Tag Archives: Baby Boomer

Retirement Aspirement*

*Not a real word

Well … it’s been rather a long time.  There’s no denying it. I know I just disappeared without a word, and I’m sure it caused many sleepless nights and maybe even one or two Amber Alerts.    It’s not you – it’s me.   But the answer to my extended absence is in plain sight in the of the name of my blog … I just got a little sick of me.  “Me, me, me all the time”.  I worried I might be approaching the point where I became one of those people who find themselves infinitely fascinating, and who simply cannot have an unexpressed thought. Stop me when that happens, will you? But … enough about YOU.

How is it possible that another year has blown by?  It’s 2014.  That’s frightening on so many levels, but this one in particular: In my “corporate” job that I started in 1997, from day one my HR information always said:
“Year eligible for retirement – 2014”

Sadly, that job came to an end, but that other date has stuck with me.  It is officially 2014 – and let me make it perfectly clear … I am in no way “eligible for retirement”.  For the following 10 reasons:

  1. Still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
  2. Not mature, in the maturity sense.  Still the first one to laugh at inappropriate times, dance like no ones watching when clearly, people are watching, and they’re horrified (usually because I’m in an elevator, store, or my car).
  3. Not disciplined.  Would just lay around in my PJs and eat mini chocolate bars instead of going to lawn bowling or to seniors get 15% off days at Shoppers Drug Mart.
  4. Still too good at driving.  I restrict use of my blinker to times when I’m actually turning.  Plus I go 20 kms above the speed limit at all times.
  5. Still have kids at home.  Sure, they are grown ass adults who spend most of their time trying to get away from my smothering ways … “What are you looking for?”  “Who texted you?”  “Where are you going?”  “Did you have a good sleep?”  “When do you work?” “Are you cold/hot/hungry/sad/drunk/crazy?” etc. etc. etc.
  6. Punctuality issues – still arrive everywhere late.  Couldn’t make an early bird special to save my life.
  7. Still HATE gardening.  I believe it’s still illegal and immoral to be “retired” and yet lounge around a weed filled yard with flower beds full of dandelions and skunkweed, drinking daiquiris in a leopard two piece.
  8. My bucket list still involves an actual bucket, and a list of things that I intend to “give a good scrubbing” when I get home from work.  If I retired, I would always be “home from work”. Hence my dilemma.
  9. My dog is too young.  Many retired people I know have a sedentary geriatric dog with warts and mysterious smells and no teeth.   My dog is a mere 3 years old and is full of piss and vinegar and just enough attitude to make coming home from work every night a bit of an adventure.  “What did he ruin today??”  It wouldn’t seem fair to him to just BE home from work every day, and cut his demolition career while he’s in his prime.
  10. Investments.  As a retiree, rumour has it that you’re supposed to have them.  I’ve been heavily-invested for years in things like ½ hour sit coms, Saturday Night Live reruns, and late night eating contests starring me …  going up against – me.  It’s not like I don’t have a financial plan – I’m not an idiot.  It’s just that so far every time I check my portfolio it says “NOT A WINNING TICKET”.

Sure, I’d be “eligible for retirement” if it only meant superficial things like:

  1. Endless repertoire of “in my day” stories.
  2. Brown spots multiplying at breakneck speed.
  3. Upper lip 5 o’clock shadow.
  4. Regularly reach the top/bottom of the stairs without even an inkling of why I went up/down there.
  5. Intermittent rogue nose hair.
  6. Constant muttering.  (I’ve been muttering the whole time I’ve been writing this.)
  7. Bunions that would put Paul to shame.
  8. Fascination with roller coasters officially replaced with growing interest in “Stairlifts”.
  9. Increasing crankiness.  For effect I was going to say , “I put the crotch in crotchety” – but who SAYS that?  That’s disgusting.  Suffice it to say – I’m sometimes cranky.  And lastly, and probably most important …
  10. Waning interest in getting out of bed in the morning to attend any sort of job.

If that’s all it takes, then YES, I couldn’t be more eligible.  I’m frickin’ GEORGE CLOONEY eligible.  But sadly, in spite of official Human Resources documentation from the nineties; I think my realistic retirement date is something like 2034.  So, co-workers —  you’re in for a TREAT.  Because I’m not getting older … I’m getting more and more eligible.polls_maxine_1653_940496_answer_1_xlarge



Filed under Aging, Humor, Thats Life, Work

Boomers & Boomerangs

Now, I’m not one to complain … but I really feel like us Baby Boomers got the short end of the stick, both as children AND as parents.

