"I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes that all the doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false." -- Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Are We Cool?

      I've seen a couple of lists on the internet claiming to show what Baby Boomers think is cool. These lists are written by younger people -- Millennials or Gen Xers or Gen Zers or whomever -- and so of course the clear message is that whatever a Baby Boomer thinks is cool has got to be the most uncool thing in the world.

     Some of the items on these lists are set-ups. Mom jeans, for example. Has anyone ever thought that mom jeans are cool?

     But other items are up for debate. For example.

     Sending emails. Supposedly, Baby Boomers think sending emails is cool, while Millennials wouldn't get caught dead using email. They text. Or use Instagram, Snapchat or something else that requires only a few words. I don't know if Baby Boomers really think emails are cool. But they are useful. So the only thing I can conclude is that Millennials don't have much to say.

My clunky old phone
     Landlines. Okay, a few of the coolest people I know have given up their landlines. But most of us have kept them. If landlines are not cool, then a telephone book is even less cool. But the other day we got a letter in the mail addressed to an unfamiliar name at our address. If we had a telephone book we could have looked up the person's address and if she was local, just dropped off the letter on her doorstep. But now, no phone book, no way to find her address. All we could do was hand it back to the post office to return to sender. 

     Cruises. We've never taken a cruise, although it seems that most of our friends have been on at least one, and we have a few friends who take two or three a year. So, yes, they're right. Baby Boomers do think cruises are cool. 

     Paper bills. Uh, guilty. I pay my bills electronically, but I like to get paper bills in the mail. I find them easier to keep track of that way. Otherwise, you get some bills by regular mail, some by email, some by text . . . you never know where the heck the bills coming from and invariably one gets lost and doesn't get paid on time -- and we get stuck with a late fee!

     Retirement funds. Baby Boomers are big on IRAs and 401k plans. Apparently, Millennials not so much. But I got news for Millennials, Gen Xers and all other young people, wherever they are -- they'd better get with the program. Otherwise, when they get to our age, they'll still be eating ramen noodles for dinner.

     Pickleball. Guilty. It's all the rage where I live, or at least it was before Coronavirus set in, and hopefully will be again. But whether the so-cool Millennials think it's cool or not . . . it beats playing Hero Academy on your smartphone.

     Cable TV. We still get cable TV. Our kids do not. But as a Baby Boomer I'm not sure I think cable TV is actually cool. It's just a force of habit.

     Meatloaf. B likes meatloaf. I don't. That makes me -- ahem -- cool in the eyes of the younger generation.

     Catalogs. Same as above. You see, I am cool.

B's pillows

    Throw pillows. Ditto. I'm so cool!

     Newspapers. We get the weekend editions of the N. Y. Times. But cool or not, lemme tell you, the world would be a better place if more people read good old-fashioned newspapers.

     All-you-can-eat buffets. Nobody thinks all-you-can-eat buffets are cool. But I love 'em. So much comfort food!

     Bar soap. I use a bar of soap. B uses liquid soap. I always thought it was a male-female  thing, not a difference between people who are cool and people who are uncool. Okay, I'm beginning to get the picture. Maybe I'm not so cool after all.

My bar of soap
My bar of soap
     Malls. Honestly, we don't go to the mall very often. But what's Christmas without spending some time at the mall with Santa, the Salvation Army, the tree and the decorations?

     Clint Eastwood. Whatever you think of his movies, and I don't care how old you are, Clint Eastwood is definitely cool. 

     Golf. Golf was cool back in the 1990s. Not anymore.

     Visors. The coolest guy in our golf group wears a visor. I guess that shows you how cool our golf group is.

     So I might as well tell you, when I was in high school, I wasn't exactly the coolest guy in the class. It wasn't for lack of trying. I smoked cigarettes, drank beer, and did a lot of other stupid things that I thought might make me cool. Then I finally realized. The truly stupid thing is to try to be cool. Because it doesn't mean a thing. You're much better off being yourself.


Anonymous said...

Interesting post! My sister lives across the street from the oldest golf course in continuous operation in the US. She has worried about its ability to continue because of the lack of membership among younger people. Her reasoning was always that the younger generations are too busy working more than one job and simply don't have time for pursuits such as golf. Ah, but the pandemic. Golf - played outdoors, naturally socially distant - an exercise that they can do while everything else is closed! Memberships soared. And I totally agree with your last paragraph. After high school, I decided to go my own way, ignoring what others thought was cool. So liberating! I think of myself as post-cool.

