Tag Archives: baby boomers

Signs of the Age(s)

25 Feb

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Signs of the Age(s)

By L. Stewart Marsden

 

They’re piling up.

The signs.

And I find myself muttering, “Ya ain’t gettin’ any younger!”

A sciatic nerve that repeats its message I can’t do certain things:

  • like haul all of my groceries stuffed into those plastic bags into my condo in one trip;
  • like sit on the edge of the bed in the morning and bend over to tie my shoes;
  • like go up and down stairways alternating steps (I use my left leg/foot to descend and ascend, rather than going right-left-right-etc);
  • like sweep, vacuum and mop at a furious pace. Or any other strenuous activity that caused me no physical stress when I was younger.

I look in the mirror (as few times as I possibly can) and see “little tiny hairs, growing out my ears*!”

I see moles and warts and looooong antennae-like eyebrow hairs, and wonder what is the etiology for those changes?

I walk into a room purposefully, only to stop in mid-stride to wonder why the hell I walked into the room purposefully.

There are sticky-notes everywhere! I have every GPS location device for wallets, keys, socks, belts, that is possible to buy and utilize.

I and others joke at the age milestones: 30, 40, 50, etc. Some freak out, and scramble to recapture themselves at a much younger age. Miracle hair-growth products. Skin-tightening creams and ointments; and finally, plastic surgery. Botox. Tummy tucks. Diet regimens. Flattering clothing and underclothing that squeezes and redistributes sagging and baggy bulges.

Industries of a myriad of sorts spring up daily, reminding you that, “YOU’RE GETTING OLD!” It’s got to be a Trillion-Dollar industry!

It’s always been the case. What wasn’t always the case was the frenetic energy spent on not getting old. Till us Baby Boomers arrived. Now a whole slug of the population is age-aware, and “Do not go easy into that good night” takes on a totally different meaning.

The tired adage, “Yeah, but it beats the alternative!” said with a shrug of the shoulders and a grin, grows more tiredy and adagey.

I put my underwear on backwards this morning. Didn’t discover the error until Nature called and I panicked in the bathroom, fumbling around and thinking “I know it’s here somewhere!”

I know. That’s what she said.

The thing is I didn’t immediately drop trow and boxers to remedy the situation. In fact, I’m still sitting on my underwear pee-hole as I write! I can hear my kids groaning as they read this. I fully expect one of them to ask me — no — demand that I delete this post.

Yeah, there are definitely some pretty crappy things that come along with getting older. But, all-in-all, the tired adage is still true.

At the same time, there are wonderful liberties afforded me because I’m now visibly old and getting older.

Don’t have to shower as often. Long as I have Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder I can mask the odors that germinate on certain parts of my body.

In public, most (not all) people hold a door for me, or say “You first, I insist!”

I skip over the Facebook posts that ask, “Do you know what this is?” or, “Have you ever used one of these,” and show something I am very familiar with.

I get most of the questions involving the 20th century right when I watch “Jeopardy!

I can wear stripes and plaids at the same time.

I can pretty much say what I think, and most will dismiss it with, “Well, you know … he’s old!”

The list goes on.

I’m not sure how aging is going to fare in the distant future. According to all of the dystopian novels and movies, the old folk simply disappear. That’s either due to euthanasia, or the possibility some anti-aging treatment will be developed.

If so, I think the world’s population will go berserk and pandemonium will ensue, right? Nah. Infant babies will be dispatched instead so that the population at large can continue to remain young without overcrowding. Or, everyone will be sterilized. I mean, ultimate control will remain in the hands of the adults, and the adults will always choose themselves when it comes down to it.

At the moment we’ve not been able to muck with the natural order of things, although God knows we’ve tried. I suppose it’s inevitable. Unless the Apocalypse occurs and Zombies and Preppers rule.

All signs of the Age(s).

 

*Credit must go to him whose name must not be spoken, Bill Cosby.

Innocence Lost

2 Aug

Innocence Lost

by L. Stewart Marsden

I caught myself today reminiscing about childhood days long past — well, relatively speaking, that is. The Parthenon is long past.

I’m a part of that glut of baby-boomers who, when we grew up, had the world by the tail (see, even the expression is pretty telling). We could bike anywhere in town without our parents worrying. We played outside from dawn to dusk. We greased our peroxided hair into ducktails, and Converse high tops were $8 a pair. We flocked to the Paramount downtown for hours of big screen entertainment — cartoons, news reels, adventure series, and a swell grade B movie about blobs or Godzilla or maybe Gene Autry, the singing cowboy.

The edge of living was rounded and smooth — not cutting and dangerous.

Forty-fives ruled the teen tune appetite, with The Platters and Pat Boone and The Kingston Trio.

McDonald’s arches were new. And the sign read “Over 100,000 hamburgers served” at its beginning.

Radio was AM, crackling in and out as we drove along. And, speaking of driving — four and forty air conditioning: roll down four windows and go forty miles an hour. Seats were vinyl — cold in the winter, skin searing in the hot summer.

Baseball. Barbie Dolls. Mickey Mouse Club. The Captain and Mr. Green Jeans. Howdy-Doody.

The good old days.

So, I rue the passing of time in terms of the loss of innocence. It’s a rather boring theme, I know, to those who didn’t experience that innocence.

The past was not without its deep and dark drawbacks. Segregation. I remember the evidences of that, too, but more as a wonderment than as something that impacted me on a daily basis.

Perhaps every generation has its own time of innocence. I keep thinking that period of time has been accordioned down to a really short period of time, judging from the news and the culture of the day. Judging from how children are quarantined and protected against God knows what; how they spend their days, fused into various gadgets that allow them no alone time, no creative time, no boredom.

I’m still a bit biased in thinking my old days were the good old days. I morn the loss of scary movies back then that are pretty laughable today, when compared to the stark and gruesome film techniques of modern Hollywood. Very little left to the imagination.

And the accessibility via the internet of — well — pretty much anything you would want to see and a whole lot of things you should never know — in your innocence — exist.

So, here’s to Fabian and to The Day the World Ended and to Rock Hudson and Doris Day and to candy cigarettes and to National Geographic and to Norman Rockwell and to White Castle hamburgers and to roller skate keys and to penny loafers and to Greasy Kids Stuff and to a myriad of long-forgotten or fading or never experienced moments — the essence of innocence lost.