A Schticky Business

I admit I know next to nothing about current popular music.  When it comes to recognizing artists and songs, I dropped out somewhere in the 80s.  In fact, I have a recurrent nightmare that I’m a contestant on Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions, and way ahead of my two challengers.  Then comes the final Jeopardy category:  Today’s Top 50 One-Name Artists.  Luckily, I awaken just as I’m about to write Liberace.

Although I have no clue about what is broadcasting through the ear buds of some 16-year-old, I haven’t failed to notice a general escalation in weirdness.  It appears that it’s no longer enough to have talent.  In fact, talent may not necessarily be required if you have a really good schtick.

(For those uninitiated in Yiddishisms, schtick is a German\Yiddish word that literally means “piece,” but in common usage refers to a gimmick or someone’s signature behavior.)

I’m desperately fighting the urge to say “in my day…..” for all of the obvious reasons, but I can’t help but think of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and all of the other greats who just got up there and sang!  But to be fair, we had our share of performers like the above-named Liberace, and Elvis, who were famous as much for candelabras, gaudy outfits, and sequins, as their talent.

The modern music business seems to be a breeding ground for schtick.  I have only to think of some of the most popular divas over the recent years, like Cher, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper, whose constant reinventions made you believe that every day could be Halloween.  And Michael Jackson? Great performer, but also no shortage of gimmickry, white gloves and all.

Which brings me to today, to the one I had regarded as the current Reigning Queen of Schtick, the highly gifted musician and singer, Lady Gaga.   That is, until a week ago, when I happened to watch Saturday Night Live.

I’ve been a fan of SNL since its inception in 1975, when staying awake past 11:30 on a Saturday night, or any other night, for that matter, was not the insurmountable challenge it is today.   Currently, I might make it for five minutes of the opening skit, then it’s lights out.  But I digress.

For some unknown reason, on this particular Saturday night, I was wide awake.  Okay, so maybe I was a little bit curious to watch Donald Trump, who was hosting, deliberately try to be funny.  Or maybe it was the sausage pizza I had for dinner.    I’m not sure.  But one or the other was a sufficient stimulant.

2E39DF7200000578-3308945-image-m-50_1446966796265I was doing great.  I rode along with the show right up to the musical guest segment , and heard Trump announce:  Ladies and Gentlemen:  Sia!

What followed was the appearance of an apparition on the stage, which, judging from the shape of the body, I guessed was a woman.  I say “guessed” because I never saw her face.  She was wearing a white, long, straight-haired wig with bangs that hung down past her nose.  Where the bangs stopped two cartoon-like Betty Boop eyes were painted on either side of where I figured her nose was located.  This of course assumes that her face was actually constructed in a manner consistent with human anatomy.  (Above photo shows similar outfit in blue.)

(In light of her mysterious identity, I found it odd that she chooses to call herself “Sia.”  Is this her given name, or merely part of the schtick.  Hey, one wants to call out, I can’t see ya!  Haha!)

Oh, and let me not forget the giant black bow that sat on top of the wig, which, for some reason, conjured up images of Minnie Mouse.   A short coat dress and very tall boots completed the outfit.

I have to admit I was both mesmerized and highly befuddled.  Why would someone choose to look like she was just deposited on earth from a space ship? Was she a practitioner of some exotic religion that had not yet become mainstream?   An escapee from Disney World?  Or merely on her way to Comic Con?

I believe she had a nice voice, but I couldn’t really tell.  She had a tendency to mumble in a Dylan-like fashion, but I could occasionally make out I’m alive; I’m still breathing, which was a giant relief since her bangs were covering her nose.

She was accompanied during her performance by another woman in a similar wig, but whose face was exposed.  This poor woman appeared to be suffering, a conclusion I drew from watching her writhing, jerky movements, and the amount of time she spent on the floor.  I thought someone should have immediately called 911.   But in retrospect, I believe she was dancing.

I was intrigued.  I forgot all about Donald, and did some checking into Sia.  Where have I been?  It seems that Sia (aka Sia Kate Isobelle Furler) is a currently very popular and prolific singer-songwriter hailing from Australia.  She hides her face, she says, because she doesn’t want to be recognized.  She doesn’t want to be famous.  So she sang at the Grammy Awards, standing in a corner, body turned to the wall.

