Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Jumping the Gun

When I reached the pinnacle of age fifty, I started receiving stuff from the American Association of Retired Person—or the AARP.  Their propaganda started arriving within days of hitting the fifty year milestone.  I don’t know what world these people live in but at the age of fifty I realized I was a long, long, long way from retirement . . . but they kept sending me stuff.  Stuff like discounts on insurance of all sorts, a monthly newsletter, vacation deals, and a magazine.  Basically it was just more stuff for the house library—quick sit down reading of the mindless type. 

I have been receiving this stuff for almost five years now on a regular basis.  I am still a long ways from retiring, but I appreciate the effort.  In fact, I really enjoy the magazine and look forward to the day I might even be able to take advantage of some of the offers they offer.

For example, in the most recent issue of the magazine, they off a sweepstakes.  Everyone loves a chance to win—especially when it is two chances at $10,000.  The sweepstakes is for AARP’s Dating Boot Camp.  The contest doesn’t really explain what the “dating boot camp” involves, but I imagine it has to do with those so-called retired people “hooking up”.  I’d like to win the $10,000, but I don’t think the wife would care too much for me “hooking up” with anyone except her.

They also have lots of advertisements for medicine in the magazine.  Stuff for your heart, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction.  Man, I did not know that hitting the age of fifty or older would bring so many opportunities for better living through chemistry.  Pop a pill, live a little longer.  I did notice that the advertisement for the erectile dysfunction was on the same page of the “dating boot camp” sweepstakes.  I guess that is killing two birds with one stone.

The magazine also offers a lot of advice about money.  I find this ironic as most the retired people I know tell me that they are on tight budgets, working three part-time jobs to make ends meet, and hope to someday retire for real.  Again, I am not sure what world the writers of this magazine live in.  Money . . . retirement . . . these two don’t play well together.

There are hints on how to live a better life and have better health.  For example they offer the hint of tilting the rearview mirror in the car at an upward angle as this will make you sit up straighter, have better posture, and live a little longer.  Shoot, at nearly fifty-five years of age I have earned the right to slump in the seat! I never got to be a low rider when I was a teenager, so why not now. 

Though I find most of their hints to be on the ridiculous side, I did find the one about the first bathroom stall great.  I had never thought about this, but it makes sense.  According to their tip, most people seek privacy by using the faraway stalls in a bathroom.  Because of this the first stall is the least used . . . and the cleanest.  This reduces the risk of getting sick.  So, in old age, the hell with privacy . . . go for the cleanest and rest assured that you have cut down the risk of getting sick!

I also enjoy the way that they attempt to give in-depth interviews with “retired age” individuals that represent the common retiree . . . last month it was Reba McEntire . . . this month it was Dustin Hoffman.  Like they even live in the same zip code I live in.  My tax bracket is their tip money.  Shoot, I don’t know many twenty-years olds that look like Reba!  This is reality for those of us nearing retirement or in retirement.

I am not sure what world the writers and editors are living in, but I question whether or not it is the same as the typical retiree.  I sure would like to live in their world.  It would be a blast.  But, in the meantime, I have to deal with the reality of my world . . . retirement is many years away (if ever—you know, preachers usually die in the pulpit—I do every week).  I appreciate the AARP’s donation to the home library . . . it is good to laugh while trying to remain regular.  I still think they are jumping the gun, I ain’t old despite what my body is trying to tell me!

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