B is For Baby Boomer

What happened? One minute she’s turning out Blogs like a well oiled machine and then BAM! Nothing! Silence where there used to be laughter, songs, shared experiences, reminiscing, poetry, etc. etc. etc.


Such is the nature of a Writer; the ebb and flow of life sometimes takes us away from the Words and then brings us haltingly back again.

I won’t bore you with the details of my absence from these pages for the last month except to say… Life Happened.

And when you are 60+ (as many of you fellow Boomers can attest to) it can be challenging.

No one prepares you to be a Boomer …there is no class you can take…(sorry AARP)…it just seems you wake up one day and nature has started taking its course. Stiff gray hairs were there used to be none, creaks and groans from your favorite poses, memory lapses and this sudden invisibleness from the younger generation. Your mind and body seem to literally start playing tricks on you….daily.

A recent editorial by a 60+ writer said that Boomers were becoming the object of disdain by the Millennials. Our propensity for living longer, enjoying better health, and remaining in jobs past retirement age has gotten their collective man buns in a knot.

Finances and absence of a spouse (death, divorce, younger women) often catapult many female Boomers back into the workforce. And our dreams of sleeping till noon, reading that stack of long ago purchased books, and traveling to exotic places are put on hold…much to our dismay.

Like many other women, my plans for life after retirement were derailed, and during countless nights of insomnia ladened sleep (despite lavender candles/ room spray/body oil/even lavender sprigs tucked in my pillow… where his head used to lay) I lie awake at the insomniac hour thinking about what it really means to be a single woman in her 60s in this country.

My move last year from a Senior community – for Active 55 plus- back to an unsubsidized, renovated, urban apartment (complete with a great view of the water and neighbors of all ages, many of them dog owners and pot smokers), has given me a renewed perspective. Since I was beginning  to believe that a building full of  people of the same age (over 55) living together can only lead to depression, isolation, and early demise.

Of course, remaining in the real world is expensive as any person living on a fixed income can attest to, and has led many boomers to delay retirement or return to the 9 to 5.

For many, work is also a boon to stave off boredom and early dementia. And based on the lack of skills-especially people skills- present in many of the I-was-raised-by-a- computer generation is frankly, a godsend for many businesses.

Boomers are generally calm under pressure, great problem solvers and have strong work ethics…all things Millennials could learn from.

And while many Boomers may lack advanced tech skills for some positions, remember we were the first generation of Mac and PC users and can easily be trained to work with complex software now found in many workplaces.

Boomers do have to contend with other challenges as well. Health issues, ours and family members, often become an unwanted reality as cancer, alzheimer and other diseases take residence in our domain.

Changing relationships with parents/siblings/peers/significant others seem to be a hallmark of becoming a Boomer.
Prayer, therapy, and bottles of 19 Crimes can help to lessen these stressors.

So take heart Boomers and lighten the f*** up!


Looking Into the Abyss or The Pleasure Dome

(Memoir/Fiction)

60 is a very pivotal age for the Baby Boomer. Ten years apres finding that First AARP in the mailbox… the lilting ring of I’m 50 suddenly replaced by the thudding sound of Yeah, I ‘m 60.

The reality that there are more days behind you than ahead… and depending on your world view… this could be the beginning of staring into the Abyss or racing into the Pleasure Dome.

After all, we were the generation that was going to change the world…Baby if I cooould channnge the world…Remember.

So here I am almost sixty (technically I am still fifty nine) but when the ball drops next month I will be throwing rocks as they say, at sixty so why not claim it now…it will lessen the shock…and make it easier to mouth the words when some Uncoth type asks me my age.

Not that I have any problem telling them…but why is it really important? Does it tell them Anything really relevant about who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and more importantly what I am about to do. Like leave this establishment as soon as I finish this drink because this conversation is boring me to thoughts of suicide or better yet homicide and I could easily put him out of his misery.

When did I become so impatient with men… especially men in my age bracket…knowing what they are about to say before they engage their brains and let their mouths belie their intelligence. Able to spot an Old Playa from across the room or right up in my face whispering that I should remember His phone number without bothering to ask mine.

