The Age of Retirement
by Will Bailey
I’m over the hill. At least that’s what an envelope stuffer in Washington D.C. must think. How do I know this? Because I recently received a membership application for the AARP-the American Association of Retired Persons. I have to admit: at first I was excited about the insulated travel bag, perfect for trips to the aquarium with your grandkids, that comes as a free gift when you complete the membership form. There was also some talk of saving money on groceries (yes, please), travel discounts (you bet!), age discrimination protection (huh?) and Medicare benefits (again…huh?) Of course, I wasn’t wearing my prescription wrap-around reading glasses, and must have missed the fine print at the bottom. What’s the fine print, you ask? YOU HAVE TO BE FIFTY YEARS OLD. Was I just shouting? Sorry. I’m feeling a little…cranky. It’s not every day that wild promises of discounted meals at The Sizzler (4:30 – 5:15 PM only), and bags, are waved in your face, only to be cruelly snatched away by fine print. Although I suppose the irony of the situation is almost as delicious as the twelve dollar steak that comes pre-cut when you show your AARP Membership Card at participating restaurants. Despite all the mention of age discrimination, I can’t even qualify for the fabulous spoils that come with non-profit retirement interest group membership for another twenty-four years. How do you like them apples? Perhaps I should write a strongly worded letter to the ACLU, explaining that I have been denied my basic right to a cheap steak and a Free Gift because of my age. Then again, I did receive an AARP enrollment card with an activation code. Maybe if I flash it at the waiter like a detective’s badge they won’t be able to tell the difference.