Old Before My Time

In our mailbox yesterday arrived a piece of correspondence that got me a bit riled up.

It was addressed to me — well, kind of. The last name was correct, but the first name was BETHANY.

Beth is not short for Bethany. My given name is Elizabeth, and that is what is on most official correspondence. I don’t ever remember receiving anything addressed to Bethany before this. For that matter, I don’t remember anybody EVER calling me Bethany.

The wrong name was irritating but not infuriating. The infuriating part came when I realized where the envelope originated from.


That’s right. The organization formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, which now simply goes by AARP, wants me to join its ranks. I can get a one-year membership for $16, enabling me to “make the most of life over 50.” The letter even came with a temporary membership card, imprinted with BETHANY, which I am encouraged to utilize until my membership card arrives.

If I had hit the 50-year mark, or was even going to be 50 in the next few months, I might have considered the offer, if only for the discount on hotels.

I do have a birthday coming up shortly, but THAT significant birthday is still a couple of years away.

I’m not really that sensitive about my age, perhaps because I can’t remember what my age is half the time — have to think what the year is and subtract the year I was born.

But c’mon AARP. Don’t make me THAT age before my time.

I am utilizing the postage-paid envelope to send the form and temporary membership card back to AARP, but there isn’t a check enclosed. I have politely informed AARP — in bright red bold lettering — that they need to amend their records to reflect my correct name and date of birth. Well, maybe not so politely.

2 Responses

  1. Marion Cashel

    I’m with you, Beth. I’m of the female gender, my name is Marion, spelled as the male gender and is frequently spelled with an “ian”, Now this is typically the female spelling but my parents opted for the other spelling. Our names are possilby one of the first things we learn and are our first connection with who we are. I blanch when my name is misspelled. Our given name is the one thing that remains with us through life – don’t mess with it.

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