Friday, December 7, 2018

AARP Hates Birthday Parties

Earlier this year I finally joined AARP (The American Association of Rickety Persons). This makes me an official AARP-er, emphasis on “P-er,” especially at 2 a.m.

One of the main goals of the organization is to keep senior citizens healthy, and they contribute to this goal by sending every member about 75 pounds of mail each day. All that weightlifting certainly builds up elderly muscles, but an unfortunate side effect is a spike in worker’s comp claims by mail carriers.

AARP also likes to keep its members informed with regular email messages, approximately 75 pounds worth each day. (And this is rather hard to do, since emails don’t actually weigh anything.)

I recently received an email from AARP with the subject line — wait, let me rephrase that. I recently received 900 emails from AARP, one of which had a subject line that read: “Find Out What Really Sabotages Weight-Loss Efforts With This Quiz.”

My first thought was: “I already know what sabotages weight-loss efforts — shoveling food into my mouth.” But I was curious, so I clicked on the link and started taking the test. Here’s the very first question:

“It’s your grandson’s first birthday, and your daughter-in-law baked gorgeous cupcakes. You don’t want to offend her, but you also know you should not have one. What’s your strategy?”

I really don’t want to quibble, but I must. I have neither a grandson nor a daughter-in-law. News reports constantly tell us that huge organizations are compiling tons of personal data about everyone. If this is the case, why couldn’t AARP come up with a quiz that was more tailored to my personal situation?

OK, quibble time is over. Here are the four possible cupcake answers: 1) Put one on your plate just to be polite. 2) Tell her they’re beautiful, then politely say, “No thank you.” 3) Eat just the frosting. 4) Eat just the cake.

Well, now I know the quiz was not tailored to my personal situation, because there was no answer number 5: Eat four of the cupcakes and promise not to be a pig tomorrow.

I mean, think about it. This is my beloved (fictional) grandson. How many other times is he going to have a momentous first birthday party? This is the one and only opportunity to share in his joy. And AARP wants me NOT to partake of the gorgeous cupcakes lovingly prepared by my (fictional) daughter-in-law? Are they really in favor of family strife? Do they really want my (fictional) daughter-in-law to resent me for the rest of my life? They should be ashamed of themselves. (By the way, the quiz said answer #2 is correct.)

Here is one of the other quiz questions: “A few of your friends want to take you out for your birthday, but they tend to have big appetites. What’s the best way to avoid overeating with them?”

And here are the possible answers: 1) Pick a healthy restaurant. 2) Suggest instead an outing that doesn’t involve food, like a round of golf or a movie. 3) Go to a restaurant that has something for everyone — burgers for your friends, salad for you. 4) Any of the above.

The correct answer, according to AARP, is answer number 2: suggest an outing that doesn’t involve food.

So, two out of the nine questions on this cockamamy quiz directly attack the cherished tradition of celebrating birthdays. That’s so sad. These AARP “experts” are actually discouraging us from enjoying our (fictional) grandson’s first birthday — and insulting our (fictional) daughter-in-law in the process. And they’re telling us we can’t let our friends (fictional, in my case) take us out for a birthday lunch party.

Now I know what AARP really stands for: The American Association of Rotten Parties.

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