Sia —  your persona as your “anti-fame manifesto?” Really?

If you’re so fame-phobic, why do you choose to perform before thousands of people?  You can just keep writing songs for others to perform, while you yourself sing only in the shower, or along with your car radio, with the windows closed, like the rest of us.

But, hey, what do I know? After all, here I am writing about you.  And I highly doubt you’re composing a song about me.  So I guess schtick pays, and pays well.

And like Liberace, Sia is no doubt “laughing all the way to the bank.” That is, if she removes her wig long enough to find her way.

Posted in Entertainment | 1 Comment

Transition Time

Greetings from Florida.   I’m pleased to report that once again we have arrived safely.  And once again I find myself surrounded by all of the suitcases and boxes of clothing that now require unpacking and stacking back into the closets and drawers.  Each year as we make this transition I vow I will do better, be smarter, bring less, buy less.  But all my promises seem to go the way of New Year’s resolutions.  If I needed any further proof that I’m a complete failure at minimalism, here’s an essay that I posted two years ago, on this very topic.  Sadly, nothing has changed.

Out of the Closet

Twice a year I am forced to confront a terrible truth.  The catalyst for the reckoning happens to be bi-latitudinal (if there is such a word!) living.  I migrate, like the birds, south in the winter and north in the summer.  Unlike the birds, who seem to have mastered the art of traveling light, I transport boxes and suitcases full of spring-and-summer weight clothing from one location to the other.  The foreplay to the actual packing involves opening the door to the closet, staring at the contents in horror, and saying to myself, “how did I get so much stuff?”

It is at that instant when I must face up to the fact that I am a recreational shopper!  (What woman does not have her own moment of reckoning?) Not quite as bad as being a shopaholic, but almost.  And…it’s a slippery slope.

After all, how many adorable tops or pairs of pants or smart shoes does one person actually need?  Did I say “need?”  To a recreational shopper, “need” is a four-letter word.  As those of us who fall into this category readily recognize, “need” has absolutely nothing to do with it.

There was a time when I was concerned that my enjoyment of shopping was some kind of neurotic pleasure-seeking; compensation for low self-esteem or a substitute for never having been breast-fed.  So I discussed the matter with my therapist.  She listened raptly, sitting forward in her chair, as therapists do, staring directly into my eyes, while I was staring at her gorgeous Armani suit.   Thankfully, her response to my dilemma was very reassuring.  “For you,” she said, “shopping is not a neurosis, but a creative outlet.”  A creative outlet – wow!  How could I possibly consider stifling this instinct!  As much as I was overwhelmed with gratitude, I couldn’t help but reflect that in all the months I had been seeing her, she had never worn the same outfit twice.  I wondered if she, too, was “one of us.”

Creative outlet or not, there is only so much room in one’s closet and one day it was clear that I had reached the tipping point.  I must issue a restraining order on further purchases and undertake a closet purge.  A friend of mine, who was also shares my artistic burden, suggested that I use her wardrobe consultant who would come to my house and help me rid myself of the excess.  How appropriate, I thought.  Since I frequently felt that I was possessed by some kind of fashion devil, what better than a closet exorcist!

So she came and performed her priestly magic. Eight large black shopping bags (destined for Good Will) later, my closet was cleansed.  I felt cleansed, like I could now exist among the righteous.  I stared at empty hangers and a blouse that I hadn’t seen in two years.  This was how I would live from now on.  This was the new minimalist me!

My resolution lasted about three months.  Not bad.  This was two months, three weeks, and four days longer than any New Year’s resolution I had ever made.  Then the creative impulse began seeping back in.  Slowly at first, but soon regaining its old intensity.  But I was on guard.

I began inventing a set of rules.  Buy something new; get rid of something old.  Maintain the balance and the empty hangers.  This worked for a while, at least until the major sale at Bloomingdales.

I wonder, am I fighting nature?  Is the shopping gene part of female DNA?   I don’t think that most men feel the same kind of rush as women do when entering the parking lot of an outlet mall.  But then, again, I’m not inclined to let out blood-curdling shouts of excitement watching twenty-two men in helmets and shoulder pads come rushing at each other, squabbling over an elliptically shaped leather ball on a cold winter’s day.

