BY DOROTHY ROSBY
Every generation since Adam and Eve has criticized the next one for their music, fashion, work ethic and inexperience, forgetting that all those same criticisms were once leveled against them. Also forgetting they raised the next generation.
And every generation since Cain and Abel has criticized the last one for being out of touch, as though they alone are “cool” and will be the first and only generation to remain that way forever.
And so it goes, generation after generation, young people forgetting they stand on the shoulders of the geezers who came before them and older people forgetting the whippersnappers will someday be running things, possibly better than they did, but certainly no worse.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised to see the following article in my internet news feed recently: “25 tragically uncool things Baby Boomers won’t let die.”
I was surprised though when I found there were actually 65 items on the list, which suggests that proofreading might be one of the things the authors find tragically uncool.
They don’t mention their names, maybe fearing their grandmothers will stop sending them birthday money. Nor did they say what generation they belong to—X, Y or Z. I’m sure in their minds that goes without saying. It’s the cool one.
To call Mrs. Dash and throw pillows “tragically uncool” seems a little overdramatic to me. And the authors are also prone to sweeping generalizations. As I read their “list of things that baby boomers think are cool, but they SO aren’t,” I realized I, an actual baby boomer, don’t find most of them cool at all—or tragically uncool for that matter.
I’m a live-and-let-live kind of person myself, which I think is one of my cooler qualities. And while I don’t own them myself, if someone wants to wear an air-brushed T-shirt, denim shorts and Crocs, I’m blissfully neutral about it, as I am about golf, scripted wall art and Yahoo.
I don’t even own a tragically uncool landline anymore, though I wish I did every time I misplace my cellphone.
I don’t play racquetball either, but I think anyone who puts their smartphone down long enough to exercise is pretty cool.
And not only do I not “jump for joy” when I see a Reader’s Digest, as the authors claim baby boomers do, I don’t even subscribe to it. But if you do, more power to you. At least you’re reading something besides social media posts.
I have been known to iron, but not because I think it’s cool. I only do it when my clothes look like I slept in them, which is not cool at all.
Off all 65 items on the list of 25 tragically uncool things Baby Boomers won’t let die, there were only a few I’d call cool. My husband and I celebrated our 30th anniversary with a cruise this past summer, and I say don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Anyone who doesn’t think meatloaf is cool never ate my mom’s. And I enjoy an episode of NCIS now and then; it gives me something to watch while I iron.
Somewhere between tragically uncool juice from concentrate and paying bills the old fashioned way, the authors managed to blame Baby Boomers for the Social Security predicament, though we don’t find that any cooler than they do.
I’d advise them to start saving for retirement, because whether they believe it nor not, they’ll be older someday. But the cool part about getting older is you no longer worry so much about being cool. That’s a good thing because there’s an entire generation coming up behind you, ready to tell just how uncool you are—exactly like you once did to someone else.
(Dorothy Rosby is the author of several humor books, including I Used to Think I Was Not That Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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