I don’t care what the cutoff date is, I’ve never felt like a Baby Boomer. I went to college late in life, surrounded by Generation X. They were younger, but they were my peers. Nonetheless, I wasn’t part of that classification, so I’ve decided to take it upon myself and create a new group. I’m going to call them BoXers. Boomers with an X. Here is a little criterion for being a BoXer:
You feel a generation gap between yourself and Baby Boomers.
You relate to both Generation X and Baby Boomer culture and music.
You panic when someone asks you to go in-depth about the politics of Vietnam. Watergate makes you waffle too.
You feel like a little kid around Boomers. They can be intimidating, especially if they ask what YOU were up to during the sixties. They’re proud of what they did. And should be.
In 1965, you stood in front of the dime store with a furry coat, tight, TIGHT pants and a rat-tailed comb sticking out of your back pocket.
You know what the Bump and the Hustle are, and you were a BG’s fan.
Your place in history is not behind the millions of Boomers, it’s at the beginning of another era. An era in which we embraced nature. Even hugged trees. Literally. We became vegetarians when no restaurants provided meat-free alternatives. We watched people die of AIDS. We stared at the TV when David Bowie did weird things on MTV and if we were lucky enough to afford a ticket to see the Rolling Stones, we watched Mick Jagger ride on a giant inflatable penis. We were children when JFK died, I remember, but I remember that I didn’t understand. We watched as colored people became Blacks who fought for their rightful place in American society. While Black musicians provided us with the best music to dance to. Ever.
I will never be a Baby Boomer. I have friends who feel the same way. And I cannot for the life of me, understand how such a cool, intelligent, fighting force of young people, allowed themselves to be called Baby Boomers. Perhaps the time has come for them to revolt against that title. Because as we all know, these were the young people who were excellent at revolution. I see them all the time. Still leading the way. I tip my hat to them. Better yet, I take it off and wave it. They knew how to create excitement and make change. They deserve a more dignified title. They are no longer babies. They never were.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Chimney Fire. Available here: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B00XDCPLEW