Ok Boomer!

There are times in a person’s life when it is just obvious that we are witnessing history. That time is now, and I am not referring to the impending impeachment trial.  

For the first time in history the infamous words “Ok Boomer!” were uttered in a hearing before the Supreme Court.  

When our Founding Fathers penned the words “We the People…” words that would forever change the world based upon high ideals that man had inalienable rights and other such uppity philosophical ideas, they could have never contemplated that the highest court in the land would have to someday spend their time discussing the meaning of “Ok Boomer!”  

Like most of my stories, this one is going somewhere, it just takes me a minute to get there. And yes Ms. Beckwith, that last sentence had 53 words in it – well past the recommended daily allowance.

The other day an old friend dropped by. To protect everyone’s identity, we will call him Mark. That way I won’t have to get my attorney to write a disclaimer that would be at least three times longer than this article.  

I say old friend, but I think that “Ok Boomer” pretty well sums it up.  I am not really sure when all this happened and he became a Boomer, but he looked like he had gotten older and, well, not to share too much, he didn’t have all his hair, except in his ears. And he was a little rounder; I would not say bulbous, but others might.  

Also, and again I don’t think he would deny this, he made noises when he stood up.  

Now just to be fair, I must confess that now days I have to get a run at it when I get out of my big, stuffy TV chair.  

After my mother had her hip surgery, I bought her a chair that has a hydraulic motor to lift her half way up; for the first time in my life, I think this is a great idea.  

I remember a time when I could hop up off the floor with a good deal of dexterity and balance. Likely, if you drop by to visit and I am on the floor, you might want to offer me a cookie just to see if I am faking it or call an ambulance because I shouldn’t be there. 

It may take a lift and sling to get me upright or possibly I have had a heart attack and if you can find the paddles for the AED, give me a jolt.  

I wanted to call my old friend “Boomer” because I remember the day when the young lady from the IT-department rolled her eyes at me when I needed help setting up my iPhone and said, “Ok Boomer, here ya go.”

I don’t remember my good friend getting older and deserving the badge of “Boomer” because it seems like yesterday we were playing sports in high school, dragging main street, and playing foosball. It’s hard to believe that we all didn’t have iPhones.  

Sure, I remember seeing the mile posts fly by, and there were a few posts that stand out such as graduating from high school and college, getting married, and having kids.  

Okay, just to be honest, I don’t remember too much about the actual birth. I do remember short people in my house eating my food and leaving band instruments in the entrance.  

However, my too kind and loving wife can tell you all kinds of details that seem a little irrelevant like how much they weighed, the date they were born, blood type, their names, and if they had hair on the head; I do not know how she does this.

The mileposts would show up on the horizon and I would eagerly look toward them, and then suddenly, they were in my rear-view mirror.  

When all the kids left home and we were officially empty nesters, the lonely silence I had once craved was sad and the wall clock chimes were deafening.  

I remember there were old people around when I was younger, and I was pretty sure that I wasn’t ever going to be one. I am glad that I lived long enough to be older.  

I don’t see as well at night, but now I see more to appreciate and love.  When I was younger and had good eyes with sharp vision I somehow didn’t see all the old people around me. My conscience is pained when I think of all the invisible old people I walked past without even a polite “hello.” 

I have learned this harsh lesson, the older I get, the more invisible I become to the younger people around me.  

Now I am more of an obstacle to drive around on the road or to steer clear of in the store isle.  

Look up from your smart phone and notice that obstacle is a person that has survived much, a person with a story. Those wrinkles and scars are badges earned through a lifetime of caring for his family, protecting this country, and helping his neighbor.

There is a good deal of comfort and validation talking to an old friend. We shared a time in our life when we had dreams and hopes, victories and conquests, and there is a bond that has lasted decades even though now we are lucky to see each other once every few years.  

When we talk, the pounds melt away, the pain is less, the laughs are more frequent.  Our eyes do not see with the sharpness of our youth but what we see – our kids, our grandkids, our parents – are things that we value and love in a way that only happens after you have driven down the road of life a few miles.  

This “Boomer” thing is turning out alright. Besides, I probably don’t have the energy or the interest to become tech-savvy enough to figure out my iPhone, so I will leave that to the “Doomers.”

San Juan Record

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