I AM READING THIS ARTICLE IN THE MAINE SUNDAY TELEGRAM ABOUT BOOMERS GETTING OLD. Why is it so important to give this particular group such a large hearing? It's a large group, is what. Size matters. They can truly say "ours" is bigger than yours.
The author, Jackie Crosby, writing for the Star Tribune goes to great length to describe the difficulty people are having trying to figure out the best term to use in referring to - well, can I say it? Old people.
What caught my attention in the article was the people she talked to. They were not old people but the people who ran agencies, businesses and various purveyors of services for old people. Of course if you were running an activity center for old people it probably would matter what you called it. I can see it now. The Sunshine Center. Seniors Galore. Old Fart's Coffee Club. Q Tips Forever. Whatever. But you can see that it would matter what you called a service or institution that catered to old people.
The article wasn't about old people at all but it was aimed at the people who stood to make billions off of old people - and the Boomers were the largest segment of the population to become old people - ever! It was all about the problems of marketing to old people. I really can't blame them for that effort, but I do blame them for the subterfuge. Of course, that's what advertising and marketing is all about, isn't it?
So, why not OLD PEOPLE? Has OLD become the "F" word for Boomers?
Here's what I think: Most of us are so damned afraid of old age that we cover it, deny it, color it, disguise it with every fiber of our beings. Oh, I'll push it away as long as I can, and I'lll do it by exercising, eating little meat, avoiding burdensome people, staying away from TV, drinking lots of water (and good gin) and minimizing stress. But at the bottom of it all I know I am an old man. The numbers do not lie. My body tells the truth.
I have memories out the wazoo. I have X-wives, X-bank accounts, X-friends and more X-addresses than I care to remember. You can't have all that and be young. Well, I guess if you are in the entertainment business it's possible. Maybe even required. But you get my point.
So, my Boomer friends - do not delude yourself. Be happily old. I wish you most of all health. Maybe a little prosperity. Lots of love and good will. Go easy. Do not fear the afternoon nap. You deserve it. Life owes it to you.
Be old and act your age. Maybe that's the same thing as - be old and be happy.
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