An Open Letter To AARP

Dear AARP,

I appreciate that you look out for my interests. I don’t have the time to travel to Washington as often as I’d like. When I do get there, I’m not interested in soiling my reputation by being seen with elected officials. I’ll happily pay my dues to have you lobby on my behalf.

Yeah, I get a free one. Why? Because I’m an AARP member. (image public domain)

That’s not all that you do for me. I get good deals on donuts when I get together with my old man friends every morning. And when I travel, I get a break on hotel costs. You offer me insurance and I get a magazine every month. It almost seems like a one-sided deal that is in my favor. If you’re OK with that, so am I. Read the rest of this entry »


Fifty Is The New Twenty

I did a little travel last week. Time away from home with the most important people in my life is good for my soul. I love driving and seeing the countryside go by. But I learned something too.

What Sauvignon Blanc looks like before it goes to the store. (image by Agne27, CCby SA 3.0)

I recognized that being in my fifties has its privileges and burdens. That’s not so different than any other age. So, in the way that so many have declared so many things the new something else, I am declaring that fifty is the new twenty.

There came a time in the trip where a bottle of wine was just what an unremarkable hotel room needed. I stopped by a grocery, grabbed a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and headed for the check out lanes. The self check out scanner line was short. I scanned the bottle, the price came up on the screen, followed by a prompt to show my identification to the cashier.

Now, I think I already established that I’m a bit older. No one is going to mistake me for a twenty-one year old. I understand the liability issues that force stores to confirm that every one who buys a bottle of wine is over twenty-one; I just happen to believe there is room for common sense in that confirmation process. Read the rest of this entry »


Checks Are So 1970’s

Exterior Credit Union Signage | Bank Signage |...

A Credit Union. Not mine, but I’m sure they’re nice people. (Photo credit: I-5 Design & Manufacture)

I stopped by my Credit Union today. I left a richer man.

I didn’t rob them, and I didn’t clean out my account. They just decided to give me stuff because I am alive. I didn’t even ask. This is a business model I can get behind.

“You’re over fifty, right?” When the teller asked me, I admitted she was right. How could I fib about my age to someone who had the guts to ask the way she did? I would never ask someone if they were over fifty because I would instinctively pick a person who would answer with an insulted “no”. Read the rest of this entry »


Five Routine Minutes: My AARP Card Arrives.

As I sorted through the mail the other day, I tossed an envelope that said “card enclosed” to the side and was about to shred it on the assumption that it was another credit card offer. On my way to the shredder, I realized that the envelope contained my AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) card. I am aware that I am aging, but it is quite another thing to have that fact confirmed by an organization whose business it is to know of such things.

(If they were alive, The Ramones would be in AARP now. Gabba Gabba, we accept you, one of us.)
 
 
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No, I’m not.

I am not a kid anymore. I run slow, if my knees don’t hurt and I decide running is warranted.  My hair is thinning and starting to grey. Sometimes at work, newer people call me sir not because of my position but because I’m older than their dad.

I am not a young man.

Being overly sensitive to things is not a quality I admire in people. At the same time, I have reached the point that I that I just can’t tolerate being called young man. Let me give an example of what I’m talking about. I stop for lunch and place my order. As the woman at the counter gives me my change she says “thank you young man”. I am easily 20 years older than her. Read the rest of this entry »