Thursday, March 20, 2014

Portrait of a Baby Boomer

Now, obviously not all Baby Boomer grandparents are horrible self-absorbed people with zero interest in their grandchildren. And I can personally attest that it was not unheard of for Greatest Generation grandparents to be similarly disinterested; while I was close to one set of grandparents, I had virtually no contact with the other pair. But as Generation X has children, it is discovering that many Baby Boomers have even less interest in their grandchildren than they did in the "latchkey children" they produced.
The defining moment that convinced me I never want to be a grandmother came a few months ago. We were invited to a friend's 60th birthday lunch in a lovely riverside gastro pub. Six couples who had known each other for decades. And my friend's two grandchildren.

He and his wife had been asked to look after the little darlings for the day, and were certain the lunch guests wouldn't mind. Well, the others may not have done, but I most certainly did - a lot. Instead of chatting and laughing about old times like we usually did, the conversation centred on what the six and eight-year-olds were doing at school, their extra-curricular activities and their hobbies - all encouraged by the gushing grandparents....

Even though I am in my 60s, I can think of nothing worse. And I've told my 25-year-old daughter Alice - who is due to marry in November - that in no uncertain terms.
The Baby Boomers are, on average, all about the attention. They never recovered from being told how important they were. Here is a woman in her seventh decade who is upset because a pair of children are getting more attention that she does. What does this tell you? Don't expect a woman to grow out of her solipsism. A solipsistic woman never matures, she only ages.

54 comments:

JP said...

Yes, because your daughter having children is all about you.

cailcorishev said...

There was a time when people might BE selfish, but at least they wouldn't brag about it.

I know some retired people like this, though, who have no grandchildren or ignore them, and they seem to spend most of their time doing just that: meeting friends for meals at "lovely riverside" eateries. I can see that being enjoyable once in a while, especially if you're catching up with friends you haven't seen in years. But when it's every single day with the same group of people, wouldn't that get old in a hurry? I don't see how that could be fulfilling, spending the last few decades of your life deciding where to have lunch and discussing whether the cheese soup is better than usual today. Aren't older people supposed to grow concerned with the Final Things?

Cranberry said...

Yes, because your daughter having children is all about you.

I don't know what generation the Elder Mrs. Spears falls into, but apparently her daughter's wedding was all about her. My home page always splashes up "news" and Jamie Lynn Spears' mom wore white for the occasion. I always thought it was bad manners to wear white to a wedding, so as not to detract attention from the bride's big day.

This makes me sad. My parents are 60 and have six grandkids and can't get enough of them. I feel sad for people who don't know their grandparents, and even sadder for kids whose grandparents don't want them.

Людмил Иванов said...

Reminds me of my grandparents and I'm from EE. We have a similar generational thing going on - The ones born between 1940-60 are a nightmare.

SarahsDaughter said...

Hey, I know this woman. No wait, my step-monster lives in the US.

swiftfoxmark2 said...

Wow. What a bitch.

Miguel D'Anconia said...

The best part for this selfish bitch is when she needs care in the years ahead. As Khan said in Star Trek - "revenge is a dish best served cold". She and other me me me! boomers will find that as they sowed with their own children, they'll get it in return. I hope she likes eating cat food and sitting in her own poop cause her kids should abandon the skank and let her know why. Just tell her "I'm doing for you just what you did for me when I needed you - nothing".

Personally, I say screw 'em. Nuke social security and let the bastards work till they drop. Pay backs a bitch baby!

Miguel D'Anconia said...

BTW, my parents are boomers and were not at all like the stereo type. My mother loved her grandchildren like crazy up until she passed away. My father has also come around. I know of other boomers though that fit the stereotype perfectly. Pathetic.

b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 said...

Well when she spends the last 3-5 years of her life in a home, and unable to go see those friends, she can fester in her narcissistic hate of her children and grandchildren who can't seem to find the time to visit her. If she is doubly special she will get go into a home hundreds of miles away from any relative to all but ensure the once or twice a year visit.



josephofjackson said...

This is probably why women are cursed with raising children by God. Otherwise, the universe is about them until the day they die.

Amy G said...

I've noticed they can go in the opposite direction, too, where grandchild are more of an accessory. Show them off to friends and co-workers for a day, then dump them back with their parents. Whenever they have to babysit, they make sure to tell everyone at least a week in advance; if it's an emergency, though, they are put out because it interferes with their schedule.

They treat their grandkids like show dogs rather than beloved children.

Marissa said...

This is probably why women are cursed with raising children by God.

