OK, BOOMER? let’s see what you got first


Pretty will be the first to tell anyone that I am the world’s last to know anything about pop culture because I am not a twitterer, instagrammer, pinterester, redditer, or snapchatterer. I am not linked in, tik tokked, or tuned in or up on most days. I’m not passing judgment on any of these or the countless other social meda platforms nor am I necessarily proud of being uninformed although I remain stubbornly committed to Facebook regardless of whether anyone is bothering to influence my vote in the 2020 election. Just try. Please try. I will get you.

I do, however, continue to watch CBS Sunday Morning faithfully because it is one show that Pretty and I can enjoy together. (Remember she continues to boycott all real news programs since the 2016 elections but instead gets her news information from Twitter.) So yesterday Pretty half watched CBS Sunday Morning by herself until I straggled in from our bedroom in a semi-conscious state thirty minutes into the broadcast. Segments came and went as I ate leftover sweet potato casserole from Thanksgiving for breakfast before taking my morning meds.

I was shaken out of my television reverie by the Faith Salie commentary called OK, BOOMER in which she humorously described ok, boomer as a recent put down by the Gen Z (1995 – 2010) population of their aging Baby Boomer elders (1946 – 1961). Hm. What up, Gen Z?

Apparently we the Boomers are being blamed for “rising waters, disappearing species, crippling debt and crumbling democracies.” Whaat? That’s all our fault? Easy for you to say, 48-year-old Faith Salie (Gen X 1961 – 1981).  Where were you guys when we were ruining climate change? Ho, ho, ho – and a merry old millenial (1981 – 1996) to you all for a holiday season free of guilt for any of the world’s most dangerous threats. The Boomers did it.

Anyhow, as my now deceased Greatest Generation friend Libby Levinson used to say whenever she was about to change the subject,  Faith’s sally struck a nerve that I usually reserved for my free-floating anxiety over the current criminals in charge of the country. It was a bridge too far.

I can’t bear to be thought of as old and irrelevant, I ranted to Pretty who was quite familiar, of course, with the OK BOOMER memes. Then I got irritated with her for not feeling disrespected because she was, after all, one of those Bad Old Boomers herself. The only person who can ever make you feel disrespected is yourself, Pretty said. Oh, sure, I said. Go ahead and quote one of my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotes back to me. Sigh. I could feel the air being let out of my anger. That Pretty.

Today I sat in the pedi chair that belongs to the great pedicurist/philosopher Esther Isom who was responsible for the title of my last book: Four Ticket Ride. I couldn’t let the Ok, Boomer thing go so I was still raving about it from her chair which reminded me somewhat of a throne so I’m sure I had my proclamation tone in full force. I couldn’t believe Esther hadn’t heard of the funny haha put down from our children either, because she also was always in the cultural know, but she took it with a grain of salt.

Tell them let’s see what you got first, she said with a laugh. Of course we won’t be around to know how they’ll do, she continued, but they’ll learn life isn’t as simple as they think it is.

Point taken. I am not unaware of my generation’s shortcomings – we have been poor stewards of our planet, insensitive to the needs of the poor, squandered the earth’s resources to keep gasoline in our vehicles, failed at equality for people of color, elected corrupt public officials at every level of government – to name a few. I sadly recognize and confess my Baby Boomer sins.

But hey, we’ve been on the front lines marching against the Viet Nam War, opened up amazing opportunities for women in the work force and athletics,  secured marriage equality for same sex couples, fought for civil rights; and worked, worked, worked to achieve the American Dream. We were competitive but with the spirit of a rugged individual. We were the original gangsters so… before you write me and my cohorts off as ancient and irrelevant, let’s see what you got first, kids.

In the meantime, show some respect.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is an essayist with humorist tendencies who periodically indulges her desires to write outside her genre by trying to write fiction and poetry. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike and Charly. Her Texas roots are never far from her thoughts.
This entry was posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, politics, racism, Reflections, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to OK, BOOMER? let’s see what you got first

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    You may be late to the table, Sheila, but the argument is still going on. I tried to smooth my college chum’s ruffled boomer feathers last weekend as we rolled over the Pennsylvania countryside. Those feathers weren’t settling. Bev was hot. Angry to shoulder so much blame and responsibility.

    I’m more sympathetic. The millennials were sold a bill of goods about going to the best colleges, took on extortionate school loans, and now are stuck living with their boomer parents with no hope of paying down their debt. Money makes people anxious. I feel for them. But…

    A young 20 something realtor looked out the second floor window of house I had no hope of affording. We looked at the twin cooling towers of the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant. Annoyed, he remarked it loomed over his life, all his life. I smiled at him and told him when I was his age, the plant wasn’t built yet. I protested against it with all sorts of hippies, yippies, yuppies, nascent soccer moms, students, Independents, Republicans, Democrats, Episcopalians to Evangelicals, washed and unwashed. Bev and I partied with Abbie Hoffman, “The Abbie Hoffman!!” Nothing we did changed the inevitable. Corporate America wins every time. To his credit he listened to me. His eyes didn’t glaze over. He had no idea who Abbie Hoffman was. Lol!!

    We stood together watching the condensation clouds a moment longer. He said, “So do you want to see that house in Pottstown?” Yes. Yes I did. Money buys common ground too.

    Finally, here’s a hashtag for you – #oktrumper They sputter into confused silence. Try it!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ann, as always you have a great story to write yourself! I know you have so many creative channels to pursue elsewhere, but I do miss your writing. #okwaysideartist
      What an amazing experience to protest a nuclear power plant and The Abbie Hoffman – now that transcends reality and moves on into surreal. And yes, no matter what you and the other motley crew did, corporate America won.
      I like to think of you as a protester, though. I imagine it didn’t end with the nuclear plant.
      We Boomers have indeed been greedy, reckless and the futures aren’t as bright for the Gen Z children for sure.
      But it just dawned on me today that we’ve had some help along the way.
      Mea culpa. I wish I could turn back time.

      Like

  2. Susanne says:

    Sheila, you sound like my mother. Maybe even my grandmother. That’s not to say you’re old and/or irrelevant but simply that generations on the wane seem to chant the same refrain and lament. The generation gap was ever thus.

    On the subject of “OK boomer”, I live with three daughters in the 19-25 age range and we hear that comment fairly regularly so I’ve become a little desensitized. In fact, I’ve come around and fully accept they have every reason to be angry and worried about their futures in a world where there are dwindling resources – both financial and physical. They will likely never be able to afford their own home because they will earn shitty wages provided by greedy boomers. They live in a world of extreme change and rapid degradation. They are right to be afraid. I hope they have the courage, strength and stamina to clean up the mess we’ve left them. I hope they show us, the planet and the fucktard climate deniers that they’ve got it. As for respect, I’m not sure we’ve earned it. All the rights in the world are wiped out by extinction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You see, Susanne, what a difference three daughters can make! You hear OK boomer all the time – I just heard it for the first time yesterday.
      We have indeed offered your daughters less opportunity than we had, I fear.
      I know that as your daughters, though, they won’t be satisfied with things as they are but will try to effect positive changes that will make the world a better place for my 9 week old granddaughter.
      Here’s to them and to you for caring.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob Slatten says:

    If this younger generation–god, I’;m old–wants to ‘OK Boomer’ their elders then they are doomed to seeing nothing ever change.
    If you don’t listen, you don’t change, and if you don’t change the world doesn’t change.
    OK, Gen ZZZZZZZ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a really great point, Bob. I was listening to an historian just this morning reminding us if we don’t remember the past, then we are doomed to repeat it. And here you are making the exact point! Bob, you so get me!! Thanks for your voice!!

      Like

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