I felt the image I have of myself crumple as tightly and as ruinously as the wad of paper I tossed at the wastebasket.Â I missed the basket, but that is not what brought about the destruction of my self-esteem. It was the content of the letter I had just crushed with fervor.Â How is it that a few simple words strung together formed a noose around my youth and yanked the floor of reality from beneath me?Â I shudder even now as I conjure the moment and make the following confession: I was invited to join…AARP! Noooooooooooo!
While willing to pay grateful homage to the organization that champions the rights and causes of the middle-aged and elderly, I didnâ€™t see my eligibility coming this soon. Doesnâ€™t AARP know I am a college student? College student status smacks of youth and questionable behaviors like bar-hopping with guys named Skid and Little Willie, right? Right? Nah, I canâ€™t be a vintage AARP member yet. Nuh, uh. Thatâ€™s just messing with my head.
Besides, it wasnâ€™t so terribly long ago that I was playing basketball with a group of classmates that were only–muffle, muffle, muffle, twenty to thirty, years younger than me. Okay I admit that at one point in the game, as I was clutching my chest and gasping for air, I turned my ankle with such an audible â€œpopâ€ that the young woman I was futilely attempting to defend stopped with a horrified look.Â This, in turn, allowed my team to steal the ball and score. It was my best, and only, contribution to the game.
And, just for the record, getting hurt while essentially standing in one spot and waving my arms does not mean Iâ€™m getting old and feeble. Letâ€™s save that little bit of sarcasm for when I break a hip putting on my fish net support hose. Yeah, thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m talking about.
So, for now, Iâ€™ve thrown my invitation to AARP away.Â Foolish? Perhaps. I just canâ€™t handle asking for a senior discount. Worse, I canâ€™t handle knowing the checkout person doesnâ€™t even question that I qualify.