but a milestone nonetheless. To me this birthday was different than past milestone birthdays. It was the I-guess-I-really-am-old birthday. I knew it and was okay with it.
That’s why I surprised myself by my reaction to receiving something in the mail last week. The exterior of the envelope merely said “Do not bend. Membership Card enclosed.” Curious, I opened it of course. And there it was. MY AARP card. Mine. Embossed with my name and my own AARP membership number. All I had to do was to fill out the reply card and return it to activate my membership.
I threw it in the garbage.
It was a visceral reaction to a perfunctory piece of mail. I’m not ready for you, AARP. I know I meet your membership criteria. I know I’m on the down slope of life expectancy. All joking aside, I’m very familiar with AARP. It has a long and distinguished history of not only providing numerous needed services for seniors, but also of lobbying for legislation that affects senior citizens. It’s a good group. And I’m sure at some point it’s a group that I will probably join. I’ll even cop to edging closer to Senior Citizen status. Just let me do it on my own schedule. At my own pace. Feel free to send me letters or emails, if you’d like. Tell me where to find you. Tell me all about the benefits to being a member of AARP. You can even send me a link to a sign-up page. Lead me there however you want. Just let me do it on my own.