A Very Special Miller Monday – A Baby Boomer Gives In
This post was submitted by my poor despondent father. After reading his post I feel that maybe he has more to contribute in the future, hopefully under the moniker of Tommy Tuesday. Enjoy!
It’s not easy being a Baby Boomer. We were preceded by “The Greatest Generation”—the one that made the world safe from Hitler, Mussolini and kamikaze suicide bombers. We grew up thinking Jerry Mathers (“the Beaver”) and Ricky Nelson were our role models. We brought the world (among other wonderful 60s sit-coms) Gilligan’s Island (so you could learn the 4 types of men and 3 types of women in the world).
In the mid-60s we learned that numerous institutions that had existed for thousands of years were anxious to be cast aside in favor of a drug-induced, licentious anarchy that was illustrated on tie-dye T-shirts, psychedelic album covers and really ugly Volkswagen vans. We rebelled. The major pretext was the war in Vietnam. We were deeply concerned about the poor Vietnamese people who really wanted to be ruled by the communist North. We felt a moral duty to deter our government from helping the South Vietnamese. Of course, this had nothing to do with the fact that we hated the draft and didn’t want to be distracted from our policy of “make love, not war.”
I need to admit that I was not an active participant in the anti-war movement. Being a simpleton from “the 909” I probably would have gone if the draft had nabbed me (I barely missed out). I’ve always pretty much gone along with things. I was always pulled between the desire to conform and the sense that maybe I was missing out on something big (you know, like peace). I guess going along won out. Thus, I’ve always wondered if I’ve been on the outside of my generation looking in.
Maybe I would catch up with my generation during the 70s. Upon reflection, it seems like we made two major contributions to society during that decade—at least I can only remember two: (1) polyester and (2) disco. I really did get into polyester with everything I had. I wore a leisure suit in our wedding invitation picture (blue with light colored threads in the awesome lapels). But I learned that you really can’t do polyester right if you’re on a JC Penney budget. So I considered disco. I couldn’t do it. I found myself just a wee bit too self-conscious to move a combination of feet, hips, arms and hands to “Rock the Boat” or “The Hustle.” Once again I failed my Baby Boomer alignment test.
I put my head down and tried to make a living wondering if I would always remain outside the acceptable limits of boomer hipness. Then came the 90s. What happened? A baby boomer was elected president—Bill Clinton. This only convinced me that I was destined to remain outside the norm forever. Woe is me. I can’t conform.
I’ve tried to develop enough intellectual capacity and moral confidence to fight against the encroachments of my generation on our liberties. I’ve never voted for anyone who placed security over responsibility or equality over opportunity. This seemed to be the right thing to do—even if most of my public generational companions proclaimed otherwise.
But now I have a confession to make. I’ve decided to give in. It’s occurred to me that I’m kicking against the good life. I’m tired of it. I’m only two weeks away from the birthday that qualifies me for full AARP membership. I can now get the early bird discount at Coco’s. I can get 10% off bowling games at the Fountain Valley lanes. Why shouldn’t I go for it? I’ve paid a bunch into Social Security. Shouldn’t I demand as much as possible regardless of whether or not it bankrupts your generation? I want taxes raised on everyone that makes more money than me. I want free health care (since I’m expecting to need quite a bit of it in the coming years). I could go on, but you get the idea. I can’t seem to beat the demands of my generation, so I’ve decided to sign up. I want my membership card!
I asked my son if I could use Miller Monday to announce my resignation to the world. I figured that your generation would understand. I hope you won’t mind that I’m caving in and that it will probably cost you all hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetimes. For once I want to be part of my generation. I want to belong. I want peace at last. I hope you’ll agree that I’m making the right decision. I need to be loved by all.
Entry filed under: Miller Monday.