"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Sunday, October 15, 2006


by Ann Kult

Well, it's official.

In fewer than 10 days, I will be eligible for membership in the American Association of Retired People (AARP).


I'll turn 50 on Oct. 24 . I'll turn 50 on Oct. 24. (I keep repeating it so it will sink in).

So this week I get in the mail a pre-AARP membership card tucked inside an envelope sporting a supposedly 50-year-old fantastic looking woman cozily napping alongside the ocean.

Obviously, this alleged half-a-century-old woman does not live in Iowa and work part-time at a grocery store.

Do you still get to join if you can't afford to retire until you're 110?

"How comfortable should 50 be?" the advertisement asks.

How comfortable, indeed.

In a perfect world, I imagine, a tad more comfortable than I am feeling right now. Although I must admit, my trusty 13-year-old down comforter does the trick on a frosty fall night. I also enjoy a quick nap on my porch swing on a sunny fall afternoon from time to time.

But I digress.

Inside the envelope, I am assured by my fellow half-centurians: "There's a lot ahead of you. AARP is dedicated to making it easier for you."

Oh, really? Do tell...

"50. Feels good doesn't it" the somewhat annoying PR piece continues.

Well, what do they mean by "feels good"? I will go so far as to say that 50 does feel good from the vantage point of, say, the alternative...that being death, of course. And 50 doesn't feel too bad overall until I have to kneel down to pick something up off the floor, and I no longer just spring back up.

But sure, all in all, 50 feels pretty good. After I have my coffee. And a really hot shower. And a therapeutic massage. And four Extra Strength Tylenol geltabs.


Then they ask me, "But what do you want for the future? 50 more healthy years?"


"Financial security?"

That's a no-brainer.

Anyway, my sister, who turns 58 Monday, says she has made a sideline of tossing her AARP membership flyers away as fast as they arrive. But I think I will join. Why not?

I once took a gander at a copy of AARP Magazine, and there, smack dab on the cover, was that handsome, still sexy as ever, actor Richard Gere...yum. If he's 50-plus, it can't be all bad, can it?

It can? OH.

Well, I've decided to meet 50 head on, anyway. AARP membership and all.

Frankly, I think being around for half a century has been, all things considered (and after a few margaritas) a pretty cool ride. My family, my friends have all made my life's journey thus far such a blessing.

The best thing about turning 50 (besides still being alive and all)? With age comes wisdom. And perspective. Not to mention the "Hey, I'm 50, take me as I am, or don't take me; love me, love my cat" 'tude that growing older affords.

Ah! The freedom!

Well, it's Sunday. Gotta go! Things to do, places to go, people to see!

So, on behalf of Katie Couric (who turns 50 this year), Richard Gere, Cybill Shepherd, Sally Field, Robin Williams, and all my other fellow talented, sexy, still-going-strong Baby Boomers aged 50 and over, I wish you all a fun-filled, spirit-nourishing Sunday.

And remember, in the words of Grandma Moses, "Life is what you make it. Always has been. Always will be."