A Friendly Word of Advice to the AARP


A word of advice to the marketing department at AARP (American Association of Retired Persons): 

You might want to hold off on sending out those early invitations to join the AARP, especially those sent A FULL FIVE MONTHS before the recipient turns 50.   Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think most people, in the last precious months they have left to cling to their forties, want to be reminded constantly of the fact that they are hitting FIFTY very, very soon.  I mean, nothing says “Welcome to the SECOND HALF CENTURY OF YOUR LIFE” quite like seeing your name on an AARP card.

I wish I were one of those women who says brightly, “Fifty is the new thirty!”  Or who call hot flashes “power surges.”  I really do.  But I went into full menopause at 44 (because of severe stress, I think), and after six, stinkin’ years of waking up drenched in sweat and knowing my flushed face is like a red light blinking the message, “WARNING!  MENOPAUSAL WOMAN! STAND BACK!”…well, I’m having a little trouble working up enthusiasm for middle age.   Not to mention my hair falling out or my skin going dry as the desert floor in August.  It seems like some cosmic joke that I got a mustache around the same time my adolescent son did. 

And, yeah, I wish my husband and I could retire and look like the happy couple pictured in the AARP ads. You know, the ones with heads thrown back in gleeful joy, with her long, flowing hair blowing out behind her?  If we could retire right now, we’d look like that, too.  (Except for the hair, I guess. And the smooth, supple skin.  And the perfect white teeth.  And the stylish clothes. Other than that…the same.) 
But, sorry, AARP, I guess I’ll just have to return your shiny membership card in the post-paid envelope you so thoughtfully provided—along with a carefully-worded note telling you exactly where you can stuff it.


7 Responses to “A Friendly Word of Advice to the AARP”

  1. lucky pennies Says:

    Haha! You tell ’em! That’s where they can stick the Preparation H too.

    But come now, doesn’t fifty feel like a time of womanly empowerment? Maybe you need to take up a new hobby…like feminism or something…

  2. ben (aka guitar maniac) Says:

    Half a century?!? I can’t believe it!

    No really, I love the superimposement of the Preparation H and denture powder over their card. Alas, the harbingers of the grand five-O. This AARP is starting to sound like a bit of a cult!

  3. wesleyjeanne Says:

    This is funny!
    Actually I didn’t know that 50 was AARP’s big number. That’s a bit scary.

    I think you should really celebrate it up right. I’ll have to come up with an idea for you.

  4. colleen Says:

    Check into Chaste Tree Berry tincture (aka Vitex). It has helped me A LOT.

  5. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    AARP started sending me invitations when I was in my mid-30s. Yep, about 35 years old. I figured it was a joke played by a co-worker, but the invitations stopped when I returned their nifty little card saying, “My MOTHER hasn’t even retired yet, so don’t you think this is a bit early to start sending your stuff to ME?”

  6. The Deep and Hidden Chambers of the Human Heart « Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl Says:

    […] rename my blog Dr.Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde.  Maybe you’ve thought that the menopause I wrote about here was making me a […]

  7. birdsandbenjamin Says:

    Since I’m twenty-two, I know I’m gonna live forever.

    My thought to respond to this post (instinctively and truthfully) is to say that you are still beautiful as ever.

    More mindfully, I have to think of all the things that I take for granted right now and will deal with losing when I’m older…

    My back might get severe arthritis some day–I will continue to take ibuprofen, do exercises, and whatever else I can. So now there is an emphasis on doing whatever I can (weed-whacking, little log hefting).

    My mind is sharp right now–I can do Purble place my whole life long, drawing, and whatever else. I need to keep my nutrition right and never go off Prozac again. Right now is the time to learn as much music, good technique, good habits, goal setting, etc…

    My memory is sharp right now–once again, Purble place will help…

    Anyhow, this is helpful for me. You’re doing good. I know there will always be times when I think of my younger self with longing.

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