I would like for my six regular readers to stand up and cheer because I have found a new pet peeve and I know they have just been breathless in anticipation of this event. They love it when this happens.
The Old People Network has found me. That is not my pet peeve because I knew it would happen eventually. The Old People Network found The Mister when we were in our mid-50s. However, it didn’t find me. I thought that was hysterically funny; he did not. At any rate, about the time I turned 63ish I began to get mail from AARP and other members of the Old People Network — at first occasionally, then daily, and then multiple pieces of mail began arriving in my name every day. Horrors!
And then, the most amazing thing happened. Not only did participants in the Old People Network find me, put me on their mailing lists, and flood my mailbox with junk, they did something else. They screwed up my carefully orchestrated system of opening their communiqués, tearing off the top one-quarter of the page with my name and address on it, running it through the shredder, and tossing the rest into the recycling cart in a weekly effort to save a tree.
There is a reason the companies in the Old People Network did that. They were being clever and sneaky! They began trying to sell me products by inserting my name on odd pages and offers inside their publications. No longer was I safe simply tearing my name and address off of the first page and shredding it — oh no. Now I had to flip through every page of the publications in search of my name and address to shred them as well, shielding my identity from the Recycling Cart Lurkers who were waiting here to pounce on my recycling cart and find a snippet of paper with my name and address on it. (The Old People Network warns us about this kind of problem leading to the Dreaded Identity Theft.)
Scary, huh? Not only did the Old People Network find me, but the Recycling Cart Lurkers might also have found me and left me stricken with Dreaded Identity Theft. In a tizzy, I was considering shredding everything and becoming a shredded paper hoarder. Then no Lurker would ever know my name or address. But wait!
I decided the really scary part is the Old People Network imagined that when I saw my name scattered throughout their publication, I would be stupid enough to think, “Well, would you look at that? These people are my friends and since they actually know my name, I should buy whatever they are selling. I am SO excited to have seen my name and address on this page!”
That is what they really wanted me to do and because I am no longer middle-aged, they think I am now an idiot. The Old People Network and Recycling Cart Lurkers believe they can make me think the way they want me to. Well, not me. My six regular readers would frown on this, I know. They believe each of us should think for ourselves and I am with them on that. There are opinion columns to write and issues to address. Stay away from me, Old People Network! I don’t have time for your games.
I am ramping up the capacity on the household shredder so I can destroy anything the Old People Network can send and the Recycling Cart Lurkers might want to steal. So there!
— Susan Marshall