Like most quinquagenarians, I joined AARP when I turned 50. The price of membership seemed reasonable, the discounts sounded appealing and, most importantly, every quinquagenarian I knew had joined. It was kind of a lemming thing.
For years, I renewed my membership automatically without giving it much more thought than I do to changing my socks once a month. But now I've decided to turn in my card. We're done, AARP. Bye bye. I hereby resign.
For one thing, AARP, your name is misleading -- American Association of Retired Persons? Who retires at 50? A large segment of the over-50 crowd can't even afford to retire at 50. I'm not retired. Nobody I know who's over 50 is retired. Are you saying I should be retired? Will you help me if I starve?
Why would I want to be a member of a club for retirees who aren't retired?
Even when AARP was founded in 1958, most people didn't retire at 50. (Hell, Ike was still president at 70). Be honest AARP -- your membership begins at 50 so your magazine can demand higher advertising rates -- the bigger the circulation, the higher the revenue. Here's a better idea -- just call it AAP -- the American Association of Persons. Think of the widespread demographics that marketing strategy would yield! Also, everybody's getting older, so why not start as early as possible? People should begin planning for their retirement when they're right out of the womb, don't you think? Why waste time?
If that isn't annoying enough, I am deluged by your constant emails and postal reminders proclaiming all the wonderful AARP discounts I can get. Here I am, doing my best to try to look younger and you expect me to go to a car rental company in Dubuque and blow the whole impression by flashing my AARP card, thereby informing everybody in the line (not to mention the pretty 32-year-old babe working the counter), that I'm not as young as I'm desperately trying to appear? Is that really worth the 10 percent off?
There's more -- the arrival of your magazine in my mailbox every other month, not to mention the bulletins, is like getting a periodical reminder that I'm going to die. Thank you AARP. I've been going about my business all day, blissfully oblivious to the fact that I'm on the fast track to senior citizenship, and you have to show up in the mailbox and tell me my time is running out and I better get my act together because assisted living is just around the corner and there's a legion of eager elderly gnomes ahead of me on the waiting list for the room closest to the defibrillator.
(I love your column called "Movies for Grown-ups." I know you're trying to be helpful but do you really think I need guidance here? Am I too feeble-minded to know that Jackass 2 isn't a sequel to Schindler's List?)
So I don't read your articles anymore AARP, although here's a few I'd like to see if you haven't already featured them:
"Is Being Comatose a Good Way to Catch Up on Your Sleep?"
"Does It Really Matter if You're Burial Plot Has a View?"
"How to Make Acid Reflux Work for You."
"It's 4:30. Time for Dinner!"
Here's a classic line from one of your articles: "For good reason, we're getting older -- fast." Seriously? First off, what's the good reason? Second, am I somehow getting older faster than people who are under fifty? Did the hands on my clock suddenly start moving faster because I turned fifty? Is the neighbor kid with the skateboard not getting old as fast as I am? Did Einstein know about this?
So sayonara for now AARP. I'll let you know when I retire.