a cruel reminder in the mailbox

A cruel reminder!

Doubleday to Paul: "You're old!"

Just when I thought it was safe to go to the mailbox!

When I realized that the hair in my nose and ears grows faster than the hair on my head, I fretted for a while, but I got over it.

When the major candidates for president of both major parties were younger than I was, it was distressing, but I got over it.

The first time a university student responded to my remark that something was "just like when Kennedy was assassinated" with "But Dr Williamson, we weren't born yet then," I was taken aback, but I got over it.

When the AARP sent me a membership card on the day I turned 50, I was dismayed, but then I learned you can get discounts with the card, and I got over it.

When I was forced to admit that the hair I saw on the top of my head while looking at my image in a mirror was only my long-term memory, I was chagrined, but I got over it.

The first time I ordered from the senior specials on the back of the menu I was embarrassed, but I got over it.

When my 40th birthday came, I denied it. When my 50th birthday came, I admitted it, albeit a year late. When my 60th birthday came, I knew the mailbox would be full of "humorous" birthday cards, but I embraced my birthday. I got over it.

Every day and in a thousand ways, the marketplace tells us which demographic is really important.

Passengers on Carnival cruise ships don't lounge and play shuffleboard: they skate board, climb rock walls, ride horseback on the beach, dance til dawn.

Buff young men and svelte young women drink Coke, sell cars, use credit cards, talk on cell phones, refinance loans, wear sunglasses, outwit, outplay, outlast!

Wrinkles? Botox. Hair loss? Bosley. A little paunchy? Ab-Doer.

Everyone's young in America! Everyone's young in America!

And then— Just when I least expected it, I learned there is one more cruel reminder to be endured. Yesterday's mail brought this:

Doubleday largeprint book catalog

It's not just the 60-point type on the cover that screams out, "You're old! Bifocals won't cut it any more, bub! You need large print books!"

No, everything in this catalog is big.


The illustrations are big.

big text

The text is big.


Okay, I'll get over it. But I have just one thing to say to the Direct Marketing Association: When you start sending me free samples of Depends, they damned well better be in a plain brown wrapper!