As if you needed a reminder, like a dentist appointment.
But, my question of the day is: Why does it fill people with such dread? Why do some of us freak out when we get those friendly, welcoming letters, inviting us to join a HUMONGOUS group of people (over 40 million members at last count), and rip the letter to shreds?
Are we upset because we’re turning 50 and don’t want to be reminded?
A few years ago, I was one of those people who started to get the letters . . . with increasing regularity . . . and while not exactly filled with dread, I do recall feeling a tad grumpy. I was okay with turning 50, just as I had been fine with 40 and 30, but I was annoyed because I always believed that AARP was for the “old folks at home.” Definitely not for someone like me. So, why were they bugging me, and wasting all those trees? And, why were they pestering someone who wasn’t even retired, and had no interest in retiring. Ever. On the contrary, I was just gearing up for a whole new career as an author . . . and an expert on life after 50! So, no. AARP was not what I had in mind.
But, they are persistent. They know that eventually you’ll come around, and they just keep at you until you do.
One day, when I was enjoying my last few weeks of being 50, and inching toward 51, another envelope arrived. I sat down, was just about to rip away . . . but then, I stopped, and instead read every word on every piece of paper inside that envelope. I had been rude, and disrespectful (or so I felt at that moment), and decided to be nice, and at least see what they had to say.
Okay, I admit it. They had me, and they kept me. I now have a five-year AARP membership card in my wallet, which will renew automatically. Why?
The question shouldn’t be “Why?”. It’s “Why Not?” Why not be a member of AARP? In addition to having worn me down, I soon realized how amazing this organization really is. It’s nice to know that such a powerful group is looking out for me, my concerns, my finances, my health, and my needs . . . and not those young whipper snappers in their 40s. AARP is an invaluable resource, has a powerful lobby in D.C. where they wage battles for the rights of everyone over 50, and they put out a really good magazine each month. I figured if Bruce Springsteen still feels cool being on the cover, I could still feel cool being a member.
Some of you will make fun of me. But, I’m cool with that. Tell me what club you belong to that works as hard for their 40 million members, and I’ll listen.
Best of everything,