Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Talkin' 'Bout Mah Geeen-er-a-shun, Part 1

I was born in 1954, which makes me something of a trailing-edge baby boomer, if you buy into the whole generational-analysis concept, which I pretty much don't. Still, sometimes you see things that make you think there might be some horsepower in the notion. Sometimes it's hard to avoid the idea that baby boomers really aren't any good. At all.

For me, last Saturday was such a time. It was my wife's birthday; and, as things worked out, it was also the day of one of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic's "series" concerts to which she and I have subscription tickets. So, we thought that we'd combine birthday and concert by also going "someplace nice" to have our dinner beforehand. Neither she nor I had ever been to "Chops," even though it's been open for some years now. They take reservations. It's what I think of as sort of upper-mid-priced; we spent $60 between the two of us, and we weren't drinking (outside of a little iced tea, that is), and we skipped the appetizers, and so that's above the median price level in Fort Wayne ... though it's probably pretty cheap by bigger-city standards. We were headed, as I said, out to a classical concert afterward, so we were dressed reasonably well; my wife had a dressy slacks-based outfit on, and I was wearing the suit.

But we were badly out of place, I'm afraid. The place was full; the clientele averaged somewhat older than us. Median age was, I'd guess, upper 50s to early 60s. Main-sequence boomers, they were. And nearly every one was wearing his or her very finest blue jeans, and nearly every one was wearing his or her very best athletic footwear. In terms of the "tops," there was more diversity. The hoity-toity snobs were wearing golf shirts with collars, while the "regular folks" seemed to be divided between T-shirts (INDIANAPOLIS COLTS!) and sweatshirts.

It's the damnable boomers, is what it is. They spent their formative years in blue denim. Now they're in their financial prime years; they have the money, and they're by-god gonna wear their jeans wherever they want, 'cuz can't nobody tell 'em "no," nohow. And their sneaks. And their grungy T-shirts. It's that second childhood. It's just a shame so many reached their second childhood without ever having left their first.

C'mon, folks. There's nothing wrong with being grandpa-aged; I am myself, and that's fine. But why can't you dress like a grownup ... like your old grandpa used to do?


itsmecissy said...

"Be who you are and say what you feel, cuz those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Suess

I'd also add "Keep on Truckin" to that.

Jim Wetzel said...

Said Conrad Cornelius O'Donald O'Dell,
My very young friend who is learning to spell,
"The A is for Ape and the B is for Bear,
The C is for Camel, the H is for Hare.
The M is for Mouse and the R is for Rat,
I know all the twenty-six letters like that,
Down to Z is for Zebra. I know them all well,"
said Conrad Cornelius O'Donald O'Dell.
"So now I know everything anyone knows,
From beginning to end. From the start to the close.
Because Z is as far as the alphabet goes!"

The he nearly fell flat on his face on the floor
When I picked up the chalk and drew one letter more:
A letter he never had dreamed of before!
And I said, "You can stop, if you want, with the Z.
Because most people stop with the Z. But not me!
In the places I go, there are things that I see
That I never could spell if I stopped with the Z!
I'm telling you this 'cause you're one of my friends.
My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends ..."

etc, etc. I can do more, from memory.

That was one of my son's favorites back when he was just a little software engineer. I read it so many times, I bet I'll still know it on my deathbed.