My birthday is later this month and the gifts are already beginning to arrive. Delta sent me an e-mail a couple of days ago, extending birthday greetings and offering double miles on every flight taken in July -- a good deal for me considering I'm making two separate trips to the West Coast that month. Sunglass Hut sent me a $20 gift certificate, along with a card that read "Eat Cake. Smile for the Camera. Clink Glasses." I don't need new shades, thank you very much, but it's the thought that counts. So far, so good.
But yesterday's mail contained the sobering notification that I am about to be officially "old" -- a membership invitation to join AARP. Say it ain't so! I'm not ready to be old, dammit! Sure, I recently discovered a few spots on the back of my hand that I thought at first were tiny drips of chocolate from a Fast Break candy bar I had been eating. (When did they get there?) Lines and creases are starting to appear on my face like the highways and rivers on a road map. I can't run the 50 in under eight seconds like I once did, and I probably couldn't hit a Little League fastball, either. But I ride my bike and pedal furiously when I do. And there's not a single strand of gray hair on my head, what hair remains.
No, I don't want to belong to old. What gives AARP the right? I might just take their membership card and return it with a note that says, 'You have the wrong person.' Maybe that would get rid of the vultures. Maybe that would buy me some time.