Humor

Happy Birthday, and Why are You Looking at Me That Way?

Just before my wife turned 40, she told me not to buy her a birthday gift. She said she’d be too depressed to enjoy it. Fool that I am, I thought she meant it. So when her birthday arrived, I caught all kinds of hell when all I got her was a card. I made it up by driving her to a jewelry store that day and buying her a silver chain. I got off the hook.

When her 50th birthday approached I grilled her hard.

“Do you, or do you not, want a gift?”

“I guess. Yeah.”

“What kind of gift?”

“I don’t know. Surprise me.”

“I can’t read minds.”

“I don’t know what I want! And I don’t like thinking about turning 50! Can we change the subject?”

Well at least I had a green light to get her a gift. Now I had to rack my brain to figure out what she’d like.

We went on a road trip a few months before the dreaded day. We stopped at a motel, and the clerk told us that if we had AARP we could get a 5% discount. Did we really look that old? But my wife mentioned how nice that clerk was to try to get us a discount. Light bulb moment. Yes that’s right, I thought, she really loves a bargain. She loves discounts.

Later, I did some research. I made phone calls. Bingo! Here was a gift she’d really love. What a genius I am! Yes, that’s what I really thought. Genius.

The day arrived. The big number 50. That morning I set her gift out, wrapped in pretty paper in front of the TV. She was still sleepy, and seemed a bit depressed. But she was also curious about the thin, flat object wrapped in a bow. After her birthday kiss, she opened it. And then she knitted her brows. It was a copy of AARP magazine.

I knew she’d be a little confused, but I had an explanation at the ready. “My sweet dear, for your 50th birthday I have bought you a membership to AARP! You can’t be a member until you’re 50 years old. But now you qualify, and now you’re a member. And now you can always get that 5% AARP discount!”

“What does AARP stand for?”

“American Association of Retired Persons.”

“You mean it’s like a club for old people?”

“Well, um, not that you’re old, I mean, you’re at the youngest qualifying age, and you’re not retired, because you’re too young for that, but, but just think . . . the 5% discount!”

“You fucking asshole! Are you fucking with me?!” She slammed the magazine down and ran back to the bedroom, huffing and crying.

Mea culpa. Word of warning, guys. Learn from a man who was almost divorced. Never, ever, give your wife the gift of AARP for her birthday.

Categories: Humor

79 replies »

  1. Men can be so clueless, even when they try really, really hard. But sometimes it’s good when they don’t listen – for my 40th birthday, I told my husband I wanted a gun so I could kill myself. I was just so tired and stressed from working full-time while raising three kids, with little money. Obviously, he didn’t listen since I’m still here. By my 50th birthday, I was back to asking for wine and chocolate – much, much safer. I don’t remember if I asked for anything at 60, but by then an AARP membership maybe would have been acceptable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, it’s a good thing he didn’t listen to you when you turned 40. Being young isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

      And it’s nice to know that sometimes an AARP membership can be a welcome gift.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. but the AARP membership seems like it would be the the gift that keeps on giving – who wouldn’t want that? I’m sure once your wife thinks about it, she’ll cherish her AARP membership. I say, well played, Tippy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A little story from my pre-AARP days. For the record, I was 47, and the salt was overtaking the pepper in my hair. I didn’t clock the guy, but had I done so, I believe I would have been within my rights.

    A few years ago, my older sibling Sharon visited me for an entire week of unfettered sister time. Her husband isn’t gastronomically adventurous, so she was excited by my plan to visit all of the area’s best ethnic restaurants. We ate our way through chilaquiles, gyros, cubanas, curries and naan, and Ethiopian tidbits pinched up in spongy teff. The last day we went to Lee’s so she could try the extra-crispy fried chicken I’m always waxing poetic about. We ordered and I waited by the counter while she found us a table. Noticing my graying hair, a slick black man approached me and told me I should ask for a senior discount. I told him I’d already been granted a veteran discount and I wasn’t old enough to qualify for the senior one, but he continued to fuss about it until my order came up. As I slid into the booth with Sharon, she asked what the man and I had been talking about. I told her what he’d said and she was so astounded by the man’s tactlessness she wondered if I was pulling her leg. I assured her I wasn’t. We tucked into our crispy chicken and biscuits and, as if on cue, the guy sauntered over to our table, continuing where right he’d left off. “Ten percent off is ten percent off,” he said. “Maybe you’re not old enough but I’m telling you, you could pass. It’s not like they ask for ID or anything.” Sharon burst out laughing while I sat there, mortified. Were I to ask which meal was her favorite, I suspect she’d say the dinner at Lee’s. There is nothing as satisfying as looking younger than your little sister.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, Tippy, you are just such an old fart. Don’t you know that AARP just stands for AARP these days? By that I mean it seems the organization doesn’t even want to publicize its origins and raison d’etre any more. Let me offer the following suggestions that might make this gift more palatable to your wife. First, I read The Magazine from cover to cover and learn a lot from it in the same way that you guys always read Playboy for the articles. Second, The Magazine has an annual awards ceremony called “Movies For Grownups” which airs on PBS. Wouldn’t your wife want to be known as a grown-up, at least when it comes to entertainment?

    Liked by 1 person

    • They seem to be rather lax on their age requirement, if that’s what you’re getting at.

      I don’t know what a movie for grownups is, unless it’s just any flick that ain’t Disney. Or are you referring to the “R” and “X” rated variety?

      Like

      • IDK for sure but I’d guess that AARP movies for grown-ups that feature grown-ups (at least one) in grown-up real life situations, This is a description I found online so I know they don’t base it on the MPAA ratings.

        AARP’s Movies for Grownups program champions movies “for grownups, by grownups, by advocating for the 50-plus audience, fighting industry ageism and encouraging films that resonate with older viewers.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. IDK for sure but I’d guess that AARP movies for grown-ups that feature grown-ups (at least one) in grown-up real life situations, This is a description I found online so I know they don’t base it on the MPAA ratings.

    AARP’s Movies for Grownups program champions movies “for grownups, by grownups, by advocating for the 50-plus audience, fighting industry ageism and encouraging films that resonate with older viewers.

    Liked by 1 person

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