Someone asked me recently if I thought my generation was wasting the resources of our elders. I was so surprised at the question, one of my disposable contacts popped out and I could hardly see to keep my SUV on the road.
As one of the youngest of the generation that knows all about life and has tried it on like a clearance rack sweater, I am, by birthright, a baby Baby Boomer. Sure, I’m over fifty, if hugging the back side of fifty like a first-time skydiver hugs a parachute counts as over fifty. So I know a little bit about resources: Green stamps, recycleable plastic, and the theme songs to twenty years worth of television advertisements, situation comedies, and bad movies.
I’ve lived through hard times. As the youngest, I was the one who always had to do the antenna aerobics to get a good picture on the television. When Romper Room came on I had to hold the rabbit ears skyward like the Statue of Liberty’s torch, and I didn’t dare move until Miss Nancy put down her magic mirror. These days I automatically do arm rotations whenever the HDTV signal goes bad. My kids think I’m crazy, but I'll pose like the Frankenstein monster until we get the signal for Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, strong and clear.
I also remember a time when a shiny foil plate full of tater tots and fried fish was a gourmet meal. When you had to wait til the other people on your party line finished their conversation before you could use the telephone. When you had to wind the film in the camera before you could take another picture. When the flash was something you needed to take a picture, not something people were taking pictures of.
Knowing something of this kind of hardship, Baby Boomers are wary of wasting resources. But as sure as the Beatle’s hit, “Hello Goodbye” is now an advertising jingle for Target, we’ve recycled enough resources to provide fertilizer for generations to come.
So the kids these days had better not pick on me.
I know all the words to the Mountain Dew jingle, the Green Acres theme song, and the big screen version of Born Free.
And I’m not afraid to use them.