Every now and then something happens that makes me just sit back, scratch my head and wonder at what point the cosmic axis shifted so violently that I ended up in a world so different from the one I grew up in.

Case in point: 

Just before noon Tuesday, while putting together this week’s issue of the newspaper where I work as News Editor, I took a break long enough to walk across the street to the post office and retrieve my daily mail. One of the items I pulled out of the mailbox happened to be this month’s issue of AARP Magazine... and when I looked at the cover, what I saw stopped me in my tracks.

Understand: Two years after the fact, I still have trouble sometimes wrapping my head around the idea that I am chronologically advanced enough to even be receiving AARP Magazine. That’s something that OLD people get in the mail, for crying out loud! 

It’s not just the idea that I’m old enough to be getting the magazine. Heck, I still remember the shock I felt when my parents started getting it - and it doesn’t seem like that has really been all that long ago.  

Right or wrong – and I’ll be the first one to admit that “wrong” is probably the correct answer – I’ve always had a certain mental image of the sort of people who receive AARP Magazine. And I’m sorry, but the people in that image look an awful lot like my grandparents!

So imagine my surprise when I pull this month’s issue of AARP Magazine out of the mailbox and notice that the main headline on the cover reads as follows:




(We Show You How)

I’m pretty sure that if I had been chewing gum at the time, I would have swallowed it. As it was I did a double-take and immediately checked the masthead at the top of the cover again, to make sure I hadn’t accidentally been given somebody else’s copy of Cosmopolitan by mistake.  

But no, there it was. The familiar AARP logo, big as life and in bright red ink to boot. 

Well, my goodness!

All I know - and under the circumstances I’m reasonably certain that I can say this with little fear of contradiction - is that AARP sure seems to have changed since Grandma and Grandpa were members...