Trauma upon trauma! It's not enough that I'm turning the BIG one this Saturday, but to add insult to injury, as I was heading out last evening, I checked my mailbox and there it was - a letter with a card in it marked AARP!
It sits unopened on the table in my foyer. It may sit there for a good long time. I'm not ready to face that - yet...
As I networked on a boat full of thirty-something "young professionals," it occurred to me that something does not compute. It appears that most men I've met who are over fifty seem ostensibly retired, unemployed or laconicly stuck in a dead-end job, which hardly seems like a profession. In contrast, the thirty and forty-year olds seem employed, enthused and excited about their lives. There was food on the boat, but the focus was on enjoying the evening at sea, beautiful views of NY harbor and interesting conversation. Food took a back seat on this boat ride!
What a pleasure it was to meet presentable and well-put-together men (they were too young to consider as anything but possible business prospects) who enjoy life and embrace their professions. There was a physician's assistant who proudly announced his passion for helping with transplants, a medical researcher who is publishing his findings on skin cancer, a man who works for Google and turned me on to some very cool applications, an accountant who puts the fix on struggling businesses. What a different tone they brought to the event. What a pleasure to meet people who were interesting to talk to and who had some life left in them!
In contrast, the 50+ event I attended weeks ago, seemed to be filled with people who didn't have enough money or self-worth to go to a cosmetic dentist to fill in the gaps where their teeth were missing, who were mostly overweight, and who talked about jobs that were about as exciting as gravedigging. Scratch that, gravedigging sounds like a cool career compared to the ones at the other event. The only thing they seemed to enjoy was FOOD, and I trembled as one guy nodded off repulsively near my shoulder after consuming his large scoop of egg salad, chopped liver, chulent (stew), carby potato kugels and, of course, dessert! The thought that he might keel over from the glut of unhealthy food, and that I might have to attempt CPR on him, made me want to upchuck my salad! Am I the only "young" Boomer left on the planet?
Is it the economy? Are the Baby Boomers being put out to pasture? Is it a generational depression? Mid-life crisis? I don't know if anyone has done the statistics, but my guess is that the people who are most likely jobless, depressed and struggling are the 50+ group - the Baby Boomers - the largest chunk of America's population. While, in spite of the flailing economy, their younger counterparts still project hope, even in the single population.
With the proposed health care bill cutting benefits for the aging, what will become of the Boomers, once the most focused on generation...the one every advertiser wanted to reach--the ones with income, excitement and lust for life...now they've (OMG - I have to include myself...we've) just got food...and that unopened AARP card...