My Generation: Who Am I?
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
My mission is to make sure that my generation keeps on rocking this planet until its last dying breath.
And, to understand what I'm talking about, it might help if you know “where I’m coming from," so bear with me…this post is a bit rambling, but I guess that's just part of who I am.
My Generation: The Song by The Who
I love the song “My Generation” by The Who, but I never really bought into that, “Hope I die before I get old,” part. If I had written the lyrics, back when the song came out, I would have changed that one line to something more like:
- “Hope I bring peace and justice to the world before I get old.
- “Hope I get to see and do everything worth seeing and doing before I get old.”
- “Hope I marry a rock star or become a famous painter before I get old.”
- “Hope I don’t have to listen to my mother someday before I get old.”
I want you to notice that not one of my alternate lyrics includes anything even remotely like:
- “Hope I become Suzie Homemaker, learn to bake pies, and have three kids and a garden before I get old.”
I Was a Hippie Rebel
As a firstborn female, I was always a bit of a rebel and I didn’t want to do the usual suburban 1950s-60s lifestyle with the station wagon, the 2.3 kids and the dog. No, no, no. Not for me.
When the song, "My Generation," came out, I was about 12 or 13…can’t remember that far back. (I was born in October 1952, started kindergarten at 4-years-old, the song came out November 1965, when I must have been in 8th grade and people nicknamed skinny little tweens, like me, “teenyboppers”…so you do the math and let me know when you figure it out.)
My Mind is Smoggy
Anyway, I do remember that I was living in West Covina, California (a middle-class suburb of LA) when I first heard the song "My Generation". We had recently moved from small-town Seattle to gritty Southern California because my dad had been transferred to the middle of smogville. (LA air quality was much worse back then.)
Well, someday I will figure out the timeline of my life and piece it all together, because my memory is smoggy. Fortunately, I can use music as a crutch...like...if I can remember the songs that were blasting over the airwaves during my youth, I can visualize where I was and what was happening during almost any year...with the help of Wikipedia.
Hey, as far as the term "Baby Boom" is concerned, it was a real concept in my family. My mother had four kids within a five-year timespan. Boom! So, I don’t have any neatly organized scrapbooks with report cards and class photos stuck onto acid-free, archival pages to help me remember my younger days. That kind of thing is the domain of highly organized mothers who only have one or two children, not frazzled mothers (like mine) with a traveling circus of Baby Boomonsters.
I Remember My Life Through Music
To figure out my life story, I have to resort to little memory tricks. Yes, music was so important in my life that I can piece together most of my youth by thinking, “Yep, I was living in Hawaii the year that Disraeli Gears was big, so I must have been living in Kailua during 1968.”
I Did Not Die
Well, I suppose I should wrap this up by coming back to Muh-Muh-Muh-Muh-My Generation.
The Who did not die before they got old. And, if you call 59 “old-ish” (and I do), then I didn’t die before I got old. So, if you are around my age, you didn’t die before you got old, either. But, just because I can admit to myself that I “might be” old, I don’t want to hear you calling me old. And, I don’t want you to think that I’m done trying to change the world for the better.
I Sold Out
Oh, as a side note, I did end up with a Volvo station wagon, 2.0 kids, a house in the suburbs, and a couple of cats (we didn’t have room for a big dog). Yes, I did live the cliché. But, I rebelled in my own way. And, I passed on a bit of my rebelliousness: I taught my kids to question authority.
What Is Our Legacy?
So, if you are a Baby Boomer, I want you to think about “My Generation.” C’mon, even if your back hurts because you just just flew coast to coast with a layover in Chicago, your cholesterol is so high that you were told to stop eating everything, your hearing is eroding from too many Rolling Stones concerts, and you can’t read the words on this page without your granny specs, aren’t you glad you didn’t die before you got old?
I still believe that Baby Boomers will continue to rock the planet. We have a legacy to leave and we have to figure out what that will be. Well, I have to figure it out, but maybe you already have. What is it?
What do you think of this article? What is the legacy that Boomers will leave behind? Give me a comment at the bottom of the page. We never publish your email address. We just need to know you're human.