Blah Blah Blog by Jessica Harper by Jessica
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AARP! (ARGH!)

August 1st, 2013

For those of you who would just as soon forget how old you are, AARP has taken on the job of reminding you. Using privacy-invasion skills that surpass even the NSA’s, the Association for the Annoyance of Retired People—you’re pretty sure that’s what the acronym stands for—knows your age and address before you’ve even heard of them.

How does AARP know where we live? The must have that FBI equipment that can locate a concealed criminal by reading his/her body heat. That’d be a no-brainer tool for finding menopausal women.

Whatever their method, the day you turn 55, not a minute later, you receive a letter from them welcoming you to the age when everything turns to shit. You see the word “retirement” on the envelope along with images of laughing people who are much older than you believe you are and you tear the letter into tiny pieces which flutter to the ground along with your expletives.

AARP’s cheerful reaction is to send you more letters. Like those water buckets in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice or like The New Yorker, they come relentlessly, overwhelming you and your mail carrier. Exhausted, you resort to merely ripping the letters in half, sans cursing, and tossing them wearily into the recycler.

For years, the organization continues merrily in their pursuit of your attention, which of course is waning due to the precipitous mental decline AARP says affects people your age. Then one day, they shoot you an article on arthritis, a condition you have developed due to tearing up so much damn mail. You read it.

Gotcha.

Their next letter features a piece on doing yoga in a chair, which is right up your lazy ass alley. You read that one, and the letter that follows. (They had you at “Teeth Whitening Tips.”)

You begin saving their letters in a binder. It has taken some time, but even though not retired, you are pretty much in synch with AARP’s message. You visit their website. There are those laughing old people again, all over the home page. You look at them, then at yourself in the mirror.

In the search bar, you type, “martini recipe.” They offer you a choice of fifty-two. You smile. This is your kind of organization.

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11 Responses to “AARP! (ARGH!)”

  1. Fake Name Says:

    Jessica, I came by your sight after watching My Favorite Year and checking out imdb for information on your career. I remember you from Pennies From Heaven and Stardust Memories primarily. You’re a fantastic actress, and deserved a ton more roles.
    I was 12 when My Favorite Year came out, and even I, at 45, hear the silent but deadly footsteps of AARP creeping up on me. Anyway, you’re an excellent writer. I love your blog Funny, enjoyable to read, and relatable. Keep it up.

  2. Wendy Says:

    I love AARP. They are out fighting for preserving Social Security and Medicare, thank God! They make being old powerful.

  3. Samantha Baker Says:

    We all get old. Hopefully we learn some things along the way. Like how to think young.

  4. Hannah Says:

    I have decided to give in to AARP and try to get anything I can out of them.
    Car discounts are a fav. TRY googling Expedia AARP and you can SAVE big time.
    IF you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em and take advantage of them
    while you can still figure out how.

  5. Kate Says:

    I’ve long wondered why I was being singled out and targeted by the old-age mafia – I feel better now that I know their overkill doesn’t actually mean I’m dying.

    I like the theory of an AARP – but the practice is too relentless and market-niche savvy for my suspicious inner-curmudgeon to take. I don’t want my cronehood to be co-opted by brands and ploys – just like my youth apparently was. No escape…. except in one’s mind or after one’s demise – but then some market-hip angels will probably try to sell me a new kind of deluxe set of wings and a digital harp that glows in the dark.

  6. Rodger Smith Says:

    Only a choice of fifty-two martini recipes? Shouldn’t that be three-hundred and sixty-five?

    My Mom gets their magazine. I must be getting older, because I’m beginning to find their articles to be useful, and I’m getting the overwhelming urge to subscribe. Dagnabbit!

  7. Little Sistah Says:

    hee hee!!!!

  8. Jessica Says:

    Haha, watch out! It’s a slippery slope!

  9. Ray King, Ocala, Fl Says:

    AARP SINGLES BAR PICK-UP LINES
    rhk 07/30/2010

    Hi there , do you know if you are here alone ? I think I am.
    Are you lookin’ at me ? Well, which one is your good eye ?
    Bartender, I’ll have a double Metamucil, and make one for the lady.
    Are those your own teeth ?
    Do I come here often ?
    Did you just fart ? Or was it me ?
    Funny thing happened to me on the way to dialysis – – .
    You look just like someone I forgot.
    I remember Pearl Harbor ; do you remember Pearl Bailey ?
    Hi, did you just whistle at me ? Or am I getting feedback ?
    Heard any good books lately ?
    Did you know that when you eat cactus you don’t have to floss ?
    Baby, where have I been all my life ?
    I hear that Wal-Mart is having a “Buy one-get one free” sale on Depends. Want to go check it out ?
    Are there any more like you at the home ?

  10. Lloyd Says:

    Jessica, nice to see you. I have not gotten anything from you in a while and I was worried. Birthday 58 for me tomorrow so hey it is as it is. Thank goodness for AARP, we all get old someday. The journey is sweeter when you take care of yourself at a young age. Thank goodness for everyone who is involved with AARP.

  11. Lloyd Says:

    Okay I just read it from beginning to end. That is priceless, Jessica! I like the part about the martini recipe, yes please! Cheers!

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