Friday, February 28, 2014


I may often jokingly bring up that I'm old by Gainesville standards. Most people I meet here are after all 23 or younger. I may be older than most people I know, but I'm still only in my thirties. You wouldn't  have guessed that however if you went through my mail. At first I thought that these are anonymous junk offers. I didn't think much of them and just threw them away. Life insurance and final expenses ads. Brochures advising me of governmental benefits and the cost of a funeral. Apparently for most of them there's no medical exam and no one gets turned away. But then the volume of the senior tailored in my mailbox increased. I'm encouraged to join the AARP -which is an association of retired persons in the US and a wide range of AARP endorsed services and products , from hearing aids to cell phones now want my attention. I didn't think much of it when I was invited to participate in a bone density study for people over 65. Actually I thought it was pretty funny- good luck getting me walking up the stairs. I gave it as a joke  to one of my friends in his 50's saying- they want you to call this number. Yesterday I found an envelope from UF department of Aging inviting me to participate in yet another senior activity study. It had my name on it and my address, it wasn't something that simply everybody gets. A while ago a friend of mine suggested that I must be on some kind of a list. And the more that I think about it, the more I think he must be right. Yes, University of Florida law school maintains a contact list for its graduates, perhaps it was an  inter departmental mishap? Maybe it's something that got out of UF Disability Resource center where I have been registered for many years. Whoever sends these out must know I have mobility issues, just wrongly assumes it must be because of my age. That I need assistance. That I need resources. That my quality of life suffers and they need to improve it. My friend suggested that they must must know that I'm very involved in the local disability arena. I started a disability non profit after all. And I wouldn't make a big deal out of it at all if I didn't have to clear my mailbox out of this junk they stuff in there every time I open it. Cards, envelopes and brochures of various sizes that I need to carry home just to dump it in the garbage right away. But when you think of it, it is quite offensive. To assume that a person with a disability must necessarily be contemplating funeral costs. Or looking to get a government subsidized cell phone. Or placement in some assisted living unit. It never seems to be crossing anybody's mind that you can have a disability and be fine with it. Be active and productive and making the best out of it every day. That I'm independent. That I don't get social benefits of any kind and actually have a profession that many consider high end. And that I'm the one having to dispose of all this junk I don't even care to open.

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