Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Yeah, We're Old. So What? What's New?

It has never been easy to get old, I’m certain of that.  It’s not getting any easier either, I’m certain of that too.

Most of the hassles are of the bureaucratic kind.  Money hassles in general; dealing with Social Security and Medicare; taxes; doctor bills; working; investments if you’re lucky.  Illness and decrepitude are hassles, that’s for sure.  My least favorite hassles, however, are the ones that come from other people in the form of silly ideas.  Things like, “Social Security and Medicare are entitlement programs (and we can’t afford such giveaways)”; “how long should people have to work before they can start on Social Security?”; and my least favorite, “Baby Boomers fucked up the world.” 

That last one, amazingly, often comes from Baby Boomers themselves.  If that’s the case, usually It’s a Conservative Baby Boomer complaining about Liberal Baby Boomers.  Most often, though, it comes from younger people, and it really gives me a “hey you kids, get off my lawn” moment when that happens.  Young people have been annoying since the dawn of time, but I’m getting to the age when it becomes most noticeable.  When young people today complain about Baby Boomers they have a twofold agenda: 1) Baby Boomers made mistakes that have ruined my planet or my finances and limited my opportunities or something; and 2) when are my Baby Boomer parents going to die so that I can get my hands on “my” money?  Man, I like ISIS better than I like some of these young people.

And by the way, all of you hipsters, with your hipster hats, you’d better hurry up and knew this:

As you are, we once were; as we are, so you will someday be.  (To paraphrase skeletal death on those Middle Ages tombstones.)

And that’s if you’re lucky!  Not everybody gets the luxury of old age.  I was definitely thirty-five-years-old at one time, and I was thirty-five for an entire calendar year.  Many of these whining youngsters will be dead before they reach my age.  Maybe long dead.  Some of them deserve it, too.

Everybody gets the same deal.  Everybody who lives a normal life span, who hits the actuarial predictions, lives exactly one year at each year of age.  Everyone’s year is the same 365 days; the same 525,600 minutes.  My “three score and ten” is the same as everybody else’s “three score and ten.” All young people, including we Boomers, have always shared the illusion that they will somehow beat the odds and remain young forever, because they exercise, or eat right, or will get lucky, or the doc’s will figure something out, forever.  The certainty of death only begins to sink in at around forty-five-years-old.  It all happens faster than anyone expected it to as well.  If you’re alive now, you’ll be dead within only a few thousand heartbeats after me.  We’re alive . . . we’re dying . . . and, we’re gone.  That’s the deal.  And it’s not the fault of Baby Boomers.

It’s not cool to blame shit on previous generations.  Intergenerational struggles are like a Golden Gloves boxing match, where a couple of kids wear huge pillowy gloves and flail away at each other without really accomplishing anything.  Baby Boomers may be in a unique situation, now that I think of it.  When we were young men and women, our parent’s generation was jealous of us, and by now I think these young hipsters are jealous of us as well.  After all, our fun made their fun look like a work camp.  And young people today should bow down and thank us for breaking up the old social status quo.  We died for their sins!  All of the things that they now believe make them cool came from us Boomers.

And here’s a tip, boys and girls.  If you’ve got your eye on mommy and daddy’s money, don’t say that shit out loud.  Keep that as your most closely held secret.  Because we are a nation of laws, and your parents can do whatever they want with that money.  I would encourage them to consider the matter very seriously.

And here’s a tip for Baby Boomers whose adult children are measuring them for coffins and taking inventory of their property and accounts:  don’t forget to put your ungrateful children in your will for $100.  That way they can’t take the battle to the Probate Court arguing that you just forgot to mention them and that you really intended to leave everything to them.  

1 comment:

jomode said...

When my wife & I decided to have children we knew that it was a pretty self-serving decision. Three boys in & they’ve been everything we’ve wanted. Doppelgangers. The genetic mirror. They look like us, talk like us & even have our particular set of shitty attitudes. With a little luck & a lot of training they will grow up to think how we think, with their own spin on it of course. When Nana & I finally get too old to take care of ourselves I want to think that they will be there to help us because we did right by them. I dread the day I won’t be able to wipe my own ass & feel sorry for the person that does. In exchange for helping us die in peace & love & comfort we will leave them all our shit.

Here I have to get a little existential: No one asks to be born. I consider it a vicious form of rape, to be pulled out of the ether of non existence and forced to participate in this mess (life) because two people were in love with their faces and decided that this was a viable form of immortality. The genetic baton pass. Perpetuation is selfish behavior. That & no one wants to die alone or give their wealth to strangers when they finally do.

Fuck with your kids and you’ll get treated worse than a leper. You won’t get visits or phone calls & be treated with the barest amount of tolerance. You’ll be put in a shitty old age home, with the other people that didn’t get it, as soon as humanly possible. You’ll get even fewer visits there. The dying will be slow, boring & relentless. Bed sores abound. When you die it will be alone.

All that said, write up that will any which way you want.

Don’t take all that Boomer finger pointing too seriously. Accept that anything ever said about them, right or wrong, is correct. The current social more is hard at work here. Think of it more as the young displacing the old, like a couple of lions vying for control of the group. Substitute the incisors for shit talk. Or would you rather be eviscerated and left on the Savannah floor right where you fell?