It’s a Miracle I Survived The Baby Boom

Unlike Eunice, who gets a bit moody around her "39th" birthday every year, I am a proud 54 year-old, non-hatchet-bearing woman.

Unlike most women my age, I’m insane enough…not afraid to admit my real age. In public. To strangers. Why? Because, unlike most women my age, I look better at 54 than I looked at 34. Why?

  1. I gained weight when I was pregnant and never lost that baby weight until my son moved away to college. It took me 9 months to put the pounds on and 19 years to take them off. Mothers need to test food before giving it to their precious offspring, show them how to nourish themselves by eating constantly, and demonstrate cleanliness by licking their plates. (Hint: It’s in all the parenting books. Look it up.)
  2. I was busy working on my career, not my rear. (Hint: Fathers like to get in on this action, too. My husband put on a significant amount of baby weight and still carries it).
  3. The fashion industry, for the first time since the Renaissance, embraced plus-sized garments that weren’t hideous (Hint: Photos of me from those times tell a vastly different story).
  4. My husband lost interest in sex, but we still enjoyed good meals together. “Oh, yes. Give it to me, Baby. Um. Right there. Yes. Oh, yes. I love your mashed potatoes.” (Hint: “Mashed potatoes is not a code word for anything sexual. He made really delicious mashed potatoes.)
  5. I believed that I was “big-boned” and needed big flesh to cover the big bones–something about the survival-of-the-fittest I saw on a PBS program. (Hint: If you see something on PBS, it’s true.)

Seat belts? I don't even need a seat!

But my fleshy years are not the point of this post. I’m a Baby Boomer and I’m still alive. This is something a miracle given the following facts about life when we Baby Boomers were growing up:

  1. Playground equipment was anchored in cement.
  2. If cars had seat belts, they were for strangling your siblings on painfully long trips. Car rides were all about climbing over the seats and sitting anywhere but the seats.
  3. Drunk driving was popular.
  4. Bicycles were one-speed and made from iron. Even the tires. Going up-hill was a chore, but you could gin-up a great head of steam on the down-hills. Bicycles helmets weren’t required. They weren’t even invented. If you were lucky and headed for crash, you knew how to tuck and roll or aim for something with a little give than your bones.
  5. Medical science wasn’t too advanced, but mothers were. It didn’t matter what your ailment was–a headache, a sprained ankle, pneumonia–the remedy was always the same: “Go outside and get some fresh air. It will do you a world of good.”
  6. Children weren’t just sent outside to play unsupervised; we were supposed to play outside unsupervised. Apparently criminals didn’t see the value in kidnapping children back then and parents saw a lot of value in getting their children away from them for some peace and quiet.
  7. I’m pretty sure people knew about germs, but no one really feared them, especially when compared to the A-Bomb. A bar of soup at the sink in a public restroom, used by everyone who cared to use it, always rested in its slimy holder. We flushed our own toilets and turned the knobs on the faucets to rinse. A cloth on a roll that sometimes advanced to a dry area, but sometimes didn’t, was there to wipe as many hands that needed drying. Sometimes a good swipe on your pant legs after wiping and flushing was enough.

You. Boomers. Are. Disgusting. How did you manage to survive?

By 2012 standards, you’d think all of us Baby Boomers would’ve died from head trauma, any number of communicable diseases, or just plain disgustination. But here we are, 105 million of us (34% of the population) according to the best guess of the US Census. I’m not saying all...most…some of us are Mensa material after the near-death experiences most of us likely had in our formative years due to lack of safety precautions, but we’re alive and anxious to use our bounced-up, germ-addled brains in every election (whether were voting or running for office.

This picture is worth about 105 million votes. Scary, huh?

I started thinking about this because I was recently in a public restroom outfitted with hands-free everything. I can see only three reasons for these devises:

  1. Most logical: to protect me from strangers’ cooties. When the toilet, faucets and dryer/paper towel dispenser work properly, the only thing you have to touch when you go to the bathroom is yourself. Well, that didn’t sound right, but you know what I mean. You don’t have to touch anything but the door handles that every germ-ridden hand has slimed before and after you touch yourself. Again, poor choice of words…
  2. Most paranoid: to drive me crazy. These devises, like many people I’ve encountered in my life, treat me like I’m invisible. After I’m finished with my “business,” I do the hula, the cha-cha, and a few moves from my cheerleader days, and still the darned toilet won’t flush. Alternatively, I’ll be in the midst of my “business” and the toilet will decide that I’m done. I startle very easily. These toilets that flush at will, I believe, are cruel.
  3. Most likely: to collect film footage for a new “reality” TV program-remake of “Smile, You’re on Candid Camera: Public Restroom Edition.” Imagine the laughter at the gyrations, frustrations, and antics people display when waving their hands like Houdini under faucets that never turn on or bending over to look inside dryers that never blow. The toilet scenes will be the best–Dancing With the Stalls–a ready-made spin-off hit show.

