Baby Boomers '52

Born a third the way into the 18-year Boom

we 1952-ers travel just ahead of the crest of the wave . . .

. . . we're the froth.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Been A Long Time

It has been a long time since I've blogged. Since BP's Big Poop I just haven't been laughing very much. But I did go to the beach where I park my pop-up in a state park on the ocean. I try to go every year. This year I wanted to beat the oil. That's how I see it. I wasn't alone on the beach to see it that way. It's like a throwback to before the 60s. We know the end is near and we're determined to see it through with good times. It's what we have left now that it's too late to leave a beautiful corpse.

So the beach was nice. Some great girlfriend laughs -- daughter laughs -- even a nice husband weekend -- just nothing really funny to write home about as the ocean lapped and you kept looking for balls of oil.

Then I get home and my girlfriend Babs -- that isn't her real name but a lot of people will know who she is anyway, which serves my purpose -- has e-mailed "2 great iPhotos." One from the good-time crab feast on the beach inside the big mosquito and shade tent that stayed up THE ENTIRE WEEK for the first time ever because IT WAS A PERFECT WEEK at the beach UNTIL I GOT SAW THIS OTHER "GREAT" iPHOTO where my mother's thighs had been Photo-shopped onto my knees.

No kidding. I'd recognize those thighs anywhere. They were my mother's.

Looking out from behind the long-skirted Women's-Sized swimsuit I wear to the beach puts me out of view of my thighs. That's fine. Back when I was in the habit of looking at them, say about 30 years ago, I pretty much memorized them and hold that picture still. Held that picture. I'm currently working on recapture.

As a Baby Boomer I believe in Walt Disney and the Wizard of Oz who successfully convinced me that what we believe is true, is. You can have it all. I don't think I was alone in taking this to heart. How else do you explain the McMansions, second homes, big cars, four cars, big boats and ski trips and all for a series of minimum payments made irregularly for as long as you own your life.

There is a Faustian ring to all of this, but somehow I fail to make the direct connection, and so I don't. It doesn't really matter. Just dropping the name counts for Baby Boomers.

My generation was graded on the curve. This means you don't actually have to do Good or Excellent to get a B or an A -- you just have to to better than others do.

This could go a long way toward explaining the Big Poop and a lot of other ridiculous events taking place on the Baby Boomer's watch.

Then, Boom! Unexpected and unimaginable consequences. Your mother's thighs and the Devil to pay. Too little exercise, too many mortgages, too late to leave a beautiful corpse. Poop leaking out of the bottom of the ocean and dang if that doesn't float to the surface as well.

You see where I'm going with this, right? Out of sight, out of mind. Magic thinking. A generation (or two or three or so on and so on) graded on the curve.
It's not going to get better. I mean, I still believe I can create truth out of nothing. I was weaned on fiction. I made my reservation for next year on the beach. I accept leaving in a whimper not a bang. I am still capable of living fully in the present, the Disney moment, where truth is fully of my own consciousness' creation. I am a Baby Boomer!

Indeed, my epiphany upon seeing my mother's thighs stuck onto a woman who, actually, now that I check back, doesn't look much like me at all, was not about BP or global ecological disaster. It was much more positive.

I thought of the foresightedness of the Midwestern reunion planners scheduling our 40th in the fall. At that time of year weather permits three-quarter length shirts and pedal pushers.

I even had time to remind myself -- before I went on to think about BP and oil blobs and entire global catastrophe -- that these three-quarter length pants are called something else now and that I have to be sure and get that from my 20-year-old before I pack.

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