A Rite of Passage: AARP

Well, it finally happened to me. I was opening my mail—feeling fit as a fiddle—listening to really cool new music—when I saw it. MY FIRST MAILING FROM AARP! Ack!

I know for a fact (since I heard someone from AARP say it in a meeting not even a month ago) that AARP doesn’t want to be known as the Association for the Advancement of Retired People anymore. After all, who can afford to retire these days? But there is no question that getting a mailing from AARP means something very specific: I AM GETTING OLD. I am getting to “that age.” The age of no return.

How to Work after Your Retirement—and Why

I should have seen the signs. Last year it was the granny glasses, which are kind of cute but make me feel like Aunt Bea on The Andy Griffith Show—especially when I put on my farm country kitchen apron. Then, this year I started buying that blue shampoo because, let’s face it, us grey-haired ladies need a little help keeping the grey looking fresh. My very cool hair stylist in New York recommended it. He uses it too. His hair is silver. Are we really that old?

Fuzz Is My New Buzz

I don’t feel that old. I can do a handstand in yoga. I listen to new music like Bon Iver, Band of Horses, and the Avett Brothers. And my memory was always bad.
But I don’t want to be one of those people (like my mother) who refuse to admit they are getting old. Woe to anyone who called her a “senior,” and her hair NEVER turned grey. It just went from one shade of brown to another, mysteriously, overnight. I’ve always said I wouldn’t mind getting older. But now that it’s staring me in the face, it’s a different story.

The true cost of beauty.

Opening the mailing was a bit of relief. Turns out it was really just an offer to subscribe to the. I know the editor, Hugh Delehanty. He’s a good guy. He’s cool. He’s got grey hair too, but he’s from that Beatles generation. He’s a boomer. I am on the cusp, half boomer and half Gen X. That means I really don’t care for the Beatles, but I love Johnny Cash.
Well, I’m not going to subscribe today. I’m only 48, after all. And I still feel full of life, and lush, like one of those late roses of summer. I’ll enjoy it while I can.


Kirsten B.
Past Member 7 years ago

My last comment just went 'poof' from my screen ...

To get rid of the unsolicited mail - why not stuff as much of the paper received as possible into any of their pre-paid envelopes and post it back to them blank - that might help get you removed from their mailing lists. It will also help reduce your trash.

Maria Rodale
Maria Rodale7 years ago

So many AARP members! :)

If you liked this post, you might like another from Maria- Accelerated Aging Strikes Again: http://www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com/accelerated-aging-strikes-again/

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

Sabrinna Valisce
Past Member 7 years ago

The whole generation thing is a bit strange. It's different years depending on where you live. Here, in Australia, Gen X is 1969-1977, spanning only 9 years.So, we're all 32-41years old. The reason is because of what was happening on a societal level. This was the big 'solo-mum era' over here; the downside of the whole free-love buzz they all went on.

But, here's the thing. I've found that the generations are really blurry in reality. Where some people are old before their time, others stay young. It's not an image thing either. Like you say in your story, you're doing handstands in yoga. I know a woman who's only 33 and behaves older than my 61 y/o mum.

Maybe retirement is just like that. It suits some and not others and there's no loss of dignity one way or the other.

Tori W.
Past Member 7 years ago

who cares? i always lie about my age anyway!

Mary B.
Mary B7 years ago

I'll turn 62 next month, and I actually feel better now and think more clearly than I did years ago. Hormones change everything. It's like a vail lifting and the bigger picture starts to come into view, and with that, life begins to get exciting again. Priorities change, and we have access to so much better nutrition now, in the form of powdered food suppliments, and understanding how our body/mind system works.Some boomers will just grow bitter and old. Some of us will be the new elders as we tap into higher levels of consciousness and start picking up the new visions for our world.I avoid western style 'health' care in general. I think it may be dulling peoples minds and sedateing their survival instinct.Staying relaxed and alert and apprecitive is very helpful.As is surrounding yourself with natural objects and things of beauty. I do not watch TV. Too many people wearing their ugly side like a badge of honor. This too shall pass...

Mary L.
Mary L7 years ago

Welcome to the club. AARP lost when they sold out on Health care adding a drug plan that is real for Bush.

B J Hayes
B J Ellsworth7 years ago

LOL iv gotten letters from AARP since I was 35!

Lidia E Feliciano
Lidia E F7 years ago

Moggy,why did you post your comment so many times?.Once truly is enough.:)

Lidia E Feliciano
Lidia E F7 years ago

She is so funny.I like her comedic flare.I am 46,but am one of those that refuse to admit I am getting old.I refuse to go down and age ungracefully.However,My eye wrinkles keep reminding me I am not 20 any longer.Aw who cares,we all get old.Stop the smoking girls.I realized too late and am paying the price for it.

moggy w.
moggy w7 years ago

Okay, I know i'm a minority, but I do not like AARP. A cmpany that charges you "membership" so they have your hname to sell yopu everything- no thanks. Note their endless ads for supplemental medicare insurance. "The nly one approved by AARP" not coincidentally, the only one sold by AARP. with a legal note on tv admitting they get paid for promoting that brand. Get on their mailing/membership list and you will be sold stufff endlessly- all "only (blank) approved by aarp. I don't mind being on a mailing list, but PAY to be on one??