And still no flush. What's a girl to do?

I’m not advocating we go back to the “old days.” Back then, families had lots of kids. If one or two got lost along the way, there were others to fill in the gaps (by “gaps” I mean “do chores to earn their keep”). Today, parents tend to be very protective of the one or two children their paying a lot for. They have to make sure  at least one will be around to drop them off at a nursing home when the time comes.

I’ve changed with the times, too. I just bought a bicycle and plan to wear a helmet when I walk the thing up-hill; fresh air, in my experience, doesn’t mend a sprained anything. But can somebody tell me the trick, if there is one, to getting those automated bathroom gizmos to notice me?

The throne won't flush! Maybe I need to dress bigger? My style is rather understated...

~ by Lorna's Voice on March 26, 2012.

48 Responses to “It’s a Miracle I Survived The Baby Boom”

  1. So true. Do kids get to play in the dirt any more? 😉

  2. Loran,

    Once again you’ve given me a chuckle, a smile, a downright giggle and finally a belly laugh. I’ve often wondered how my kids survived without all the precautions and paraphenalia that little ones require these days. I swear my nephew are more like pack animals than dads sometimes when I see what they bring in and then lug away when they leave.

  3. Ebay? 😉

  4. I sure did back then. Now I have an immune system in the crap-basket, and that’s with all this hypo-allergenic stuff around. Go figure…

  5. I was going for a Barry White sound-track vibe. You think I hit the mark? 😉

  6. Love to make you laugh, Izzy! 🙂

  7. HHahaaahahaa … now , I see where you get you’re beauty
    and youthful appearance. I’m up for new ways to improve.

  8. Those must’ve been mashed potatoes out of this world. I got a nice little visual picturing that one.

  9. You not only survived the Boom, you flourished! Good for you for having a germ-proof constitution.

  10. I didn’t know there was a ‘Hello Kitty” dress. I wonder where I could get one.

  11. I look way better in my mind than I do in real life. Sing better, too. 😉 I won’t go easily from this wonderful world I’ve created for myself…

  12. It would be a nice start… 😉

  13. Its funny how ones sense of ones looks can change with age. Just by not getting too podgy my physical esteem has improved, but I still avoid mirrors apart from shaving of course. Peace of mind is everything

  14. Maybe if they cut out a crescent moon on the stall door, we would feel more like it was the good old days.

  15. “Dancing With the Flush”–wonderful! 🙂

  16. I always get a great glut and quad workout when visiting the restroom. I never sit on the seat, so I hover just above–you should see the muscles in my legs and my firm fanny!

  17. Yup, until we don’t… 😉

  18. Automatic doors would be an improvement. And you really saw a Candid Camera episode of one of these bathrooms? Too funny! 🙂

  19. Yes, toddlers would be a problem, too. Of course, suspending them over a hole in an outhouse isn’t ideal either… 😉

  20. Thanks! I’ve been meaning to write about these automated bathroom facilities for a while. I feel purged! 🙂

  21. At least I get a mini-work-out while doing my “business!” 🙂

  22. AAAahhh … the good ol’ days. Why is it that progress just doesn’t seem so progressive? Personally, I hardly ever use public facilities. I feel dirty just walking into them. YUP – I hate germs. I’m not obsessive or anything – although, my hubby might disagree – but I have seen how they clean them when you in there and that is not cleaning. It’s moe like where can I spread someone elses urine and poop …. UGGHyyyyyy …..!!!!!
    It’s still made me laugh especially your dancing teh cha – cha …. FUNNY !!!!
    Adios Bailarina …

  23. Wonderful belly laughs to start my day! Worst toilets are the types that flush so intensely they seem to be in splash-back mode. You have a fabulous way with words!

  24. Such funny observations! I really enjoyed this one. I’m 35, but I remember those wet towels that you pulled down to expose the never dry parts – never bothered me then. Toddlers are also invisible to most automated bathroom devices, and scream and jump off mid-stream when it flushes too early. I try to keep a hand over the sensor, and a hand on little guy to not fall in, and a hand on the door that doesn’t lock, and a hand on our coats, and a hand to get him toilet paper – oh wait, I don’t have that many hands? exactly.

  25. Yep, we’re here, us baby-boomers, done with our chores and ready to sway elections. That photo of the voting booth was awesome.

    My daughter who travels a lot, is paranoid of public restrooms. She called me the other day from Boston, excited as could be. She was actually in a public restroom and the toilet seat cover, the paper sanitary kind, automatically rolled itself over the toilet seat. She was ecstatic. I think the door to the stall opened automatically too.