Our parents’ generation had the best of all worlds.  They could do anything they wanted, with no consequences.  Yeah, there might have been a couple of small negatives, like World War II and no reliable birth control, but those were relatively minor inconveniences.  World War II was temporary, and when women got pregnant, it didn’t even cramp their style.   There was no “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” it was more like:

“Surprise!  The rabbit died …. As you were.”

Expectant moms kept drinking, smoking, and doubled up on pastries because she was “eating for two.”

And then from a parenting standpoint, life was soooo much simpler.  In addition to an absence of that pesky prenatal care, once the child arrived there were no such things as car seats, baby monitors, or self esteem.  Moms didn’t feel the need to organize “Play Dates” or worry about “socializing” by sending their toddlers to preschool.  They didn’t have to – we were socialized by an angry pack of siblings, all vying for favourite kid status.   There was a natural pecking order, and an overall Darwinian philosophy at play. For example at our house, my older brothers and sisters nicknamed me “Piggywiggywoo” … and I credit my thick skin and people skills to their repetitive use of the  witty go-to comeback:   “Nobody likes you.”

Of course, and I’m digressing now … but I finally had my revenge when my mother was kind enough to present me with a younger sibling to torture … namely one “Rickydickyhicky”.  After he graduated babyhood and became officially annoying and a competitor for parental attention, I gave every bit as good as I got.  I was, I must say … even a little more creative than my sisters.  I composed a song about him, complete with rhyming lyrics, which absolutely drove him nuts.  I would quietly hum the tune while we were at supper – causing him to freak out and my bewildered parents would send him away from the table – because obviously I wasn’t doing anything to him, just humming.   They had no way of knowing about the scathing lyrics that he and I both mentally heard whilst I hummed.  His hysterical reaction always seemed so melodramatic. It was the perfect crime, and some of my finest work.

But back to us Boomers – no wonder self esteem was non-existent; adults were allowed to abuse us, both physically and mentally.  In Gradeschool, there was “the Strap”, and the constant threat of “the Strap”.  If you got the Strap at school, you didn’t run home to your parents for consolation – you knew you were probably going to get it there too. It was like a conspiracy between teachers and parents.  It seems the establishment was always hard at work coming up with new ways to humiliate us kids.  Remember gym class, and Partici-PACTION?  “What – you can’t even do a flexed arm hang?   Loser!!”  And “Let’s see you try to do it wearing one of those standard gym suits.”  Somebody with a warped sense of humour came up with those hideous baggie, belted onesies. I think they were based on the same fashion principle as the burka.

My point is, that as Baby Boomers we got the shaft.  There were constantly too many of us, our classrooms were overcrowded, on Track and Field day there were only ribbons for performance, none for participation, on Valentine’s day your popularity was evident by the number of valentines you got. Then when we grew up we had to fight for jobs because we outnumbered them; we got married at a time when it became outdated for your parents to pay for the wedding; then when we decide to reproduce suddenly parenthood becomes a privilege not a right; and we had to do stuff like prenatal care, physical AND mental nurturing of our offspring, not to mention a lifetime of helicoptering.  To top it off, for us medical science invented cholesterol and colonoscopies. We also had to quit smoking, limit our drinking, and break up with awesome foods like cheese and bacon.

Just for us, it became the norm for mothers to work full time, and in the workforce we had to adapt to a constant barrage of new technology.  I remember being astonished by an IBM instant correcting typewriter.  NO MORE WHITEOUT??  (Although sniffing that stuff did have its upside).  We’ve had to try not to act all wide eyed, and refrain from making Star Trek comparisons when exposed to new things like faxing, computers, cell phones and SKYPE.

It seems irony is alive and well, fellow Baby Boomers.  It’s gone full circle, and parents pay for weddings again, and as a bonus, it’s now quite acceptable for unmarried or divorced kids to behave like boomerangs and come back home to live in their parents’ basement well into their thirties.  Luckily though, as we age we won’t cross paths with them much – we will have to keep working because there’s still too many of us  and the Canada Pension and Old Age Pension is drying up fast.   Based on the pattern of the past 50 years, there’s one more thing that was recently invented  that’s making me a little nervous … it’s called Elder Abuse.

And our parents thought Hitler and Mussolini were scary …


Filed under Aging, Humor