I wandered to the mailbox, full of hope that a check for $1 million would be there. It happens often. Hope, I mean. The check never is in the mail.
Today was different. Not the check part. It still was absent. But this time, the box was full of crass, cruelties and creepiness.
May someone else have the envelopes, please:
ENVELOPE 1: ''Welcome to the AARP! Here is your membership offer!''
Whoa. I am just a few days away from celebrating - if that's the word - my 12th annual 39th birthday. I had forgotten about this. I was too busy practicing my positive thinking in the matter of the million dollars.
A person has to be an ancient and doddering 50 to join. I am about to become 50 and doddering, firmly in the clutches of their gray-haired demographic. I already own the gray hair.
On the other hand, a 10 percent discount at food buffets would be nice. It would help me age gracefully.
Maybe moving to the other side of the half-century mark isn't so bad.
ENVELOPE 2: ''Now is the time to plan your funeral. We offer two types of pre-arrangements, unfunded or funded. With either comes an invaluable personalized booklet that contains YOUR wishes for YOUR funeral arrangements.''
Great. In the space of one envelope, I tottered from fabulous 50 to one foot in the grave and the other tripping over a pre-arrangement kit. I never even got to enjoy my 10 percent buffet discount.
ENVELOPE 3: The wireless phone bill. The due date - Sept. 16. My birthday.
If that wasn't ''gift'' enough, our plan includes my mother-in-law's phone. Now isn't that every guy's dream present?
I suppose she figures gift-wrapping her daughter in a bridal bow more than covers it. She practically pushed her out the door. The phone takes less closet space, she said.
ENVELOPE 4: An invoice for a routine visit to the chiropractor. When I was 22, such a visit was not a routine of any sort. But at 50, a great deal more creaks, groans and lists in the wind.
ENVELOPE 5: Finally! A card! ''Happy birthday to a very important person!''
It was from my medical insurance company, who wanted to warmly and cheerfully remind me to call my doctor for cholesterol screening, a flu shot, a physical exam and prostate cancer screening.
Wow. I made it. The Rubber Glove Birthday.
ENVELOPE 6: Runner's World magazine sent me a notice that my subscription would be renewed automatically unless I notified them otherwise by - you guessed it - Sept. 16.
Aha! The magazine aimed at inspiring me to run that marathon, even at age 50, believes I can hang on long enough to do it. By do ''it,'' I mean owe them for another year.
OK, it's not much of an endorsement. But I'll take it.
ENVELOPE 7: Another card, this one an oversized postcard depicting flaming birthday candles. It came from Phil, the auto dealer who sold me my car three years ago.
Hooray. Someone else has faith that I can cling to life past 50. Or at least long enough to buy another car.
Well, Phil, I'll keep checking the mailbox. Maybe that million dollars will show up yet. Hope springs eternal, even for we geezers.
Say, do you offer an AARP discount?
----- Send invoices to the geezer at firstname.lastname@example.org.