Letting others tell me I’m aging
March 17, 2003
There is something unnerving about being called old twice in a matter of days — especially when I don’t consider myself to be old.
The most recent reference was during an interview for a leadership conference last week. The conversation had turned to who the other people on this task force are. One of the interviewers said something about it being good there are younger people. He wasn’t talking about me.
I called him on it and asked what category I belonged in. He hummed and hawed and came up with me being in the middle.
So that got me wondering if I had reached middle age without knowing it. My parents are alive, my three older sisters are still breathing and so is my 93-year-old grandpa. I have nine years to go before I reach half the age he is today. And my two grandmas lived into their 80s. So based on family history, odds are I have not reached middle age.
But what was really unnerving is that just days before the interviewer made the old person reference, I received my AARP card. Yes, really.
“Dear Friend, I am pleased to enclose your AARP Membership Registration and temporary membership card,” the alarming letter begins.
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I laughed when my friends approaching 50 received their cards and invitation to join this club of seniors. I haven’t laughed yet about my card.
I’m really not sure what to make of it.
If I send in my $12.50 in dues, I will receive my membership kit and permanent card. I haven’t done it, but I am seriously considering doing it.
No longer do you have to be retired to be part of AARP. That’s why the group goes by the acronym instead of American Association of Retired Persons.
Until I was invited to join this seniors club, the minimum age to be part of AARP was 50.
I see all the senior discounts around and figure this will be a good way to take advantage of them. Hotels, restaurants, airlines — yep — I could easily live the life of a senior. Just imagine skiing for free.
I have been loving the senior discount thing for years — it makes it affordable to take my parents places.
Maybe I’ll start looking for a place in Sun City. There must be a Del Webb home with my name on it.
I think if there are benefits to being considered a senior, then I should embrace them. I’m not too sure my colleagues will appreciate this since more than half of them are older than me. Maybe I will consider them to be elderly, while others consider me to be a senior. Something tells me I should rethink that approach.
With my membership I am going to be able to take a safe driving course. Having totaled four cars in my lifetime, it seems a little late for this.
I also get free tax-preparation assistance. Bribery got my taxes done this year, but that’s another story.
There is information about laws against age bias. Apparently I need it.
There is information about mobile home insurance. I should probably wait for blue hair before I look into that.
I’m feeling pretty perky considering in a smattering of days I went from being thirtysomething, to middle aged to a senior. Now if only I could figure out a way to be retired.
Kathryn Reed is managing editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 541-3880, ext. 251.
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