It is also our salvation.

DT said...

What an ugly, self-centered bitch. She deserves to die alone - though I suppose I am obliged to pray for her conversion.

CarpeOro said...

I don't understand people like this at all. My first guess is she only had one child. The excerpt mentions a daughter (age 25) and her age being in the 60s. So she was pushing 40 or over posibly when she had her child. My gut says she felt obligated or forced to have her child.

Read the linked article confirmed suspicions. Any one unable to feel the joy and wonder of interacting with a child and seeing the world anew through their eyes has a hole in their soul.

paul a'barge said...

This is more a compelling indictment of Feminist grandmothers than it is grand parents. Why? Well, for openers the actual grand parents are involved, caring and enthusiastic care givers, which the bee-yotch complaining is, well, a Feminist.

Oh, and you know what else? She is BOSSY. How do you like those carrots?

En-sigma said...

Meh, why be concerned about the success of your children/grand children? They are only funding your later years...surely when the time comes they will step up and marry those slu- ...I mean, visit, support, give a rats hiney about you...

One set I sorta knew...my other grandfather did not recognized me at my Uncle's funeral. And when he was given my name, still did not know that I was his Grandson. I was sad for my Mom when he died, but it was not much of an occasion for me. I carried my Dad's father to the grave - but we were never the kind of close that I have seen in southern Grandfathers. My father loved my kids ( never missed a birthday/Christmas present), but really never talked to them. I don't think that generation ever learned the importance of the future.

Matamoros said...

Miguel D'Anconia: The best part for this selfish bitch is when she needs care in the years ahead.

That is why nursing homes have boomed in the past 20-40 years. In the old days of tight families they would have been anathema; as family took care of old people and grandmas helped look after the young. Now, it is just dump the oldsters in a nursing home and let them rot.

JCclimber said...

What really makes this sad is that if she was actually a good friend, she ALSO would delight in the friends' grandchildren. Because children can be great delight (if they're decently behaved).....if you don't take yourself too seriously and aren't an attention hog. Oh, yes, as Vox pointed out, there is the problem.

The children were robbing her of her spotlight. Since she is now old, ugly, and ungracious, this was probably one of her few sources of validation left in her arid soul's landscape. Pity.

Opened Eyes said...

I disagree with most of you. Children are boring and usually worthless. Parents are greedy for others to pay for their kids' schools.

swiftfoxmark2 said...

Children are boring and usually worthless.

Children do not exist for your satisfaction. And as to their value, the government seems to think they are worth thousands considering how much debt they've gone into.

josephofjackson said...

"It is also our salvation."

Yep, he said it was for our benefit.

En-sigma said...

opened eyes....you figure the world can do without children?

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Yes, she sounds like a bitch.

But, while her directive to her daughter is certainly out of line, I think she has a point. She was probably looking forward to a pleasant lunch and civilised (adult) conversation with good friends. Instead, she was forced to endure an exchange that was in all likelihood pretty inane.

I sympathise with her, as my poolside reveries are usually interrupted by the screaming and crying of little kids whose parents simply allow them to run around the place like savages. They have no discipline because the parents have no discipline. But whose fault is that? The Baby Boomers.

However, for her to announce all this in the national press is very bad form. And what kind of woman does not want grandkids?

She comes across as a thoroughly unpleasant person.

Michael Orloff said...

It was caused by increased discretionary income and unprecedented levels of product & service development that catered to these people. Advertising encouraged them to constantly re-evaluate their satisfaction with just about everything. They were, and are, too busy thinking about the new thing they're going to buy, and don't pay enough attention to the simple pleasures in life until it's too late. It's a shame.

Michael Orloff said...

It was caused by increased discretionary income and unprecedented levels of product & service development that catered to these people. Advertising encouraged them to constantly re-evaluate their satisfaction with just about everything. They were, and are, too busy thinking about the new thing they're going to buy, and don't pay enough attention to the simple pleasures in life until it's too late. It's a shame.

cailcorishev said...

It's possible that bratty kids spoiled her nice lunch. Thing is, decent people have a filter that says, "If I say this thing, regardless if it's true, is it going to sound awful and make me look like a jerk?" This would be one of those things where, even if it's true, there's a better way to put it -- or not to say it at all.

And of course, she went much further than that. She said she wants nothing to do with grandchildren ever, even on her own terms, and she even sort of threatened her bride-to-be daughter: if you have kids, don't expect any grandmotherly help or attention from me. She's not saying there are occasions that should be kid-free; she's saying she wants her whole life to be kid-free, even if that means snubbing her own flesh and blood.