So the war of the overstuffed closet continues to wage, though periodically I do win a battle.  I am still overwhelmed by the quantity of stuff that gets packed and shipped to and fro.  But I am reaching a new level of acceptance of my tendency towards recreational shopping.  Hey, my bills get paid at the end of the month and I never buy what I can’t afford.  And I can always purchase an extra box for packing.  Also, I think I have found a solution to the tenement-like conditions in which my garments sometimes reside.  My husband doesn’t really need all those suits and jackets, does he?

Posted in Fashion, Shopping, Snowbird | 2 Comments

The Art of the Tweet

I don’t mean to sound presidential, but I do want to be perfectly clear.   I know for a fact that I could have happily lived out the rest of my days without ever having participated in Social Media.

Social Media.  I find the very name a paradox.  Can you imagine anything more antisocial than a system that causes one’s complete attention to be focused on a device screen, to the exclusion of everything and everyone around you?  Hey, watch out for that manhole!

But one must do what one must do, and when I initiated this blog almost 4 years ago, it was recommended that I create a Facebook page to reach a larger audience.  There were hundreds, even thousands, of people out there waiting to “friend” me, hungry for every word I was writing.  I have to admit it has worked, (well, maybe not thousands) and that my heart does beat a little faster when I see another “thumbs up” icon on my site.

But unless you count the fact that I spread happy birthday wishes all over the internet in response so those helpful reminders, posting my essays has been the extent of my social media involvement.  Thus far.

Because now that I have a book, in addition to the blog, perhaps further growth was in order.  So I hired a Growth Professional, who, like my hair stylist, decided it was time for a new look.  The old one was fine, but was a little dated.  Sort of like me.  The situation bore a resemblance to cosmetic surgery, in that neither service was covered by insurance.

HashOf course I wanted to be what was trending.  Who wouldn’t? So when the GP threw out such  seductive terms as “repurposing,”  “branding,” “launching,” I orgasmicly  said “Yes, Yes, Yes!”    But why in heaven’s name do I need an account on Twitter?

Despite receiving no satisfactory response to that last question, I nevertheless found myself logged on to You Tube watching a series of videos which might as well have been labeled “Twitter for Dummies.”

One of the first things I learned is that on Twitter, you do not have “friends.”  You have “followers.”  Having followers certainly does give one a sense of importance.  Look what it did for Jesus.

I also learned that in order to be identified when I tweet, I must have a “handle,” a user name preceded by the @ sign.  And my topic, or what it is I’m tweeting about, must be preceded by #, the icon formerly known as Prince.  I mean, number sign or pound sign, now referred to as a hash tag.

Okay, so I have the basics, and I’m ready to begin.  Now I’ve only to figure out what it is that I want to share with my followers.  What messages do I want to give to the world at large? What essential observation, brilliance, cleverness, wisdom, wit, information, and\or significance can I impart in 140 characters or less?  Frankly, I have no idea.

So please indulge me while I run through some practice tweets.

@SusanSays  #DemDebate   Liked Hillary’s outfit.  Does anyone know if she had buccal implants?

@SusanSays   New poopie bags are inferior and have a tendency to tear.  #Dog Park.  Be sure to bring hand wipes.

@SusanSays   #Hash Tag   This symbol would much prefer to be referred to by its other little-known but far more dignified name of “octothorpe.”  The name stems from cartography and means eight villages surrounding a field.  This character is also used

@SusanSays   Check out the new Paul Newman postage stamp.  #Celebrity Postage Stamps.  Bet you’ll wish it wasn’t self-stick!

Hey, that wasn’t so bad.  And I only ran out of characters on one occasion.  Sorry about that.  I hope my tweets were helpful, informative, educational and thought provoking.  And I just loved sharing.

I don’t want to rush into anything, but as soon as I gain some more confidence, I believe I will consider expanding my social media presence.  Instagram or Pinterest?

Or perhaps sites like Tumblr and Flickr, and all the rest of Santa’s reindeer.  Can’t wait to go viral!

Posted in Communication, Technical Support, Technology | Leave a comment

My Dinner with Donald

When I started my website almost four years ago, I made a silent vow that there were three areas about which I would never write:  family (husband being the exception), religion, and politics. And 86 essays later, I’ve managed to stay faithful to my promise.   That is, until now.

