We Baby Boomers have become one of society’s favorite piñatas, that much is obvious but why? Is it because we’ve always acted like our music was the best music? Is it because many of us still have all those heavy dark furniture ‘sets’ from the 70s and the kids are jealous haha?
Really I think it’s because we rode such a long wave of prosperity when we were young. We acted like it was just normal when, as soon as our school days were behind us, lots of us said say sayonara to the folks and set ourselves up in funky little walk-ups with candles stuck in empty rosé bottles and wooden-bead curtains to separate our sitting area from the so-called kitchen. In the apartment my cousin and I sublet the year I was 20 the fridge we inherited with the lease was found to have, in the 4-inch thick ice cave of its freezer, many jagged shards of a broken whiskey bottle and a lone human hair. Even so, it was all ours and what joy it was to do your underage drinking in a place where nobody ever yelled you to cut out the foolishness and go do your homework. Those were the days all right.
So if you guys coming along behind us envy that far more affordable life we had, well, I get that. I get why you’re sore, but I have to ask myself: Why do you have to go after our CLOTHES? A person can’t turn around these days without seeing list after list of Fashion Don’ts for us Ike-and-overs. (And, of course 90% of these lists are directed toward us women, since a man in this age group can go out looking like one of the Walking Dead and nobody thinks a thing about it.
It stings, kind of, in no small part because half the things on the list are things most of us ladies are still wearing.
I speak of sleeveless or cap-sleeved shirts. These we’re not supposed to wear because people will recoil in horror and be turned to stone by the sight of our upper arms.
Also, a pair of shoes with a matching bag is now a major no-no. But didn’t we used to pay people to have the bag and shoes dyed to match the dress?
And how about the fact that we’re told never, ever to wear a fleece outside the house? Instead, the list makers say, we should wrap ourselves in “cool, slouchy cardigans,” presumably over large loose ‘boyfriend shirts’ and never mind that this get-up is exactly what I wore in 8th grade while pacing the floor and trying to memorize The Quality of Mercy is Not Strained for Mrs. Meehan in Fourth Period.
To top it off there’s this most galling prohibition that makes it to every bossy list I have seen this season: We women over 55 aren’t supposed to ever, no matter what, wear “neutral” pantyhose, which I first thought meant the really pale kind that make your two legs like a pair of uncooked sausages, because surely they can’t mean those nicely tinted ‘Suntan’-hued L’Eggs that I have favored for the past 40 years?
Alas, they can and they do. Instead of wearing any type of translucent pantyhose we’re meant instead to pull on black or solid colored TIGHTS. Tights, like a babies wear over their diapers! Tights, like court jesters wear under their bloomers and inside their curly-toed shoes! So now – what? – am I expected now to wear tights with a cocktail dress?
Oh no, they say, heavens no, certainly not. In these cases we are invited instead to – get this – go barelegged, which to me is truly insane since what if it’s freezing out? Or what if we have long walks or waits at a bus stop in our daily working life? And how, in the name of all that is holy, does it make sense for us ‘elders,’ who are asked to hide sight of our upper arms to then inflict on the world the veiny fireworks going off ON OUR LEGS?
I’m on to these youngsters though. I know they’re trying to make us all crazy so they can lock us up, or put us by our millions out on a giant ice floe off the coast of Antarctica. I know they’re just dying to take a big old bat to the piñata that is us.
Well, let ’em, I say. For revenge, we’ll die and leave them all our dark old room sets with the faux-carved wood – like this one I just found on the internet – and see how they like that haha!