The USPS delivered another tangible sign that I am considered part of the senior set recently. Years ago, often at my workplace, I received in a transparent envelope a packet of cards advertising professional products or services. The set of offers that beckoned at me as soon as I opened my mailbox looked similar, but as soon as I opened the clear package it became very clear these marketers are targeting the gray banal generation, not the gray flannel crowd.
As I looked through the stack, the mind game began, part of me drawing from the deck of the past while my fingers played the cards of the present.
Then: Subscribe to The Wall Street Journal. Now: Get a free trial issue of Good Old Days.
Then: Take advantage of low interest rates on house loans. Now: Get a reverse mortgage and a check every month.
Then: Our dating service gets you in touch with hot women. Now: Impotence Solved. Cure hot flashes.
Then: A personal invitation to join our organization of progressive professionals. Now: Join AARP and start saving immediately.
Then: As a charter member of our swinging record club, you get your first 5 groovy albums for just $2.99. Now: Please reserve the My Granddaughter, I Love You music box for me.
Then: Be footloose and fancy free with boots made for walking. Now: Straighten crooked toes with alignment comfort pads.
Then: Invest wisely to keep from being wiped out. Now: Having trouble wiping? The Comfort Seat can help.
Then: Build an addition to your living room or remodel your attic. Now: The Relief Pillow will ease the pain in your sciatica.
Then: Take an unforgettable cruise on the Erie Canal. Now: Our hearing aids make it easy for sounds to reach your ear canal.
Then: Our seed catalog will get you “out and growing.” Now: This tiller does it all so you can save your back.
Then: Just ten minutes a day using this exerciser and in a month you, too, can be a he-man. Now: Discounts on nebulizer medications.
Then: We specialize in the latest cuts and curls. Now: Free wig catalog.
Then: Tired of renting? Own your own home. Now: Get a home monitor so living on your own will “never mean being alone.”
Then: Get a free athletic bag for going to the gym. Now: Free catheter bag for going to the urologist.
Then: Join your friends hiking in the Rockies or climbing the Alps. Now: With this portable shoulder pack, enjoy unlimited oxygen wherever you may be.
Then: Be the life of the party, known for inventive kidding and witty repartee. Now: Try sample issues of Creative Knitting and Crochet World.
Then: Attend this seminar that will help you climb the corporate ladder. Now: These pills clinically shown to help with control of bladder.
Then: Put this miracle in your engine to burn up that quarter mile. Now: Try this wellness drink as an effective and delicious way to reduce pain due to inflammation.
Then: Take these proven steps to get out of your rut. Now: If steps have become a problem, try our stairlift.
Then: Imagine this fabulous pool in your backyard. Makes you want to dive right in, doesn’t it? Now: A walk-in hot tub eases fear of falling.
Then: The cologne so powerful women rate it better than 101 propositions. Now: Learn more about the only adjustable bed with 1001 comfort positions.
Then: This speed-reading course will put you at the head your team. Now: Try a free 21-day supply of our age-defying crème.
Then: Send for our catalog of sophisticated clothing for the debonair man’s browsing. Now: Give us a call to learn about your options for senior housing.
So far I have not done anything with the cards except shuffle them and ruminate about my past and future. I might be persuaded to respond to an offer of two tickets to paradise to hear Money once more, but it is more likely I will receive a promotion regarding two tickets to Sun City to see my money for the last time.