Wisewebwoman said...

I feel uber uncool having no cable TV for over 30 years. No landline for about 8 years. All my bills are electronic. I admit to logging them meticulously on my day planner so they get paid on time. I feel an enormous comfort in having both a desktop and my android in case things crash. Though I do subscribe to a cloud backup service. Never did like golf. I think streaming is marvelous as I always hating screaming commercials. I read a daily newspaper on line. And forego magazines for good books, including current best sellers.


Tom said...

Good point about golf. Good point about streaming.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

That was a fun post to read. I'm a Gen-Xer and husband is just on the cusp of Boomer and Gen-Xer, but we still have a land line, cable tv, a bar of soap in the shower, the L.L. Bean catalogue comes twice a year, but we never buy anything from it. -Jenn

Mona McGinnis said...

Each generation defines "cool". I watch my son text his daughters while they're on snapchat or instagram. Some of it goes around, i.e., LP's had a comeback when digital downloads were the thing. What about platform shoes? Like Barbara Mandrell, I was country when country wasn't cool. You know there's some Millenial asking, "Who's Barbara Mandrell?"

tahoegirl.blog said...

Let's see...
I send emails rather than text. But I do text both my kids, so maybe cool.
No landline for about 15 years.
have never played golf, ever.
We have Netflix,and do Amazon prime sometimes I add Acorn, or Brit box.
Bar soap, just like yours. Sometimes a lavender one when I'm feeling special.
Gee, i havent been to a mall in 20 years.
No buffets for us.
No newspapers, I read the Washington Post on line and the NYT too.
Never been on a cruise and never will, being out in the middle of the ocean on a boat is NOT my idea of a good time.
Clint Eastwood was cool, at least back in the day:)

Arkansas Patti said...

Yikes, I am so uncool. I email, have a landline since there is no cell service here, pay my bills with paper and stamp partly because I have a lot of family still working for the post office and partly because it is just easier for me. Sigh, dinosaur here.

Barb said...

I fall more on the cool side,more cooler than I thought, non millennial or no. All my bills are electronic. I don't have a landline. I use email but text between family rather than email.i thought cruises were cool once, no more. All you can eat buffets tend to be germ factories except for the really high end places. I useiquid body wash as opposed to soap and use malls as indoor walking but i dont shop at them. Yes, Clint Eastwood will always be cool.

ApacheDug said...

Haha—I saw this on my tablet the other night (recommended to me by Google) and I can’t think of a better person to take it on than you, Tom. Well, I admit I have a landline, but my niece thinks it’s funnier I have an answering machine. (What’s the big deal?) Never played golf or took a cruise, but I’d eat meatloaf twice a week if I could. As for cable, I’ve had both it & FIOS, and cable is much better. Haven’t seen a paper bill in eons, but my checkbook still comes in handy a couple times a year. Anyway I knew I was in trouble when it came to “skinny jeans” because I WILL NEVER WEAR SKINNY JEANS.

gigi-hawaii said...

I am a baby boomer and a dinosaur. I am so uncool.

Olga said...

I am not cool, just too cheap to pay for the Comcast bundle, no cable, no phone. I read the newspaper and do my banking online. I text my children but email my friends. I have a glass dispenser for liquid soap for guests but I prefer bar soap myself. I have throw pillows and like them in a chair for back support but any man I have ever known throws them on the floor. Never played golf or pickle ball but I notice there is renewed use of the tennis courts around here. Yoga and walking are my exercises of choice. Visors, ewww.
I don't mind good natured ribbing from the younger generations, but I am not fond of being wished a lonely, painful death by those who have not figured out how to live their owns lives as yet.

Tom said...

Olga -- Amen to your last paragraph.

Rian said...

Just got our laptop back from the shop... so running behind on reading and posting. Born in 1945 (end of greatest generation and beginning of baby boomers). I text and email (probably text more). We gave up our landline a few years ago. I've done 2 cruises, first to the Caribbean which I wouldn't repeat, and second to Alaska which I might if given the opportunity - but since the pandemic, IMO cruises are no longer cool or safe. We do most of our bills online, gave up cable and started streaming about a year ago (love Acorn and Britbox), do use both bar soap and the liquid (Dove), like meatloaf occasionally, and gave up the newspaper a few years ago (kind of miss it). Have never considered myself cool nor wanted to be... and definitely am not.

