I celebrated my 50th birthday last Friday.  It took all of three days before I received my first AARP invitation in the mail.  I'm serious.  These people must be conducting surveillance through the Alexa in my bathroom.  I have a feeling the next time I pop a squat, Alexa's going to speak up and remind it's time for a colonoscopy, then remind me of all the great benefits people over 50 can get if they sign up for an AARP membership.

I mean, I was okay with 50, but come on, People!  Am I really at the point where I need access to 1500 articles, activities and games designed to keep me "Staying Sharp?"  And, sure!  I like Denny's as much as the next guy, but am I really already earning senior citizen discounts?

I'm freaking 50, not 108.

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After receiving my delightful Welcome to the "50's Club" mailing the other day (that came complete with an offer for a FREE Insulated Trunk Organizer, which is where I can store my bladder pads and my Army-surplus supply of Ensure), I decided to poll my friends and see how they felt about getting their first AARP invitations.  They won't want to hear or admit this, but most of my classmates beat me to 50.  I started school when I was four, so a lot of them have been perched up at 50, while this little duckling was still waddling around the 49 mark.  But, as they say, mighty ducks fly together and, well, here I am.  Flapping toward death.

My dear friend Michelle Carlton Vowels had about the same reaction I did.  She said, "I took a photo of the envelope and posted about it. Sigh ... I can’t be old enough for this."

My longtime friend Steve Bridgmon got insult added to his AARP injury.  "It was literally on the same day as I heard a middle schooler say in a speech: “Way back in the 1900s when our parents were born . . .”

My friend Kim Saulnier tried to convince herself that the United States Postal Service made a grave delivery error.  LOL!  "Wrong address!!"

Heather Stuart wasn't having a single second of it.  She dropped a proverbial word bomb and threw it "straight into the shredder."

But not everyone was totally mortified by the rite of passage onto the AARP Railway to the town of Six Feet Under, USA.  Anne Welsh dove right in.  "I signed up for the deals!"

My buddy Mike Beeler chose to take advantage of the savings too.  Like Anne, he said, "We use their travel discounts."

But the most interesting comment came from my friend Brian Snyder, who shared something I did not know.  He asked, "Did you know you can be an AARP member at any age? Look it up."  Naturally, I looked it up.  And Brian's right!

Now, it's important to note that FULL AARP membership is available to anyone age 50 and older (that's me, dammit).  And you can get "immediate access to discounts, products and services when you sign up today" using the handy dandy mailer I received THREE days after my birthday.  Oh, and don't forget the FREE insulated trunk organizer!!

But, you CAN become an AARP member if you're younger than 50.  That membership allows you access to any offered benefit that doesn't come with a vendor-enforced age restriction.  As the AARP website proclaims, "It's never too early to sign up."

After all, AARP's mission is to "empower people to choose how they live as the age."  For me, at least right now, I'm choosing to live by ignoring the fact that I'm aging.  For now, while I can, I'm going to pull a "Heather Stuart."  Yes, I am going to swear a little (or a lot) and hurl my Welcome to the "50's Club" mailer into the shredder or a bonfire (if I can get one built without violating City of Owensboro open burning ordinances).

I will admit though, before completely throwing out that 50-year-old baby with the bath water, I may have peeked at the member benefits just to see what AARP is serving up.  I will also admit that some of the travel perks caught my attention.  Ya'll know I like to travel and I'm also notoriously cheap. But these deals are legit and I am intrigued. If you want to check them out too, CLICK HERE!

Okay, wait.  What am I doing?  I'm having second thoughts about that shredder.  Honestly, I am also already thinking of things I can put in my insulated trunk organizer.  What is happening to me?????  Oh, yeah.  I'm 50 now.  I'm officially in the "club".

Am I going to do this? Am I really going to join AARP- the American Association of (freaking) Retired Persons?

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