Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Talkin' 'Bout *Your* Generation

If you're a Baby Boomer, that is.

I happened to hear this story referenced on the radio today: A Grand Plan.

The basic gist is that as members of the Baby Boomer generation become grandparents, many of them don't want to be called "Grandma", "Grandpa", or other traditional/typical grandparent names. Instead, they opt for "Glamma" (which I find perfectly awful), "Grandude", "Grampster", and the like. (Is it just me? I can't say-- or think-- "Grandude" or "Grampster" without doing it in a silly bubble-headed surfer-dude voice: "Hey, kids! Look who's here! It's the Graaampster!")


I mean, sure, go ahead and have your grand-kids call you whatever you like. (Who cares, really, except for you and the kids?) But is it really that important what little Bobby or Susie calls you? Must you always stand out-- be different purely for the sake of being different?

For some reason, this just rubs me the wrong way. I guess it goes back to this feeling I've (almost always) gotten that "Boomers" think they're special, somehow. As if being born around the same time as a bunch of other people somehow imparted them with a rare gift.

It's the same feeling I got when I first saw this commercial and the others that went along with this particular ad campaign:

Reading that story, I just got the strongest impulse to tell all those Glammas and Grandudes-- and yes, the Grampsters, too-- "Get over yourselves!" Oh yeah, and get ready to make way for the next generation! :oP

Sorry for the lack of respect, "Boomers", but. . . well, to be honest, I don't respect you as much as many of you seem to feel you deserve. Or at least as much as the media seems to want us to respect (or at least admire) you. Because of all the great things you accomplished. Like, you know, Beatlemania. . . Anti-war protests. . . And, um, the whole hippie/free love thing. (Yeah, right on, flower child!) Aha! Don't let us forget a little something Wikipedia all-too-charitably describes as "experimentation with various intoxicating recreational substances". . . (Well, ok, maybe a couple of your social issue things were good causes, but I have a feeling they would've come about anyway.) All in all, just really good work breaking down the basic foundation of our society. You really did yourselves proud and, personally, I just can't thank you enough for all the good you did. Woo hoo!! (sarcasm ends here)

(By one reckoning, my parents fall in the very end of the Baby Boomer generation-- or at least my father does, and my mother was born only a few months later-- but I don't think of them as Boomers. I think of them more as "cuspers"-- like myself. Nope, you can't explain this away as deep-seated resentment against my parents. Sorry. (g))

Oh, and obviously there are plenty of Baby Boomers who were and are perfectly decent and admirable people. I give them respect according to their due. This was aimed more at the idea of the "typical Boomer" as promoted by the much-loved and oft-mentioned mainstream media.