What made them think that 55 is old?

When I was in my twenties, you weren't to trust anyone over thirty.

In my thirties, forty seemed pretty old. By forty, forty seemed younger. Fifty sounded, well, dead.

Now, in my fifties, I'm not sure what old is. Seventy? Eighty? Ninety-three? I recently attended a birthday party for a woman who just turned 100. Maybe that's old.

I recently read a book, "Getting Over Getting Older." I recommend it. Especially the chapter about looking at yourself in the mirror, naked, and taking inventory of everything that had sagged, bagged and sunk.

But some marketer seems to think that 55 is near death. Or, at least, seriously broken.

"Happy Birthday," the mailing started. "More than 25 great birthday offers inside."

Usually, I toss junk mail. I have enough other stuff to read. But, curious, I proceeded to find out that if I hurry, and buy life insurance before I turn 56, I can buy Birthday Life (they used just one word) Insurance at significant savings. They said that buying the insurance will make me "feel good."

I didn't know I felt bad!

Another coupon lets me buy bifocals--without lines--so I would "look better."

I didn't know I looked worse!

I can buy a book, or magazine subscriptions, so I can make "crafts 'n things" in my spare time. "Discover how much fun making your own home accents" can be. Trust me, although I was a Betty Crocker Homemaker of the Year at East High School one year, I have no skills when it comes to handicrafts.

And, I don't have spare time to create snowmen out of bleach bottles, one of a kind gifts, or holiday decorations. I still haven't put up the Christmas tree for last year.

Since I failed Christmas decorating, I don't need the Hummel nativity set they're offering me either. The cats stole the baby Jesus out of the last set I had. And I don't care if this one comes with a "free" creche worth $50. I'm not spending five monthly payments of just $23.99 plus freight. Even if it's a "first time ever" offer.

I'd have to dust it, too, I suppose. Which gets me to vacuuming. Which I don't do either.

So, I am not about to buy a costume for my vacuum. I don't want a "Dress-a-vac" that makes it look like a cat, cow, bunny or maid complete with stuffed fabric head and a dress so it can sit around in the house disguised but in full sight.

Neither am I interested in fleece jackets. They just don't fly in the State House. In grape, melon or heather gray. I don't think the zip-loc shoes, with velcro fasteners will help me "start the year in style" even if "buttery smooth" and an "innovation in comfort."

Neither do I want, or need, an alarm clock that looks like a truck and honks, vrooms and flashes its lights to wake me up. Even if it has super accurate analog quartz movement. I think I'll skip this clock that "has taken America by storm."

I do not want "instant relief" for my feet. Even if these "foot cradles" will make me "feel years younger." Nor do I want a comfort air cushion to sit on, even if it's a "national advertising campaign" product.

I do not plan on buying a wig in case my hair starts to thin, a personal will kit in case I die, or labels so I don't wear out my hands putting return addresses on envelopes. I will not ask for the book on buying Florida property so I will enjoy being "young at heart."

I am not going to "Take control" of diabetes, which I do not have, or order Senior Alpha-Z, Looz-It Body Management, Cod Liver Oil Capsules, or Retinol so I can say "goodbye to wrinkles."

My grandchildren will not get a letter from the Easter Bunny, they will not "feel special" because I bought them the Happy Kids personalized tapes and books, and they will not have a colorful clock with their name on it. But, then, I do not have grandchildren.

The marketer missed the target, obviously. But if you want any of these great offers, I'll send you the coupons.

Just don't tell anyone that 55 is old. Because, it's not.

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