The adults in the room

The adults in the room

Column by Kay Frances

A Baby Boomer is a person who was born between 1946 and 1964. Almost 77 million babies were born in the U.S. comprising nearly 40% of the population. I’m a textbook Boomer; my parents both served as Marines during World War II. When the war ended, they got married like millions of other people and fired up their Baby Booming Machine. By the time they were done, they had cranked out four of us.

Boomers have been slightly overtaken by Gen Z and Millennials although, we continue to dominate Gen X. There are more of us than them and we could easily take them in a fight. Maybe not a cage match, but definitely in a marathon Scrabble session. Or maybe in a contest to write a sternly worded letter.

You can identify a Baby Boomer by their name. If your name is Linda, Patricia, Susan, Debbie, Barbara or Karen, you were likely born before 1964. There were no Madisons, Tiffanys, Olivias, Noahs or Aidens. And our parents had no idea of our gender until we showed up.

Our parents were known as The Greatest Generation which is more than a little to live up to. Sadly, this phenomenal generation now makes up only .64% of the population. This makes Baby Boomers the “adults in the room” which is the last place we want to be. The Boomers that I know still feel like teenagers except when it takes us a full five minutes to get up out of a chair. And, then another eight steps to become fully upright. It’s like we are doing a reenactment of the “Evolution of Man” chart.

I’ve heard a lot about “generational differences” and I think that is just a fancy way to say “stereotype.” For example, people think that Boomers are not technologically proficient. But, think of the many technological advances we have had to adapt to over the years. We went from vinyl records to 8-track tapes to cassettes to CDs to digital to “the cloud.” I’ve been on bumpy flights and am pretty sure that was just the plane running into all of the data stored there.

Another misnomer about Boomers is that we are computer illiterates. I used my first computer in 1979 at the library at Wright State University before Millennials were even mentioned at their Gender Reveal Party. The computer took up the entire room. You would “key in” your data on cards, then wait in line to hand your stack of cards to the computer operator. Then you would wait for your printout but, if you missed even ONE keystroke, you would have to go through the whole process again. It would’ve been nice if we could’ve played on our cellphones while we waited, but those hadn’t been invented yet. Yes, Boomers had to learn the fine art of entertaining themselves.

So, now that we are the Adults in the Room, we have one thing to say to the other generations.

GET. OFF. OUR. LAWNS!

Salt Magazine