I’ve been reading Huffington Post 50 blogs lately and I’m starting to notice a trend.
First, there was the swan song to the passing of youth marked by the writer’s decision to retire her sexy underwear for “granny panties”. I have been wearing granny panties for as long as I can remember. Bikini underwear are way too uncomfortable, and thongs were out of the question, and besides, I always thought lingerie was a form of discrimination, if for no other reason than the fact that men wouldn’t be caught dead in the stuff. I still think men love lingerie because they don’t have to wear it, but that’s just me. Wearing granny panties meant I never had a panty line. I never had a man refuse sex with me because I was wearing them. And since they are bigger than a shoestring, they never ended up wedged between my cheeks. Setting fire to my underpants and setting them off to sea as a symbol of my old age would be pointless in my case because I actually love wearing comfortable undergarments and I don’t care who knows it.
Then there was the homage to Meryl Streep as the oldest woman ever to appear on the cover of Vogue Magazine at the advanced age of 62. Now, I have to admit that it never really occurred to me that magazines rarely feature anyone over forty in advertisements until I flipped through a recent copy of Vanity Fair and realized there wasn’t one single model over the age of 20 in a magazine targeted to a demographic at least three times that age. Lincoln has at least made a stab at marketing to baby boomers by casting Mad Men’s John Slattery as their new spokesman. Lincoln says they chose him for his “authentic, real world appeal”, but since Slattery’s built his entire career on being a cold fish, that’s exactly how he comes cross in these ads. If you want “authentic, real world appeal” then get Meryl Streep to hawk your cars and see how fast they fly out the door. Especially since baby boomer women are the fastest growing segment of the fastest growing segment of the population.
It seems everything about boomer blogs is about what we aren’t anymore. We aren’t young, we aren’t beautiful, we aren’t sexual, we aren’t thin, no one markets to us, we aren’t represented on TV proportionate to our numbers, we aren’t the center of the universe anymore and we hate it.
But as far as I see it, boomers aren’t really doing anything about it either. I work nights at a local college and the kids I work with to love make a point of my age. The adults in their lives are either professors or parents who are self-conscious about aging and these kids know it, but I don’t let their comments get to me because I’m not concerned about aging. I’m smart enough to know that aging is ts inevitable, so why not make the most of it and besides, these kids don’t know anything. One girl thought the Ten Commandments and the Constitution were the same thing. She doesn’t know who the Marx Brothers are, who Fleetwood Mac is, and she’s never seen Casablanca. Now, the world will go on if she never discovers these things, but what bothers me, is that she isn’t the least bit interested in knowing about them either. One kid in particular likes to go on about how ancient I am on a nightly basis, until I told him not that long ago, I may be old, but I can still kick HIS ass. When he puffed up at me and said, “I don’t know about THAT” I said, “well I do, because girls fight dirty”, a sentiment I might add, that the swim team girls on work-study instantly echoed.
I don’t get what’s so great about being young and I really don’t get what’s to be gained by wringing our hands over the fact that we aren’t anymore. The number of people over the age of 100 is expected to reach 3.8 million people within my lifetime, so at 52, I am hardly “old”. I am just beginning to hit my stride and there isn’t enough time in all the world for me to accomplish all the things I want to. So all you boomer bloggers; stop telling me what I am not anymore, because baby, I am just getting started.