Direct marketers the world over need to let me age and die in peace. My mailbox has become a source of anxiety as I feel the dread mounting while going about the mundane task of retrieving my daily mail.
In rapid succession, this week I received a lavish brochure from Forest Hill Memorial, hellbent on selling me eternal rest in a lovely plot overlooking the new, expanded six lanes of the 405. Dear Forest Hill Memorial, for the record, I want whomever will have the misfortune to deal with my dead body to shoulder the expense and the bureaucracy of shipping said body back to Italy, where it can rest in peace in a lovely plot overlooking an Italian freeway which, all things being equal, is more likely to be a lot better looking than the new and improved 405.
Next came the leaflet from West Hills Retirement Home (is the word “hills” supposed to conjure an upgrade on death?), offering me a private room with cable, to better fritter my time buying watches from shopping channels, flower chintz curtains and weekly bingo, so I can spend my last years with other like-minded and semi incapacitated seniors and hopefully keel over after hitting the bingo jackpot.
Today, the AARP took it upon itself to let me know there are fair to excellent chances I might live to see my 50th birthday, in which case I should take up discounted cruises along the Mississippi, explore discounted Bed and Breakfasts in Georgia and look forward to their monthly magazine, full of vital tips on how to get the most out of my sex life in the golden years.
No, really, do they know who they are talking to? How does Madonna deal with this constant reminder that, despite her mummified appearance that permanently locks her in an indefinite over 40 age, she is on her way to being decrepit? Wait, one of the perks of fame is never having to deal with a mailbox. If you think that Christmas card you are sending to George Clooney will actually be read by him, you are truly mistaken. You will have sent it to a nondescript production office address, where minions or elves are paid to sort through the mail and make sure George sees none of it.
Me, I am stuck with my suburban looking mailbox, which not only does it remind me the mortgage is due but also that I am indeed on the path to decrepitude. I am seriously considering turning my life 100% paperless – every bill paid on-line, every magazine digitally scrolled, every card or invitation received through those maddeningly impersonal sites and never, never open that mailbox again.
My golden years will be spent in a house on the ocean, surrounded by dogs and best friends to banter and bicker with, sipping Pimm’s Cups and wearing pink hats in a blissful and delirious denial that the best times are behind us. Happiness is never have to reach for that AARP card inside my Prada purse.