Baby Boomers Say the Darnedest Things
Yesterday I was at Whole Foods for the third time this week–and I’m not even cooking anything. As loyal readers know, I’ve ordered the entire, allegedly-festive meal, already cooked, from Whole Foods, and I’m picking it all up at 10pm this evening. While I was looking for some type of nondairy whipped topping for myself so I could partake in junk food just like everyone else, I realized I didn’t have one thing that might make my turkey even more of a disaster than it is for obvious reasons–a pan to heat it up in.
I went over to the, for lack of a better word, "carcass section," where they have slabs of meat under lights, ready for carving and consumption, to inquire about whether my carcass would be in a pan, or would I need to provide one of my own. (If it’s not in a pan–what the heck is it in? I thought.)
Standing at the counter, ordering some sort of rare beef thing, was a woman who was probably in her early 60s–a dreaded Baby Boomer. Now, I say "dreaded," because you never know where they grew up and what influenced them, so their age alone tells you nothing. They could’ve done LSD in Central Park, lived in Greenwich Village, and were taught Transcendental Meditation by the Maharishi himself. Or they could’ve been pro-Vietnam War and, well, that probably says it all.
According to wikipedia, those of us born in 1966 are part of the Consciousness Revolution, while also being Baby Busters (a.k.a. the "Sunshine Generation") and Generation X-ers. And regardless of which of those generations you relate most to as a 40-year old, you are likely to not relate as well to a Baby Boomer. Yes, it’s a generalization, but I’ve found it to be accurate in my experience.
The clearly Gen X-er carving the Baby Boomer’s meat says to her:
Can you believe some people are so lazy that they’re having us make their entire Thanksgiving dinners and all they have to do is pick them up?
Now, I’m right there, and I’m feeling ridiculed. You never know why someone chooses to do something. How does he know I’m lazy? Maybe I’ll be taking care of endangered, injured marsupials all day and I won’t have time to cook! Maybe I’ll be caring for the elderly all day!
Rather than hiding behind false philanthropy, I interject with the truth:
Hey, you know some people who ordered dinners from you did it so that their guests could have a traditional meal. I’m one of those people. I don’t eat meat, and I certainly don’t want to touch or cook it, but I get that my guests have different beliefs from me, and I don’t want to use Thanksgiving to fight about it.
And to that, the Baby Boomer responds: Turkey isn’t meat! Flummoxed, and partly wanting to preserve her blissful ignorance, yet partly wanting to crush it, I say: Of course it is. And like a 7-year old, she responds, Is not.
Rather than getting into an Is not/Is too situation, I decide to say my part and leave: Okay, how about this–I don’t eat animals. And before I can leave, she sneers at me, stomps her food, and marches away in a snit. And with that, the Gen X-er says: What does she think turkey is, some kind of pastry product?
And that, my friends, is the difference between Gen X-ers, Baby Boomers, and whatever the heck I am.
Oh, and I did need a pan.