Unfortunately, there are some temptations that are just too difficult to resist.  Which is why I never keep Graeter’s ice cream or bags of chips in the house.  But now I find myself in the embarrassing position of having succumbed, not to a calorie-laden, albeit, delicious food, but to the wicked and senseless need to write about Donald Trump.

For when something looms larger than life, much like the inflated giant  balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the allure simply cannot be ignored.

I do not personally know Donald Trump, and probably will never have the opportunity (if one could call it that) to meet him.   Nevertheless, his performance on his newest TV show, “Look Who’s Running for President,” has made it impossible even for the Trump disenfranchised like myself, not to be curious about the derivation of his boundless hubris, as well as  the secret identity of his hair stylist.

Even after two Republican debates, and even more insufferable media interviews, the essence of The Donald remains elusive to me.  I have some important questions of my own that have not been addressed on national TV, questions of a more personal nature that might only be answered in a one-on-one interview.

The fact that this interview will never occur in real life has not stopped me from fantasizing about he and I chatting across a dinner table.

At his suggestion, the meal takes place at Maison Trump, atop the Trump Tower.  He  escorts me through the Trump Lobby, past the Trump newsstand, and onto the Trump elevator.   We arrive on the 42nd floor, and are shown to our table by the maitre d’ wearing a Trump tie.

The room is glass-enclosed and Donald makes sure I have the seat with the best view of the city.  It is a beautiful, clear evening, and I can  see stars in the sky.  Am I hallucinating, or have they actually lined up to spell “Trump?”

Needless to say, the table is elegantly set, with large T’s engraved on the service plates, and the Trump monogram strategically sewn on the linen napkin so that his name could not help but meet your lips as you dabbed the cloth to your mouth.

As for the rest of the decor, the walls which were not made of glass, are decorated with, you guessed it, Trump-l’oeil.

We order, and as we wait for our appetizers, I begin my interview.

First of all, Mr. Trump, I would like to have more information about the mirror you look into when you shave each morning.  I am asking because I too would like to own one.   It must be so comforting  to have an image reflected back at you that eliminates all imperfections.   The pouches under one’s eyes, the jowls, the waddle under one’s chins, and the slightly orange tinge of one’s skin simply disappear.  It is no wonder then, that when all one sees is one’s own beauty, one has a perfect right to criticize the appearance of others, particularly others of the opposite sex.  So, please, where did you purchase that mirror?  Never mind.  I probably couldn’t afford it anyway.

Trump-KissingAnd speaking of appearances, Mr. Trump,  I think you were unfairly characterized by Bill Maher as resembling an orange-haired orangutan.  I don’t think you look like an orangutan at all, but rather like some rare albino lizard.  Except when you pout and purse your lips, guppy-fashion.   Please don’t be upset.  You’re in good company.  Our Senate Majority Leader has been likened to a turtle.  So tell me, Mr.  Trump, any chance that you and Mitch McConnell might have been separated at birth?

My third question, Mr. Trump, is why do put your name, in very large letters, on everything you own? I used to do that for my children when they went to camp, so that nobody would take their things.  Is that it , Mr. Trump? Are you afraid someone will steal your socks, or your buildings? Or perhaps it’s more serious than that.  Perhaps you are a secret dyslexic and fear you will one day forget how to spell your surname.  Or worse, that you have the beginnings of a memory disorder, and slapping your name on everything serves to orient you, like giant Post-It notes.  You are not alone, Mr. Trump.  And there is help out there.  One more thing, as long as we’re on the subject.  If you do get elected, and build the Great Wall of Mexico, can we look forward to seeing your name on top of that structure, as well?

I know I’ve taken up a lot of your time, Mr. Trump.  But I do have a final question.  How did you react to the Pope’s visit to the United States? I know you don’t agree with some of his positions, like global warming, and immigration, but these are relatively minor matters.  I’m referring to a much bigger issue here, a matter of ego, if you will.  For an entire week, it was an elderly Spanish-speaking foreigner in a long white robe, riding in a small black car, and filling Madison Square Garden, and not you, who was capturing the headlines.

And so ends my Dinner with Donald.   He thanks me for my interest and concern, and leads me back to the Trump elevator, at which point he turns to me, and in his characteristic fashion,  tells me that I’m fired.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Romancing The Crone

For those of you who have imagined me lounging by the pool for the month of August, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, I’ve been lounging on my screen porch, which is nowhere near the pool, and doesn’t dictate that I wear a bathing suit.  But I have not been idle.

