I stumbled onto this article while trolling the web this morning. It caught my attention because–well, I’ve showed up on AARP’s radar because I turn 50 next week, and because Bloomington, Indiana is where Sharon lived and worked when we met.
The article features “10 Great Small Cities for Retirement”, of which Bloomington is one:
While rural Indiana is a stronghold of fundamentalist Christianity, Bloomington residents are likely to say that they’re not religious in any way. The popular gay publication, The Advocate, named Bloomington the fourth gayest city in America. Bloomington votes overwhelmingly Democrat in what is otherwise a swing state.
Now, this article is supposed to sell mature readers on Bloomington as a great place to retire. It was obviously written by someone who is decades away from retirement and/or has never been to the Midwest.
As a man who’s spent nearly his entire life in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri, I can assure you that most mature Midwestern adults do not consider a town full of gay atheist Democrats an attractive retirement destination.
That’s not a condemnation of Bloomington. It’s a great town, one of the few places we’d really consider as a place to retire. But AARP’s description of Bloomington is just one more example of how divorced from its alleged constituency it really is — and why AARP won’t get my $16 next week.