Monday, February 01, 2010

Raging about aging

It seems like at least once a week, I get junk mail from the American Association of Retired People (AARP) insisting I join their ranks. I am sure that it is a great organization and they do offer lots of discounts for members, but so does the American Automobile Association (AAA) and they will also change my tire. They also don't wave my age in my face.

AARP offers me a free travel bag if I will join. I hate to break it to them, but nothing seems more pitiful to me than to walk around with a tote bag that screams AARP on it. I might as well walk around in a pale yellow jumpsuit with an ascot ala Don Knotts.

I have news for you AARP. I may be over 50, but I am nowhere near retirement. I have two toddler aged children to put through college and I will likely only retire when they discover me expired at my desk with my Blackberry (or whatever the gadget dejour is in 30 years is) clutched in my cold, dead hand. Until then, please stop suggesting I join the blue-headed legions of the AARP.

As a marketing person, I would suggest that the AARP could seriously think about rebranding their association. Nothing conjures up an image of an old folks home and Over the Hill parties than AARP. They could call themselves the Dorian Gray Association and pitch ways to stave off aging. Or they could call themselves something edgy similar to the militant seniors who formed the Gray Panthers. Maybe something like the Silver Mauraders. Or go cutesy and call themselves the Wrinkle Wranglers Association.

I know I am protesting too much. But aging sucks enough without people trying to pitch you on joining a group that focuses on it. If I want to rub my nose in my age, all I have to do is look in a mirror or go to the list of people on Facebook who graduated from my high school at the same time as me.

I was getting shot for the H1N1 virus at a Safeway the other day and the pharmicist told me it would cost $15 unless I had Medicare. People see gray hair and they immediately expect to see you hauling around your groceries in an AARP tote bag. I'm sure when they see me carting around my children they assume I am a doting grandfather.

Oh well, I suppose I should just accept the inevitable. Looking at the bright side, I am only about three years away from getting the 55 and older discounts at Denny's.


1 comment:

R. said...

There's this weird limbo between 40 and "mummy" where people automatically categorize you as one or the other.

We got some AARP propaganda in our mailbox recently. I entertained myself by putting my daughter's name on the fake membership card and calling her Little Miss Soylent Green.