Rian said...

Oh, Tom... I forgot to add. Yes, Clint Eastwood will always be cool.

Kevin in Virginia said...

Who gives a rip what young people think is "cool?" After seven decades sailing the stormy seas of life, I get to decide what matters to me and how I spend my time and other resources. And, by the way, when I was young I paid absolutely no attention to what older people thought was cool. So there. (And, Tom, I apologize for the ire.)

DJan said...

I was born in 1942, part of the Silent Generation. No landline, but I still have cable, mostly like you, because it's there and I don't want to have to learn a whole bunch in order to change. Never been on a cruise and have no wish to! But Clint Eastwood, well yeah he's cool. :-)

Dick Klade said...

Clint Eastwood is slightly cooler than I am.

Linda Myers said...

I love Mom jeans because they fit me! No landline, no cable - we're on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I email friends and text younger family members if I want to hear anything at all from them. I went on a cruise to Greenland last summer - it was the only way to see it - but don't like the idea of so much food. My husband reads the paper every morning, but I get my news online, plus online subscriptions to the Washington Post and the New York Times. I tried golf a number of times but never got why it's so fascinating. I played pickleball one season, but my husband had a cardiac arrest during one of our games and neither of us has played since. I walk and ride a bike for my exercise.

Sue said...

Dear Tom and Friends, online billing is cool - for the grinning debtors as they grasp in those (in$ane) late fees. Online billing, just another method to keep people in bondage. Worldings...so typical.

Laurie Stone said...

Always wanted to try pickle ball. Once this pandemic ends (if it ever ends) maybe I'll give it a try.

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com said...

Hi Tom! I'm guessing that neither Gen X nor Millennials think any of us baby boomers are cool. Remember what we used to think of anyone over 30? At my age (65) I'm doing my best to not care whether anyone thinks I'm cool or not! In fact, one of the quotes that remind me of that the best is from Coco Chanel who said, "I don't care what you think of me. I don't think about you at all." ~Kathy

Anonymous said...

We just got 2 cell phones, they ring all the time..I have dialysis 3 mornings a week..I got out of the hospital yesterday and got home around 7 pm..I was exhausted, The pehrologist I had worried about me having a cardiac arrithimyia since I did not get my dyakisis tuesday a row at the dylasis center..The nurses and cna's techs at the hospital were outstanding but I was up all night worrying ands crying silently over my life at only 72..in one damn year my kidneys failed, my hearing in my left ear is shot my right going and my eyes have cataracts for which I receive painfull needle injections!!! I get anesthesia for the injections but after I get home My Eyes are on fire so I have to rest and all closed up dark sunglasses on and a washcloth I froze in a gladplastic bag, the next day more dyalisis...Never smoked never drank and I am a kind a loving person..so it goes getting old..You are not un-hip..Clint Eastwood is so cool, just like Steve NcQueen and Robert Redford!+Steve us departed & Robert is still with us thank god! we read tons of newspapers that a friend delivers for work & read everyone top to back, we have the internet 2 cell phones...married 45 years same fellow and lady - we do feel a little older not much and cherish our life togther..have a most wonderful week ahead.peace to you and your bride..I enjoy meatloaf and my hubby not so much we used to go to seafood buffets, they are long gone, sigh..so we broil salmon fresh caught from friends left at the door for our enjoyment and I freeze berries and make pies and desserts them in the fall...It is sweltering here and hot soon it should turn very cold I can't wait..peace to you and yours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

David @iretiredyoung said...

What a fun post! I got lost on my cool or uncool haves or have nots so I'm just going to say cool, which would give my son a good laugh. In fact, I just tested with my wife and kids...my daughter said cool ( think genuinely), my wife said cool (but with a bunch of caveats), and my son said cool (only because it must somehow be cool to not care what other people think of you). I'll take it, better than I expected!😀

Barbara said...

This was a fun post. I'm mostly cool. But I'll say this about phone coverage. It is better to have more than one source of phone service if you live in a place that has natural disasters like we do here with hurricanes. I only have cell phone service and believe me when that goes down it's nice to have a landline on ATT or something similar or even a pay-for-use on another service.

Sue said...

Dear Tom and Friends, cool or not, but does anyone remember Kellogg's "Danish Go Rounds?" They were breakfast pastries, and they were yummy. And just when i started working and could afford them (my parents didn't have the money for that kind of stuff) Kellogg's took them off the market.

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