If you don’t remember this line, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoYsfbq3vMc
There’s a war on words brewing for boomers. Maybe war is too strong. Let’s just say baby boomers are bucking labels such as “senior,” “senior citizen,” “mature adult,” or “older adult.” And they are not to happy with the sound of nursing home, assisted living facility, old-age home, or adult day care.
Something tells me this aversion to be labeled goes all the way back to be when we first got the tag “baby boomers.” Society has to keep labeling generations, so I doubt Gen Xers or millennials feel any better about the process, but at least they don’t have the word “baby” in their handle. How’s a baby boomer supposed to go from baby to geezer? Besides that fact that they are both wrinkled, what does a baby have in common with a geezer?
Being called “old” gets old, so what should we be called as we get around the bend? And what age qualifies as around the bend? We used to think the retirement age of 65 was old, but as retirement pushed back later and later, it seemed like maybe 75 was old. But if you talk to any 75 year olds, they will tell you, no, 75 isn’t old – 85 is old.
And to those who say, yeah, yeah, it’s just words, I say yes, but word labels can sting. It’s bad enough that we’re going to experience diminished faculties and lessened control of bodily functions. We don’t have to be further insulted with demeaning labels and warehoused in places that have names that sound just plain awful.
The reality of our situation is that no matter what they call us or where they store us, it may not be pretty. Normally I might say we should suck it up, keep calm and carry on. But for crying out loud (something we’re good at), we’re baby boomers! We don’t have to take this crap without a fight! There’s 77 million of us (but the number is going down by the day)! We can call the shots (I’m delirious with power now)!
Okay, maybe the sheer magnitude of our numbers can’t stop younger generations from referring to us as ‘old fogies” (whatever a fogey is). But that won’t stop a resistance movement (picture an underground network of rebel boomers).
Personally, I’m okay with being called “ripe.”