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Yes, you. You know who you are.

From The Burning Bed.

From The Burning Bed.

The idea of wild life for Baby Boomers?

The older the whole groups gets, the more the definition changes.

You get that when 10,000 Boomers a day hit retirement age.

When grandchildren start flipping though photo albums and see what you used to look like, try not to scare them.

They’re frightened enough worrying how they’ll look next week.

We know this because the same thing happens with kids who asked, “Is that you? That can’t be you.”

Absent the calming presence of children, what do aging Boomers do differently than other generations?

Some get wild with cosmetic procedures, some get wild helping others, and some get divorced and get wild with younger partners.

It’s the last one we’ll focus on.

Like most creatures of habit, we find a groove and stick to it. With luck it’s a groove that creates a better place than the one you started with.

In relationships, habits can be deadly. The next man who tells his wife, the mother of their children, “I don’t love you anymore. I never did,” won’t be the last.

The guy who spews those words won’t tell the truth, the one he can’t handle.

The ‘I never loved you’ man has a girlfriend that makes him feel the way he did in college, which is where he met his wife two decades earlier.

Now he needs room to work it out. To. Think. About. It.

In simple terms he’s running off, already gone, and he’s been gone for a while. He’ll be gone with everyone else, too, because that’s his comfort zone. He’s a goner with a big dead spot where his heart’s supposed to be.

Imagine this man tying up the lose ends in his life, lose ends called wife and kids. He moves out to a ‘cool pad’ with a swimming pool. It’s a SoCal-club feeling place for single people seeking revenge.

Revenge? For what?

For their relationship choices. Anyone who neglects their relationships, then blames the other person, falls into a made-for-television spiral. The only difference is they can’t turn off the drama. The wrong feels wronged and they carry than from one special person to the next.

The special part grows less each time. This is when you meet them.

Choose a public place you enjoy, a place you frequent. Maybe everyone knows your name or no one knows your name, you still like it.

You like seeing the same people doing the same things. It’s comforting whether it’s a cozy corporate coffee house that serves the same consistent cup the world around, or a suburban strip mall bar for local drunks masquerading as a favorite tavern.

You like the looks of the place, the sound, and the smell. If you opened a public place you’d model it after a place you like.

And you hope you’d draw the same interesting people you find in places you like. One couple is especially interesting.

He’s a big strong man with steely eyes, she’s a vision of modern loveliness showing the tenured musculature of an iron pushing ballerina.

They’re an unlikely couple, but seem like caring people.

One day it all changes, and changes you too.

She’s talking to him, he ignores her. She leans in, he ignores her. She pushes a glass of water across the small table and stands up.

He’s not ignoring her now.

The glass of water breaks and splashes him, his shoes, and his satchel with stuff in it.

She heads for the door, but he yanks her back. Work staff come out and calm them down. They leave.

You avoid the place a few days. When you return, there they are, same as always.

Do you say something? They don’t seem affected by their event, why should you?

Do you tell this manly man he’s not much of man if he yanks on women? Do that and you might be next.

Do you say something to the lady? She’s no worse for wear and she’s still with him.

No matter what you do, the place is no longer the place you like. Now it’s got a history of it’s own, a memory you don’t want.

The man probably yanks his ladies around at will. The woman probably takes it as part of their deal.

Here you are, the suffering Boomer who just lost their idea of a favorite place.

Now what do you do? Yes, you. You know who you are.




About David Gillaspie
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