I have gotten used to the notion of a United States president who is younger than I am. I sat through many Back-to-School Night presentations by 22-year-old teachers, without judging. I am even okay with being older than Supreme Court justice nominee Elena Kagan.
But I got a kick-in-the-gut blow as I pulled the AARP Magazine out of the mailbox and saw on the cover Valerie Bertinelli, who happens to be four months and 10 days younger than I. By the way, she’s five days older than Elena Kagan.
AARP The Magazine comes addressed to my husband, though I am AARP-eligible. I never had the guts to peel back the cover until yesterday—had to read about Valerie. After all, her 1970s TV character, Barbara Cooper, and I were practically sisters.
The reason I never ventured inside the magazine? I just knew there’d be articles about all sorts of scary aging topics, and the ads – nothing I’d need, to be sure.
I was surprised. There’s an article on Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon and her work in promoting cancer research. She’s 44, in case you were wondering. A big picture of George Clooney appears just inside the front cover. What for? Does it really matter? There’s a nice piece on microbreweries around the country and a funny interview with Dave Barry. I also learned that Sean Penn, a famed member of Hollywood’s Brat Pack, will turn 50 this summer.
The writing is pretty edgy too.
The ads? No Depends, or Metamucil or Geritol (do they even make Geritol anymore?). It’s no surprise that there are plenty of ads for AARP products and services, including motorcycle insurance. There’s an ad for an AARP-sponsored concert featuring Gladys Knight, B.B. King, Los Lobos, Gloria Gaynor, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Richie Havens. There’s also an ad for Dr. Scholl’s. I know firsthand that those feel really good on 50-year-old feet but then I also wore their exercise sandals when I was 14.
The magazine’s featured recipe is for tandoori chicken, whereas I expected any recipe offered by AARP would involve smothering something in cream of mushroom soup.
And guess what else? A big fat crossword puzzle!
I’m thinking I might need my own subscription.
5 responses to “Modern maturity”
…and don’t forget the senior discounts at Denny’s
I have enjoyed Butch’s subscription for years before I became AARP-eligible (grin). I can’t remember the year that it went from being a “rag” for old folks to being a much more sophisticated, entertaining magazine, but it was at least five years ago. Both of us at least skim most issues.
I agree with the comments of William Greene about AARP insurance. The organization is not doing anyone any favors from a financial standpoint!
I keep hoping my invitation to join will stop coming in the mail…every week! Maybe I’ll take a second look next week.
I understand your initial reaction. When my AARP card arrived in the mail (when I was so much younger than today) I cut it up and threw it in the trash.
“I don’t need YOUR stinkin’ discounts!”
I’m a little less militant today, but still don’t read the magazine. Perhaps I’ll give it a try. I LOVE Valerie Bertinelli!
Alas, after reaching the magic ‘senior status’ many years ago, I discovered that AARP is just another exploitive commercial activity. Recently, I had to change the AARP insurance policy for my parents (yes, they are still kicking at 89 and 87). Apparently, they were being charged full price for Hartford policies under a ‘AARP Special Offering’. The change to USAA saved my parents over $1,500 per year.
All to say, another legendary organization turned out to be just another business.