Too Busy for AARP 2015.08.26


I’m not retired, but, yes, I'm a member of the American Association of Retired People (AARP). But do I care? My wife, on the other hand, appreciates her membership. She likes to read what they send out and she takes advantage of some hotel discounts when she travels.

I travel far less frequently and for me the discount might not be worth all the e-mail. When the bi-weekly bulletin arrives, I generally forward it on to Colleen.

There's also a monthly magazine that she enjoys. Sometimes I will find marked up or torn out pages placed on my side of the kitchen table. I've seen this magazine described as a monthly reminder that death is approaching.

As I was about to forward the most recent AARP e-mail, something caught my eye and I poked around a little. I clicked on the link called Parks in Morenci and learned that I could walk on over to Lake Hudson or Harrison Lake. I tried the link for local amusements and found Ella Sharp Park suggested (that's in Morenci's suburb of Jackson) plus Splash Universe over on the east side in Dundee.

Events in Morenci: Will it mention the car show Thursday or the approaching Bridge Walk? No, Morenci's events are the Calhoun County Fair in Marshall and the Farmer's Market in Jackson.

The headline that caught my attention was about downsizing. I want to put one item per week at the curb, but it never gets done. AARP suggests that I downsize to a smaller home, perhaps the apartment above the Observer office.

Get rid of clothing that I no longer wear, exercise equipment that I don't use, kitchen appliances that never gets plugged in, books and magazines that I will never again read. True, I could free up some space by parting with a few hundred old New Yorker magazines.

Get rid of two pieces of furniture per room and enjoy the spaciousness. If your children don't want your weird childhood memorabilia (cultural artifacts), give them a new home at the landfill. Get rid of one of your cars, or maybe all of them and just rely on public transportation. That's a really helpful suggestion, and probably a good example of why I don't read my AARP e-mail.

There's an article about movies from 40 years ago, but why would I want to read that? Either I already saw them or I missed them and it's very unlikely that I will watch them now. I know, I'm supposed to enjoy the nostalgia of thinking back to the night I watched Dr. Zhivago at the Rex with my arm around Cindy Dickens.

Dr. Z came out in 1965, actually, and 40 years ago was 1975. I was living in rural Maine that year and I can guarantee that I missed every movie that came out. I don't reminisce much that far back, anyway. Let's stick with the present.

"Are you saving enough for retirement?" For retirement? I thought the RP in AARP stood for retired people. It's a little late to start thinking about this now, isn't now? Sure enough, there's an asterisk with fine print at the bottom: "Anyone affiliated with the newspaper industry should not even bother thinking about retirement."

Another story informs me that 81 percent of Americans in my age group take at least one medication every day. As I mentioned recently, I've begun eating lamb's quarter leaves growing from the compost pit every morning. That's my medicine.

The article screams about the dangers of mixing certain foods with certain medications. Some cheeses eaten with particular anti-depressants can be catastrophic. Grapefruit, bananas and greens, on the other hand, should be eaten with french fries if you're taking anti-fungal medication. Bananas and french fries…I suppose they might be a natural.

The Pros and Cons of Owning a Convertible. Let's see: It can be fun. It can be cold. You can look cool. You can get wet.

I'm frequently told that I've earned thousands of points, but I have no idea nor interest in learning what this means. Well, I suppose I know what it means. It means I will go to the AARP website and click links and earn even more points!

I'm just no fun. I don't want to play in their games. Forward it on.

Sometimes it's good to be not-yet-retired and really, really busy.