Propono (Latin): to put or set forth, to set or lay out, to offer, to place before, expose to view, display, point out, declare, represent, report, say, relate, set forth, publish, etc.

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Propono, ergo sum?

Monday, April 10, 2006


I received a solicitation in the mail this last week from AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, now, simply 'AARP'), a national organization / special interest group for Americans aged 50 and older.

Key words here: persons aged 50 or older.

Now, it has happened in the past that I've inadvertently received mail addressed to my father-in-law (we're not sure why, crossed magazine subscription streams or something); and it's entirely possible that it would be easy to confuse me and my father, as we do share a name. But this piece of mail did, in fact, come addressed to me, at my home address, in a city far, far away from either of the aforementioned relations. I'm not sure which subscription lists AARP is using to try and target potential members, but they may want to reconsider their direct mail marketing practices.

It's not an isolated phenomenon, as a quick google search demonstrates. Other well-under-50s have received the same invitation from the AARP. (e.g. see here, here, and/or here). And Robert Samuelson shares some thoughts on why he won't be joining here (a brief excerpt follows).
But I won't be joining, because AARP has become America's most dangerous lobby. If left unchecked, its agenda will plunder our children and grandchildren. Massive outlays for the elderly threaten huge tax increases and other government spending. Both may weaken the economy and the social fabric. No thanks.
Part of me is ever-so-tempted to join just for kicks and to see if they'd actually grant me a membership (I don't know why not; a dues-paying member is a dues-paying member, regardless of age). If we could get tens of thousands of other 30-somethings to join, we could even influence or re-shape the organization's agenda, I suppose. But, alas, after showing my wife and my father, and having a good chuckle, I did what I do with the other stacks of junk mail I receive weekly (which also include credit card offers and pre-approvals for my two-year old): shred and toss, shred and toss.

My wife and I often joke about how "old" we've become (these days, the music's too loud, kids' clothes are too crazy, and there's nothing good coming out of Hollywood...), but come on, I didn't really mean it. I'm a young dad, still mapping out a path in life and changing diapers every day. AARP, you've surely confused me with someone else. Perhaps out there somewhere, there's a man who shares my name, is ~20 years older, and is wondering why he has not yet received an invitation to join. Better luck next time.


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