John Y’s Musings from the Middle: AARP

Sometimes I stumble across a new website and it is like free falling into a black hole.

I start clicking and next thing I know 45 minutes has passed. Or 2 hours. Or longer.

One topic of interest leads to another topic and so on and so on until you are in a zone and are in the thrall of the thrill of discovering a brand new website that “you get” and that “gets you.”

It can be a time waster, of course…but also very much a reflection of who you really are— and where you are in your life.

Which makes me a little skittish about boastfully recommending the very compelling, timely, topical and substantive new website I found tonight:

AARP is just too stodgy an acronym to make people turning 50 want to join. It doesn’t sound topical or interesting. Or like it has activities that someone 49 would ever look forward to participating in.Instead, it sounds like a place to go to play bingo and have group exercises in tho pool. With a the cafeteria that serves lots of soup and easy-to-chew entrees…..and probably offers prunes as a side dish at every meal.

It’s re-branding time.

We need a new name. And we know how to do this. Or at least the pharma companies that cater to us do.

How about Flomax! (with an exclamation point)? That sounds like an aging super-hero (with a cape and a dignified cane to beat off the bad guys). But it sounds fun too. Like a group with activities such as white water rafting, skiiing, surfing and Boogie Boards (with hand rails). But it’s better than AARP.

I don’t even know what AARP stands for. Ok. I do now. I just looked it up. American Association of Retired Persons. And if you’ll note that is without an exclamation point.

Who wants to join a group that makes you think of being put out to pasture—but protected somehow. And with some group activities so you don’t reach enfeebled oblivion sooner than expected.

No. No. No. If you look at the website it can clearly be cool to be 50 and over. Or at least 50–55. It’s not that old. Not really. OK, it is “that” old. But it’s not, like, a death march. It’s no the end! Only the beginning of the end. Or…..maybe…..the beginning of the beginning of the end. Or BOTBOTE. Bot and bote. Sounds a little French…but so does AARP. But BOTBOTE sounds like some place I wouldn’t mind seeing on the 4th day of a tourist trip to France. Not looking forward to it….but not dreading either. And keeping the possibility open of being surprised. AARP –if it was on the itinerary of the same trip, on the other hand, sounds like something you’d want to avoid before lunch or dinner. And that you’d quickly snap off a few pictures off and leave —before someone mistakes you for someone who belongs in that group rather than a tourist walking by.

I’m going with BOTBOTE. It’s mysterious. Doesn’t seem to ask a lot of us. But if we are at Barnes & Nobles and want the magazine, we wouldn’t have to buy another magazine (like Pscyhology Today) to hide it under as we walked to the counter. BOTBOTE could be something we buy with our coffee in the cafe. Along with a bowl of fancy tomato soup and a over-sized bran muffin. ; )


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