Don’t Sell Us Short

I think — worldwide — one of the majority of Baby Boomers’ pep peeves would be when younger people call us Honey or Sweetie. Going hand-in-hand with this peeve would be a general discomfort with the common underestimation of senior citizens. While Baby Boomers would consider themselves genial, interesting, and empathetic, non-seniors (upperclassmen?) might say we are grouchy, boring, and nosy. Underestimating Baby Boomers is not only foolish, it could be downright dangerous. One of my favorite scenes out of all of the movies I have watched is in Fried Green Tomatoes. As Kathy Bates’ character awaits a parking spot about to be vacated, two obnoxious 20-womething women steal the spot before she can stop them. As they get out of the car, they are belittling her, calling her old and stupid. Her reply? Face it girls, I’m older, and I have more insurance, as she proceeds to smash her car into theirs.

All of the above is to illustrate just how much of a hypocrite I am. Here’s why I say that….

Yesterday morning, I looked at the list of activities being offered that day by the wonderful staff of WC.

Sure, yoga; right, aqua aerobics; ya, ya, ya, Ladies’ Poker. Then I saw that at 1 p.m. yesterday afternoon, there was going to be a meeting of the Happy Bookers. Ha. It was being held in the building right next to ours, so close that I wouldn’t even have to cross an indoor bridge. My biggest concern was whether a Summit Square resident would be received at a Quincy Point book club meeting.

And so it begins. Me judging people I’ve never met. Me having reconceived opinions, based on nothing but television’s presentation of elderly people.

Here’s what I assumed: There would be a bunch of Q-Tips sitting around the table, gossiping (did you see what Mary Louise wore to dinner last night?). No one will have read the book, which would have been something like Peyton Place or the Bible. Discussion would never get past complaints about the food or noisy televisions.

Here’s what I got: The members of the group that is called the Happy Bookers were (except for the choice of the name of their group) six or seven very intelligent women. All of them had read The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd, and all had a strong opinion about the book. What’s more, they all respected other people’s opinions as well. The group members take turns running the meeting. The woman who ran yesterday’s meeting had done a lot of research on the book, on other reviews, on the author herself. Despite not being able to participate because I had never read the book, I left the meeting feeling enriched and satisfied.

So much for preconceptions.

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