As a matter of fact, I’ve been very busy pondering life, and how I might best find purpose for all those estrogen-free years that lay ahead.

You see — I was a post-menopausal seeker, looking for role models for the third act of life.   I refused to accept that gray hair, a few wrinkles, and five extra pounds of tummy fat somehow reduced my societal net worth.  (Although I do admit that it does give one pause!)

Although I have reached a point in life when my age exceeds the speed limit, I am not ready to step aside.  Surely I still had something to contribute.

I had heard of cultures which revered older women.  And it was in this enlightened realm that I discovered the Triple Goddess — the representation of the three stages of a woman’s life.

triple-goddessThe Triple Goddess!  Where had she been all my life?  I had blithely experienced Stage One, The Maiden,  and Stage Two, The Mother, with a total lack of awareness of my inherent value.  No way was I going to blow Stage Three!

The more I learned, the less I feared being discarded because I was an “older woman.”  True, there were certain things I could no longer do, like become a Victoria’s Secret model.  Not unless they added about six more inches of fabric to their panties, and two more cup sizes to their bra inventory.

But neither would I agree to be ignored or overlooked by a youth-worshipping society.  I had discovered a place of honor.  I would  embrace Stage Three of the Goddess cycle, and live out my remaining years as a Crone.

A Crone!  I heard you gasp.  But let me reassure you.  Not the crone (notice the small “c”) as represented by the witch in Hansel and Gretel, but the beautiful and benevolent Crone who appears as Cinderella’s fairy godmother.  The problem-solver who turns mice into horses and pumpkins into coaches.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating.  I really don’t intend to mess around with plants and animals. But I will strive to become the authentic Crone — the honored third aspect of the Triple Goddess.

According to legend, the Crone is a symbol of self-value, and respect.  She is venerated for her experience, judgment, and wisdom — and clearly,  someone to turn to when you don’t know the answer to Final Jeopardy. 

To quote from one description of the Crone Goddess,  she is ” the wisdom keeper, seer, healer, and midwife, whose knowledge is sought out to guide others during life’s hardships and transitions.”  Cool.  Although I think I can do without the midwife part.

I hope it’s not too late for me.  With all this guiding and healing to accomplish, I probably should have started “Croning” years ago.  But I’m a hard worker, and have confidence that I can catch up.

I do have one question, though.  Must I look the part? Does deciding to become a Crone require a new outfit? I’m sure Crones no longer wear gowns and tiaras,  or carry magic wands.  But must I let my hair grow, and purchase flowing robes?

Or will people take me just as seriously if I choose Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and a tee shirt?

No matter.  The important thing is to make up for lost time and immediately get to work on developing my wise woman energy.

I’m really looking forward to engaging in my new role.  Since I’m a novice, I will begin in the safe bosom of my very own family, and maybe work my way out to a few close friends.  I’ll have to let them know that I’m available for advice dispensing.

Do I wait for them to come to me, or do I take the first step?  Should I tell my son that he should shave his beard immediately because it makes him look like a red-headed Smith Brother? Or tell my husband that the color of his favorite sports jacket gives him the appearance of someone with the flu?

I don’t think so.  Because a truly wise woman knows when to shut up.

Posted in Aging, Fantasy | 2 Comments


It’s not your imagination.  There are more TV commercials intruding on your favorite programs than ever before.  Or should I say, the actual programs appear to be filling in the time between  clusters of annoying commercials.

These days, even Charlie Rose can’t seem to get a word in edgewise.  No wonder he has so many different broadcasts on a variety of channels, rivaled only by Law & Order reruns.  Poor man.   It’s the only way he can get to complete a sentence.

Despite the number of avoidance devices that are at my disposal, such as the DVR and the mute button, and  lower-tech strategies like flushing the toilet, or letting the dog out, I occasionally get lazy and merely sit and stare at the screen.  This causes a sudden onset of extreme irritability, especially aimed at the proliferation of  advertisements for prescription drugs.  America – are we that unwell?

shutterstock_145467145In addition to the fact that the possible side effects of these drugs sound worse than the medical conditions they claim to serve, I’m also struck by their names.  It’s as if someone selected a rack  of high-point Scrabble tiles, and was forced to turn them into words.

So will you know what to discuss with your doctor when your bladder’s acting up? To find out, take the test below.


