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why you, your mother and grandfather can all enjoy aarp the magazine

lessons for every age

By: A Surprised 20-Something

I used to make fun of my mom for reading AARP The Magazine, I admit it.

I mean, even the sound of 'AARP' can feel like a punch line. Then, one day, she was outside gardening and I was watching golf on TV with my grandfather, and (unsurprisingly) golfing got a little boring. So I picked AARP The Magazine up off the coffee table. I have to say, I was impressed.

I didn't expect to find any stories with advice I could actually use, but I sure was wrong. Take the summer survival guide, for instance. It has some solid advice for any and all summer annoyances (like how to keep bloodthirsty mosquitoes at bay) and what to do if you get food poisoning (chew on some ice chips or opt for a drink with electrolytes to avoid dehydration).

And then my eyes fell on this gem: what to do if you get a splinter in your thumb—and who hasn't had that happen? “First, cut a square from a banana peel and put it white-side down on the splinter. Then cover it with a bandage. The enzymes in the peel will draw out the splinter." Banana peels? I had no idea. I was so surprised I read this aloud to my grandpa.

Apparently Pop Pop had also perused my mom's copies of AARP The Magazine out of curiosity. "Next thing I know," he said, "it started showing up at my house. Your mother enrolled me as a member."

AARP The Magazine has undergone many changes, but its most recent incarnation is focused on empowering the 50-plus demographic by catering to their needs in a non-geriatric tone.

It's no surprise, then, that it still tops the charts as the most widely circulated publication—with 22,837,736 copies of each edition delivered to member households—followed by AARP Bulletin. Considering Better Homes and Gardens and Good Housekeeping also snag spots in the top five, the lifestyle content and advice-giving tone of AARP The Magazine make it popular not just among Boomers, but among their children as well.

There are three different versions of the publication that are sent out to members in their 50s, 60s, and 70s and beyond. While none of these versions are targeted for the Millennial generation, a good read is a good read. Sometimes, it's easier to take mom's and grandpa's advice when it comes from a third-party source.

Now, I'm not saying I'm ready for my own copy of the magazine to show up at my doorstep any time soon. But I will say this: if my mom opens the magazine and finds a page or two missing on Ted Allen's homemade pickles and devilish eggs, well, I just might know where she can find it.

I'll have to invite her and grandpa over for family dinner sometime soon—AARP-style.