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LIFE AND DEATH IN BOOMER PORTLAND

Where Do You Fit In With Boomer Style
BoomerStyle

Let’s face it, if you’re a baby boomer your life is over.

The problem is no one told you.

Younger smart alecks think you’re sticking around to keep them out of the big jobs and big money.

They accuse you of bankrupting America with your anticipated retirement and health needs.

“Life expectancy is too long to sustain current payouts.” If that doesn’t say zip yourself into a body bag and just die, what does?

“Boomers reinvent themselves over and over and hog all the benefits aimed for the rest of us.”

Listen, it’s America. There’s no train to a camp that promises work will set you free.

On the other side of the generation gap, older people never did like you. Why?

boomerstyle3If it wasn’t the hair, it was the weed. They hated your music for being too loud and the women for being pushy enough to demand equality.

They thought you were a public menace, a firebug, for burning bras and draft cards.

If the Silent Generation had opened their collective mouths, they would have said, “America, love it or leave it.”

Wait, they did say that.

Both sides want you gone, but react in horror when boomer suicide numbers jump.

You can’t want them gone, then fault them when they check out early. It doesn’t work both ways.

If you’re a boomer, then you’ve seen the best and worst of times like Charles Dickens. The problem is, we believe the best times are right now.

You’ve probably heard more than one over-educated boomer say “Carpe diem, bitch.”

Why do boomers insist on seizing the day? Because that’s what the day is for. Grab it and wring it out. Give it a shake. After you’re all lathered up, grab a beer and make plans to seize tomorrow.

Portland baby boomers have the biggest advantage for day’s end. So many great places and great beers make getting fired up a treat. Call it a reward, which is a word few used when Blitz was the only beer in town.

The next time you see a man with a gray fringe ponytail riding a longboard, know that he’s celebrating life and not cheating you out of your share of oxygen. That ride may end sooner than later on a Tri-Met route on SE Clinton Street, but for the moment he’s out waving the remains of his freak flag.

There’s an older woman in a gingham dress and sandals in the park working her hula hoop. Do you think eventual slipped disc when you see her, or just another athletic lady? You know what she’s thinking?

This is more fun than I thought.

Current technology is the wave boomers have been waiting to surf. Once they met friends hitch hiking the interstate, or a music festival, or Alice’s Restaurant. They made brothers and sisters for life, or at least until the end of the ride, the song, or the high.

Now they go online and the world rolls out in front of them. Unlike the younger people full of spite, boomers know a sunny day is better spent outside than holed up in a room looking at cat videos.

The stick in the eye to all who want boomers shuffled off this mortal coil comes with a walk down SE Hawthorne on a nice weekend. A trip to Saturday Market or NE Alberta shows the same thing.

People like the handmade, the special meaning, the personal touch. Big box stores packed full of cheap crap from a pollution cloud in China that break sooner than you’d expect aren’t going away. At the same time, we still need things that evoke a feeling.

You want hand thrown pottery? Hand carved wooden bowls? What are you, some kind of hippie?

Well, are you? If you say yes, thank a boomer, then seize the evening.

 

About David Gillaspie

Comments

  1. Dave, I believe you hit the “nail on the head” with this observation of life. If boomers are perceived as standing in the way of others, then those of that thought better figure out how to get around, through, or a novel idea “learn” from us.

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Good call on the learning curve. That’s the big swing today in the information age where we’re supposed to know everything. Even listening to two people talk you hear one saying “I know, I know,” way too often. As a habitual eaves dropper I hear things and think “I didn’t know that” while the other person is saying “I know.”

      Could be everyone is smarter than everyone else? Or they’re throwing up a big cover.

      For example, if two people jump on quads and roar off down dusty roads, a plume of dust doesn’t mean the leader fell off their ride. It just looks that way to the newbie. If you don’t know, either be quiet, or learn.

      Good learners are good friends.

      David

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