    But I suffer from the same problem with the faucets that you mention. I did see it on a “Candid Camera” episode in fact, where the guy puts his hands under the spigot, and the one next to him runs water. It was hilarious. I’m standing there moving my hands back and forth and back and forth and not a drip. I’ll move to the next one. Nothing. I finally wipe my hands on my pant leg.

  26. So cute and so very true. We will survive!!! Love ya 🙂

  27. I love the way boomers are fighting back. A friend’s son was trying oh, so subtly to find out how old I am. “I said, “Listen, kid [he’s forty], I earned every one of these wrinkles. I wear them proudly.” And anyway, it’s much better to add on a few years and listen to everyone coo about how great you look, than shave off a few and listen to the appalled silence. Another friend says she sets the flush off early whenever she bends over too far. So, upright and locked position, ladies!

  28. I love all the fighting back that boomers are doing these days. My friend’s son was trying to avoid asking how old I was, like it was a big secret. I said, “Listen, kid [he’s forty], I earned every one of these wrinkles. I wear them proudly.” And anyway, it’s much better to add a few years to your age and listen to everyone coo about how wonderful you look, than try to shave a few off and listen to the appalled silence. Another friend says when the flush goes off too soon, it’s because she leaned too far forward and faked the thing out. So, I guess we need to learn how to get up without leaning forward. It brings up an even more interesting picture than the Dancing With the Flush.

  29. Hiya, Pam! Good to hear from you. I saw you posted something. I’ll get to it as soon as possible. I’m not posting as frequently, either–turning my attentions actually writing my book and other fun stuff like quilting. But I miss blogging too much if I don’t dabble in it regularly. You folks are just too much a part of my life now!

  30. Thanks so much. I had fun with this one. It’s been brewing for a while (when I should be writing my 3rd chapter of my book…) 😉

  31. Yes, I remember outhouses. Hold your nose, do your “business” and exit. Simple. 🙂

  32. At least you have control over the almighty flush. Going into one of the restrooms is full of suspense–the kind I’d rather avoid. 🙂

  33. Happy to bring a giggle to your day… 🙂

  34. Hysterical – it always freaks me out that your public toilets flush on their own (we don’t have that much here). This was a great post, had me laughing out loud and now I have an image of you doing the hula. Thanks for the chuckle today!

  35. Great post Lorna … had me chortling and chuckling, we don’t have auto-flush in Oz as yet, something to look forward to huh? I’ve got rhythm tho, so maybe I get that flush working seamlessly? Presently we have two flush buttons on our toilets – one is a light flush and the other is a max flush, go figure, this is – after all is said and done – the wonnerful land of Oz, cheers catchul8r molly

  36. Hilarious post.

    My office building just installed those self-flushers. To me, they seem to be simply germ sprayers, as water and, ummm, other things end up on the seat, the wall, your clothing and the folks ON THE OTHER SIDE of the damn door that used to open easily but traps me in with the poop.

    I want an outhouse.

  37. Right on, girl. No seat belts, no helmets, no antibacterial anything…we’re all still here in Generation X, too. I’m not worried about anyone my age or older; we’re survivors. I worry about the over-medicated, over-sterilized, overprotected generation that came after mine…

    BTW, this post was HILARIOUS!

  38. Me thinks, Phil with 2 L’s, that your life is jam-packed enough without having a dizzy blonde to keep track of (and believe me, you never know what the heck I’m going to be up–mostly because I don’t know). 😉

  39. Great post, Lorna! How are you? So sorry I’ve been MIA!!! But I’m back. 🙂 This post really hits home for me. I’ve seen so many things change over the past 20 years…. sometimes it’s hard to keep up with! With that said, as I get older, I too continue to get more comfortable in my own skin as I get older. I guess that’s the “one” benefit of getting older! LOL Xoxo Pam

  40. Oh yes–and right from the spigot, too (to save myself from having to hook up the hose)…Those were the days! 🙂

  41. So you know what I mean!

  42. The auto-flush on our ferries are horribly loud and powerful. When they come on at their own will, I swear I’ll be swept out to sea!

  43. Hey now! What’s this about losing my marbles? And there’s two L’s in my name…

    Oh wait! You meant YOUR Phil! er… well then, never mind.

  44. I actually like my birthday and celebrating my age – been celebrating my 30th birthday for 24 years now. Yes ma’am, I’ve got lots of experience at being 30.

    Nice stroll down memory lane. Did you ever drink water from the garden hose, just to save yourself a trip back into the house?

  45. Thanks for the feedback. If I’ve brightened at least one person’s day, then I feel like I’ve had a day worth celebrating. Bring on the party pants! 🙂

  46. Alas, I am promised to another, U. You will, I can assure you, be next in line should my Philip ever lose his marbles and ditch me. 😉

  47. Lorna, you are priceless. Will you marry me? Not that I can keep you in soap; but that’s a small price to pay for true love.


  48. As usual, I just loved everything..and laughed constantly..Thank you!

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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