E S S A Y I recently stumbled across a list of things baby boomers can’t let go of…I’m guessing it was composed by a millennial. There were supposed to be 25 things on the list but it ran closer to 45. Maybe boomers have trouble letting go but we did learn how to count.
So what kinds of things made the list you might ask? It starts off with diamonds, golf, the mall, plain toast, 24-hour news networks, Yahoo and Crocs. Honestly, I know many boomers would be OK with losing all those things.
From there the list moves on to Reader’s Digest, ironing, jorts (which I had to Google to know what they are), airbrushed t-shirts, cruises, messages in all caps, and Mrs. Dash spice. Once again, many of the boomers in my circle would have little trouble walking away form these things forever.
Racquetball, patterned wallpaper, those fuzzy rug matching toilet seat covers, potpourri, buffets, metal detectors, juice from concentrate, infomercials, Avon, knickknacks and chain restaurants? It’s all good man, if I never see any of them again.
The entire concept of boomers being unable to let go of these things was starting to smell funny. Fossil fuels? Most of the boomers I know want us to promote alternative energy sources so that we can fend off climate change for future generations. Maybe the 70 year-old oil company executive wants to keep drilling but that would put him in the boomer minority.
Was there anything on the list that I did want to hang on to? How about meatloaf? I’m okay with that. It’s not my favorite but it still ranks very high on the all-time comfort food list. Retirement funds? Millennials are so cynical about the future that they think saving for retirement is pointless. That’s harsh. Catalogs? I like catalogs in moderation. Sure it’s a dead tree product but sometimes you just want to see something printed on paper rather than on a monitor.
Somehow this list comes off as just another Buzzfeed tease. I’m ready to battle back with a list of things millennials can’t let go of. Start with bashing baby boomers by blaming them for everything that’s wrong with our world. Then add Starbucks, YouTube, smart phones, yoga pants, Chipotle, Pinterest, Snapchat, Netflix, and more. You can see where this battle of the lists is going, and it’s pointless. The stereotyping does not work. Let’s try to spend more time focusing on what all of us agree are things that are worth hanging on to. Someone second that motion!
Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle.