Confessions of a crybaby boomer

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The Article

Hey baby boomer! Follow me into the confessional. I am not discriminating here. You don’t have to be Roman Catholic. This is a column, not a church.

Forgive me Father for I have sinned. As a national talk show host and columnist I have from time to time given aid and comfort to self-absorbed crybaby boomers. They want to force their opinions down my throat about the young. At times I want to just say, “Shut up!” But I walk away from this joust. And I think that means a part of me believes the tin they are recycling into my blue box brain.

They have very positive opinions about their own children. But they are bodychecking everyone else’s kids right into the boards. They moan like moose during ruttin’ season about young people in their 20s who aren’t working nearly as hard as we boomers did when we were their age.

Father, I feel so much shame because I offer only tepid arguments against their position. And I do it in such a lukewarm way. I tell the crybaby boomers that perhaps it is just age that’s talking. But I want to go so much further.

Father, you have taught me that envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. I think they envy the young. Those 20-somethings have fewer crow’s feet and better legs. Their bums and boobs aren’t sagging. Their tongues aren’t wagging about all their ailments. They have fresher faces and cleaner lungs. And they have time. So much more time on their ungrateful soft hands. And they aren’t losing time, on those interminably long waiting lists for new valves and hips and knees. We are on our knees begging you to give our dying parents a place in heaven and as we do that we know that in just a few years we will boxed up for the final journey. We see the young and we know that the only boxes on their young little minds are Xboxes.

Dear Father, forgive me for speaking bluntly to you. But the complaints from my generation feel so much like the claptrap I listened to from my parents’ generation. Half a lifetime ago, when I was 25, my mom and dad and all their friends would remind me of how much rougher and tougher it was for them. We had it too good, they said. Faster cars, better washing machines, lots of channels on the TV. And the new solid state TVs for boomers didn’t have to have all those stupid ol’ tubes that kept burning out.

We were reminded how we were making more money for less work. We had the opportunity to go to university while many of them didn’t even finish high school. We were made to feel guilty for not having endured the Depression and two world wars.

Forgive me, Father. But I think that I, along with many boomers, am behaving just like our parents. They wanted me to be more enlightened than them. But I have failed. I have their same stupid biases.

I often think a 45-year-old employee is more reliable than a 25-year-old. Sometimes I think that a 45-year-old married man or woman with children is more honest and loyal and committed than one without children. I think these terrible things even though I don’t have any kids myself.

Please forgive me, Father, for being a 51-year-old grey-bearded childless hypocrite.

Father, if I were you, I would tell me to go forth and multiply.

Charles Adler
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