Ah gurl, she sounds like a man hater…Consider that I have been a lover of men for as long as I can remember. I think most Boomer women would appreciate it more if men just knew how to graciously accept their age and flow with it. This obsessing over younger women who see nothing but $ when they look at them and the constant need to put down the women who really are in their age category has made many of my sisters declare that the war is over.

I should be stick me with a fork done but every now and then I allow myself to traverse down that road. Often because of an unexpected gift- a smile- given to a Stranger as I am leaving say… a business mixer.

He said his name was L and the smile on my face made him think I was up to something. I was. Trying to get home after two drinks of Grey Goose from a friendly bartender at the first stop of the night followed by another more generous pour at the place I was exiting from. The silly grin was I admit Goose induced and he just happened to open the door as I was trying to gracefully ease out of the place. After depositing my distinctive blue business card in his hand and declining to remember his whispered digits, I found myself mildly entertaining thoughts of his phone call and what might ensue. He was charming enough and had the balls to approach me so I was intrigued.

And then reality set in as day three or four since our encounter and no phone call. I put thoughts of him out with the smelly trash and immersed myself in grading yet another freshman essay about the horrors of abortion, war, and gun control.

And then he called – very formal tone- as if he wasn’t sure I would answer. The conversation was brief. He was on his way to have his car inspected and thought he would ring me up on the way. Not too impressive I thought for a first call since I seemed to be part of his errands for the day. And then when he abruptly arrived at his destination the call ended and his promise to return the call shortly did not materialize for another 24 hours.

This time it was at my insomniac hour. I guess he didn’t believe I would really be awake but unfortunately for him I was already engaged in a conversation with a close friend and ironically at the moment he called was sharing something about Him with Her.

I told him I would call him back which I did…some two or three hours later… all is fair in love and war…and got his voicemail.

The phone remained silent for the rest of the day and finally later that evening over sushi and a second glass of wine in a new spot downtown, I did break down and call him as he had suggested just to see what was his reason  for ignoring me.

Yet another voicemail that signaled he was otherwise engaged.

This is going nowhere fast and time to pull the ripcord, so I decide I will not entertain this nonsense any longer because those freshman essays are still piled on my living room floor ungraded.

Friday rolls around and I decide to treat myself to some seafood in the form of Cioppino which I usually reserve for holidays or special occasions. The ingredients…shrimp, clams, mussels, cod, halibut, salmon are so costly …but I tire of reserving things for special occasions.

I trek to Whole Paycheck and purchase the necessary ingredients together with those for Muffaletta, a shamefully greasy spicy ham/three kinds of cheese and a slathering of olive salad on French bread N’awlins style of sandwich that had become my latest passion.

Armed with these pricey ingredients and a bright yellow blast of daisies, I surrender to the peaceful hum of my kitchen and prepare the succulent seafood stew. The phone rings and surprise, surprise, It is none other than Elusive stranger.

I decide to just slice through the small talk when he tells me he is on his way to a Sushi joint near my ‘hood. And announce that I am making the best seafood dish ever and invite him over to sample it. Within minutes he appears at my front door, not as dashing as I remember from the dim lights of the club doorway but congenial enough and anxious to see if I can really cook.

Since he appeared without so much as a bottle of wine, I offered him some cheap Sauvignon that I was using in the stew.

The conversation was pleasant, informational, non threatening as I put the finishing touches on my shellfish feast. He had never had Cioppino before. I instructed him on how to slowly sop up the broth with the Italian bread. Instantly, I could see the pleasure spread across his face with that look which says he has eaten something truly divine.

Before I had a chance to offer him some fruit and cheese for desert –organic pears and buttery smooth Havarti- he announced caveman style that he had other plans for the evening and had to get home and prepare himself.

I smiled sweetly to cover up my agitation. A smart guy would never have been this rude and a young guy would have been anxious to see what was for dessert.

Now I could really see him for what he was…an old has been who needed a good hearing aid instead of that earring in his ear. Who fancied himself a Playa when Senior Citizen more accurately described him.

I quickly closed the door on both the cold winter night and Him.