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.