Here's what I wonder: most of these people don't have much of a definite concept of the afterlife, right? Many are Christian in some vague sense and have an assumption that if you're not a rapist or murderer you get into heaven; but their faith isn't that strong, and they'd probably tell you they wouldn't be surprised if there's nothing there after death. So shouldn't they be more interested than usual in leaving being a living legacy? I still remember the episode of Little House on the Prairie when Pa is frustrated because he's not leaving any sons behind to carry on the family name, but at least he had a strong faith and daughters to have grandchildren. Don't these people look up at the ceiling at night and wonder what was the point of it all? Does having good lunches with friends really replace all that desire to give meaning to one's life?

CarpeOro said...

One of the worthwhile things I learned in college was this:
A society lives in three different times: the past, the present, and the future. When these are out of balance in the importance they are given the society is under stress that is pulling it apart. War is one example, where the present becomes all important. Another is a society in decline, where past greatness is always referenced because the present is so dismal and the future even more so. Those fixated only on the future... never accomplish anything in the present.
This fixation on the self is present intensive and totally ignores the reality of the future. Children are always the future and dismissing or ignoring them is just about the worst thing you can do. That is allowing for something worse, but I can't think of it.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

I left a comment on the article at the link provided. I wonder if it will show up.

b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 said...

She's not saying there are occasions that should be kid-free; she's saying she wants her whole life to be kid-free, even if that means snubbing her own flesh and blood.

The problem with this line of thinking is that under normal circumstances, the elderly need the young more much more than the middle age or young need the elderly. So if the elderly doesn't put in the time when they are able, they are going to be missing it when they need it.

So shouldn't they be more interested than usual in leaving being a living legacy?

These people think that its irrelevant after they are dead if they ever existed. I always wonder why those people just don't kill themselves because all they are doing is wasting valuable resources that the rest of us could use.

lujo116 said...

She's not saying there are occasions that should be kid-free; she's saying she wants her whole life to be kid-free, even if that means snubbing her own flesh and blood.

The problem with this line of thinking is that under normal circumstances, the elderly need the young more much more than the middle age or young need the elderly. So if the elderly doesn't put in the time when they are able, they are going to be missing it when they need it.

So shouldn't they be more interested than usual in leaving being a living legacy?

These people think that its irrelevant after they are dead if they ever existed. I always wonder why those people just don't kill themselves because all they are doing is wasting valuable resources that the rest of us could use.

slarrow said...

I wrote an essay years ago in which I posited that the besetting sin of the Boomers was self-centeredness while that of the Gen X'ers was self-indulgence. The key difference is that while reality will intrude on self-indulgence (too much candy will indeed make you sick, in one of the more obvious applications), reality can always be bent around one's self-centeredness. This woman is another such example of the massive gravitational pull of self-regard.

cailcorishev said...

These people think that its irrelevant after they are dead if they ever existed.

That's what I don't get. I was probably 12 years old when I saw that Little House episode, and I already understood Charles's desire to leave behind a legacy. Is that just a guy thing? Are Boomer grandfathers this callous, or are they cowed by their wives? So far, the articles like this that I've seen all came from women.

I just can't imagine being satisfied that your funeral will be a bunch of your lunch friends (assuming you're not the one who outlives the others) reminiscing about how you used to cut the crust off your sandwiches.

Res Ipsa said...

Parents are greedy for others to pay for their kids' schools.

My parents had 3 children. All of whom spent Jr and Sr High school in the private school system. This means my parents paid for the public school system and for our tuition.

The three of us have a combined total of 12 children so far. While we are done, I'm not sure my brother and sister are. None of us send our children to public school, even though we pay for it. We all have college funds in place for our kids as well.

In order for American society to remain self sufficient each generation must at least reproduce at the same level as the last on. The parents who do are contributing to civilization. Those who do not are not. Everyone depends on the next generation ponying up to support the one that came before.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Some women simply lack the maternal instinct. And some people don't like babies and little kids [I'm one of them, but wouldn't mind acquiring a few under the right circumstances]. Problems arise when this lifestyle is held out to be the superior choice, especially in the case of young women who instead are encouraged to pursue classroom, career, and carousel (the "three C's").

I wouldn't get too angry with her, though I do think she seems rather disagreeable. It doesn't sound as though she's a miserable misanthrope. She says she has a husband of 33 years [who shares her views], a close relationship with her daughter, and plenty of friends. I just think she's a bit eccentric when it comes to babies and little kids. And who can blame her? People don't really become interesting until age 18 or so.

