In my day they played videos on MTV
April in Glenwood
I may be a decade away, but I’m already prepping myself for the moment I start receiving American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) mailings. I imagine my heart will drop as I long for the days of wearing bikinis and partying in South Beach.
If I’m actually retired by then, perhaps I’ll be wearing a bikini on my new yacht.
I often write about how age is just a number and we are only as young as we feel. But I am slowly realizing that is a lot of propaganda I’m feeding myself as I try to keep a positive attitude about aging.
But after Miley Cyrus said people over 40 don’t have sex, maybe I’ve been feeding myself too much forever-young propaganda to keep a positive attitude about aging.
I’m also starting to wonder if positive attitudes are overrated.
For some time now, I’ve been in the god-awful process of trying to find a full-time job in the industry I’ve worked in since my days at my college newspaper. I can only guess I’m over-qualified, applying for jobs I could do when I was 25. I imagine pay has a lot to do with that.
I try to keep my expectations low.
Or maybe it’s that I’m under-qualified with not enough management experience to deem me a director or VP of anything outside of tweeting or Facebooking.
I would make a good queen of social media.
The whole process is as baffling as girls sticking their tongues out when they take selfies and posting them on Instagram. I really don’t know what employers are looking for these days in candidates since most of them rarely reply with anything other than a generic ding letter.
And I thought rejection in middle school was tough.
I can only liken the job-seeking process after 40 to those dreadful tween years when I obsessed over “I must, I must, I must increase my bust” exercises and Judy Blume books. I remember wishing for puberty like I want to win the lottery in present-day life. I prayed to start menstruating, which sounds incredibly insane to my pre-AARP self now that I have nearly 30 years of cycles under my once-longed-for sanitary belt.
All the young people will have to Google that one.
It’s safe to say I have a complex about the entire job-seeking process, enough to make me worry like Chicken Little. I’m constantly scrutinizing my resume and job experience. I even question my purpose as a human. I am my worst critic, after all. I pick my life in the last 20 years apart like a controlling pageant mom who expects her four-year-old, make-up wearing daughter to go big or go home.
Maybe I should start wearing a tiara to convince myself I’m a winner.
It’s mostly the silence about why I haven’t been considered as a candidate that drives me bananas. What am I lacking in today’s corporate-driven world that is sending my resume straight to the circular file without passing go or collecting $200? Heck I’ll take $20. Maybe it’s that I still use terms like “circular file.”
If that doesn’t show my age, I don’t know what does.
Maybe a caricature of me riding a wrecking ball is what my resume really needs to shine. Considering the success of Cyrus’ No. 1 “Wrecking Ball” single — which has already hit gold and platinum — I may try anything. My biggest problem there is that I definitely cannot sing.
And I would need a dose of anti-motion sickness medicine to even get on the ball.
These days, it takes either a viral video on YouTube announcing to the world how quitting a job is worthy of being a public spectacle or a gag-inducing blog about celebrities having each other’s celebrity babies to get noticed in my field. I would be better off in my career if I dedicated my writing and public speaking skills to gossiping about a Kardashian break-up or breaking down every tiny detail of Cyrus’ VMA performance on the web.
Personally, I’m not even that shocked.
Apparently, people have forgotten about Madonna’s now-ancient “Like a Virgin” performance that had all the mothers against rock music in an uproar in the ’80s. That was almost 30 years ago, when MTV still played videos and teenage moms were the stars of after-school specials. Such longing for the olden days of music television might just prematurely put me in the AARP-mailer category after all.
Retirement never sounded better.
— April E. Clark wishes one of her favorite couples, Ben and Nicole, a happy wedding day this weekend. May they one day enjoy retirement together traveling cross-country in an RV. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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