Black Poison Soul said...

Ages and becomes more set in their ways. It's an interesting older person whose mind is even partially open to new things.

Tommy and Mommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
subject by design said...

It wouldn't have been so wrong-headed if the woman had merely complained that the grandchildren were ill-behaved and that she hoped her own grandchildren would be trained in how to listen, to speak when spoken to, and to be respectful of their elders. Instead, she acts as if the world would be a better place without children. Which would be, of course, a dead end.

rycamor said...

Why is it that England has so little trouble finding women who are eager to plaster their character flaws all over the news? Even when American women do this sort of article, they at least evince some sense of shame. These women have none.

Shimshon said...

That daughter looks a lot older than 25! I wonder how much carousel riding she's done.

Before my first kids (twins) were born, my mother didn't think she'd be too interested in being a grandmother, but with nowhere near the abtuseness this woman displays. It was all over once she laid eyes on them for the first time. She could not get enough of them. Even at only a few weeks old.

vashine said...

Yes, because you're 60 years old and STILL haven't learned how to gracefully changed the topic of the conversation. And so you sit around blaming innocent kids for it. Grow up. Oh wait, that was and is the entire goal of your generation, to NOT grow up.

I. Can't. Stand. Baby Boomers.

Dexter said...

That is why nursing homes have boomed in the past 20-40 years. In the old days of tight families they would have been anathema; as family took care of old people and grandmas helped look after the young. Now, it is just dump the oldsters in a nursing home and let them rot.

When they reach a certain level of decrepitude, it is a LOT to deal with.

Even at the basic level, you really feel like giving your mom a bath and helping her take a poop?

Nowadays when you have people in their late 30s/early 40s dealing with little children as well as the decrepit parents, the problem is compounded. In the old days, of course, the grandchildren would be older and more self-sufficient, if not totally out of the house, by the time the grandparents got decrepit.

vashine said...

Laguna Beach Fogey,

And THAT my friend IS the problem. She is far, far, far too used to nice lunches. She, in her supremely materialistic world (where she likely even chose the very number of children she wanted just so she wouldn't have to sacrifice too much material comfort in the short or long term), is bitching and moaning about one of those lunches not going her way.

She's bitching and moaning about something that is just a fact of life and was for thousands of years, but has not been a fact of her 'modern' (modern=materialistic and self-centered) life. The fact that life is and should be full of people of all ages, wherever you go. In the home, in the classroom, in the church, at your "lunches". Period.

She has not realized, as most Baby Boomers, that age-segregation in the schools and in society only became widely prevalent in the Baby Boomer generation. Like the selfish zombies they are, they have not once actually thought, "holy cow, maybe what I've been through and maybe some of my most basic conceptions of how life should be, are TOTALLY wrong, unnatural, and effed up." This is the first generation to have ever been exposed to six to eight hours a day of full-on "peer pressure" from kids their same age while being forced to sit in chairs and shut up and listen to what the Herr Teacher was shoving into their minds.

Another typical Baby Boomer attribute, which makes her royally suck, is her abject lack of communication. Come on. Woman up. Just talk about something else. It's not that freakin' hard. You can even be direct about it.

Baby Boomers, unless the conversation involves the hard physical sciences or finances, cannot and do not "rock the boat" with their fellow Boomers, nor with anyone for that matter. Their public schooling, Prussian, "peer pressure" education worked wonderfully in that regard. They are the sheeple they were designed to be.

She can't imagine that children actually need her to woman up, change the subject and NOT talk about them in social setting so that they grow up knowing that they are NOT the center of the world and NOT all that important. Instead, in her emotional immaturity, she seeks to banish them, rejecting them and blaming them for her own weaknesses as a woman, a mother, a grandmother, and compassionate human. So she loses out on taking responsibility as a friend, mother, and grandmother in leading the way for her own family. And her daughter and grandchildren lose out on a valuable life lesson that they are not the center of the universe nor the most important topic of the day, nor any day.

No, instead, just reject them entirely, mind body and soul. Physically banish them the whole swaths of your comfortable life. I'm sure that will make them feel great, I'm sure they'll turn into compassionate, patient, emotionally strong and mature individuals because of that. Able to think of the bigger picture, of the long term, of other people's development, maturity and understanding of the world. Nope, her "lunches" and having them her way are just too damn important for all of that.

Scott X said...

I agree with her. Her daughter should not have a child of her own. It's generally not a good idea for Liberals to reproduce and I encourage them to reconsider when (rarely) they bring it up. A child means personal sacrifice on a material and emotional level. Since the Liberal is always the center of her own universe, the child grows up emotionally neglected resulting in a damaged, selfish, amoral,and solipsistic, adult: a liberal.

CarpeOro said...

"Opened Eyes said...

I disagree with most of you. Children are boring and usually worthless. Parents are greedy for others to pay for their kids' schools."

You have really never been to either of Vox's blogs before have you? I'd say the percentage that subject their children to that nightmare is relatively low here. Do a search for "home schooling". Many of us on the contrary would prefer to NOT be burdened by the State to support a system designed to destroy creativity and create simple drones. Just curious what your stand on home schooling or private schools is?

CarpeOro said...

Oh, and those that find children to be boring and worthless are staring far too long and intently in the mirror.

Tank said...

As a boomer, with friends who are grandparents, I don't think I've met one yet who is not enthralled by their grandkids. Several who want to relocate, don't, because of ... grandkids.

I don't think that necessarily means you want to have (especially someone else's) kids there when you're having lunch out with your friends. Of course, that's way short or this lady's position. I think she's an outlier. a grown old Marcotte.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

She is far, far, far too used to nice lunches

A nice lunch is one of the simple pleasures of life.

I see no reason to deny her--or anyone else for that matter--a nice lunch.

vashine said...

Laguna,

My point exactly. A "nice" lunch (and we're really talking a luncheon here, which is different from a normal lunch) has become "one of life's simple pleasures" just as the other few thousand "simple pleasures" of life that Baby Boomers have become accustomed to. And feel it their right to never, ever give up. And if they do, oh aren't they the generous ones!! Remember, they've "worked for it.'

It's called being spoiled as shit and materialistic and selfish. And living without ANY sense of real community. And if you want a 'nice lunch', then discipline your kids well enough or hire babysitters and be an adult and change the conversation topic to adult things. It's not that hard. Don't blame them, physically and emotionally reject them, ban them from your life. The Baby Boomer option? One version or the other of abort, reject, blame the kids, blame the rest of the world, run off and tell your poor innocent daughter that her kids are to never ruin one of YOUR holy luncheons ever,ever,ever,ever.

What a bitch. Not to mention she's actually gloating that she had the gumption to go tell her daughter that. Selfishness slathered in boastful pride, drowned in blindness.

A yes, there ARE reasons, plenty of reasons to deny yourself 'nice' things, things you have deemed 'simple pleasures of life.' Great, there are tons of 'simple pleasures' of life you must deny yourself time and time again to actually live good lives. Or you deny yourself the pleasure because it's not good for others around you. Or 'cause other responsibilities are more important than said 'simple pleasure.' Or 'cause the pleasure means hurting someone else very badly, so you need to set the pleasure aside and take care of the more urgent and important matter.

You evince the exact same mindset that Boomers and Gen Xers walk around with in their heads all day long. And they are walking into civilizational oblivion. And taking the rest with us as they enjoy all of life's simple pleasures. Like CS Lewis said, the demons in hell have more souls to feed on these days, but they aren't feeding on big, fat, juicy and meaty souls any more. The modern Westerner doesn't partake of the grand, massive sins anymore, they pave their way into hell bit by bit, with a myriad of little "simple pleasures" of life, every day. One could list a whole host of things most would now consider a "simple pleasure" that have wrought havoc on the West when multipied by millions and millions over the last 60 years.

So no, no reason at all to deny yourself or anyone anything they might deem simple and/or pleasurable. Enjoy lunch.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Again, I see no reason to deny her--or anyone else for that matter--a nice lunch.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Oh, and another thing. If it pains you to know that I enjoy a nice lunch, please note that I shall prolong the occurrence.

Doom said...

I've seen that a lot! Luckily? My mother? When she can't have the grandkids, she fragging adopts out as the wandering grandmother. She's 70 and has "grandkids" in their 50's, then on down to newborns, and everywhere between. As much as I would love to hate the woman, at times, for being... well... a woman... How can you hate such love? *le sighe* Still... I can be a bit jealous, if I've gotten over even this. Mostly.

Oh? And by being a no-one to everyone, in a way? Her returns are golden. And when she gets bitchy, she is given a lot of room, and even comfort... for all her other... bad deeds. It's amazing just how much comes around that goes around. The woman will never starve or be put out to die. Some... will. In more ways than of flesh.

Marissa said...

Vashine, excellent post(s). This woman is a loser and clearly intends on broadcasting that quality to the world for some reason. Thankfully she only bred once.

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