  1. A chewy, colorful little candy that gets stuck in your tooth
  2. A religious holiday
  3. 50th anniversary celebration
  4. Dial 911

Prevnar 13

  1. Successor to the throne of Prevnar 12
  2. A bar mitzvah announcement
  3. Friend of Artoo Detoo
  4. Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning


  1. National anthem of Tezla
  2. New non-stick frying pan
  3. A Mayan ruin
  4. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up


  1. The machine that cleans the ice in a hockey rink
  2. The brother-in-law of the man who invented the wireless
  3. A type of pasta
  4. I’m coming down with something


  1. Archenemy of Superman
  2. A sneaky wager at the track
  3. A USSR space capsule
  4. Get undressed and put on this gown


  1. Son of Xorro
  2. Former ruler of Russia
  3. Not a soprano
  4. Say aah!


  1. A former football player
  2. A remedy for chest congestion
  3. Old fashioned record player
  4. You have six months to live


  1. Opposite of Offexton
  2. Gasoline formerly known as Esso
  3. A very fat Onex
  4. Does my insurance cover this?


  1.  A ’70s rock group
  2. A Xel that belongs to Jan
  3. Znajlex spelled backwards
  4. It only hurts when I do this

I will stop here, in case I lost you at Victoza.  But no list would be complete without at least a mention of Restasis, Humira, Enbrel, Linzess and Orencia.  No, this last one is not a city in Spain, nor a fizzy orange-colored drink!

So how was your Rx IQ?  If you have any interest left at all, the real answers are below:

Jublia: toenail fungus; Prevnar 13: pneumonia vaccine; Otezla and Enbrel: plaque psoriasis; Harvoni: hepatitis C; Myrbetriq: overactive bladder; Xarelto: afibrillation; Victoza: type 2 diabetes; Onexton: acne; Humira: arthritis; Linzess: IBS; Xeljanz and Orencia: rheumatoid arthritis; Restasis: dry eyes.

NOTICE:  1000 Things To Say…..will be taking off the month of August.  So, as the song says, See You In September.   Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Posted in Doctors, Medicine | 7 Comments

Generation ___________?

It occurred to me the other day that I was invisible.  Not just me, but my entire generation.  It appears that we lack importance.  I’m basing this rather sad conclusion on the fact that we have been entirely overlooked by the folks who bestow catchy cohort labels.

Let’s get specific.  At the risk of revealing my true age, which most of you already know, I’m referring to those of us born before 1946 and after 1926.  Admittedly, I have steel wool in my brain when it comes to math, but according to my calculations, we number almost 28 million (2010 U.S. census), and yet we go about our daily lives without a cultural tag.  And personally, I’m feeling a bit resentful.  What kind of legacy is this to leave to our children and grandchildren, otherwise known as the Xs and the Ys, and possibly the Zs?

Born too late to be World War II heroes, and too early to be a part of the post-war birth explosion, we have wound up sandwiched awkwardly between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers.  An entire generation without a context!

No doubt a result of having too much time on my hands, I decided to delve into this matter a bit further.  Perhaps understanding the genesis of other generational labels would allow me to suggest something clever and catchy for my own.  Something that would acknowledge the faceless 28 million.  Something that might fit neatly as a crossword puzzle response or a question on Jeopardy.

Well, thanks to Tom Brokaw, who, himself, happens to be one of the faceless, those born between 1901 and 1926 were widely lauded as the Greatest Generation.  I don’t disagree.  They survived the Depression and fought the second world war.  They deserve the recognition, but come on, Tom, whatever happened to taking care of your own?

And the hype about the Baby Boomers? Aren’t you just sick of it?  Those born between 1946 and 1964 think they’re so special.  And who can blame them with all the attention they’ve always gotten from the media and the marketers.  So big deal.  You’ve earned a lot of money and went to Woodstock. But you have no exclusive claim to rock ‘n roll, civil rights, or feminism.  Some of us latter-born question marks  were right there with you.

Generation-naming just kept moving forward, leaving us further in the dust.  Soon there was Gen X, a term with literary roots co-opted once again by Madison Avenue.  Covering roughly the years 1966 to the early 80’s, the X originally meant that the fate of this generation was unknown.   Gen Y was so-called because it was the next letter of the alphabet.  These folks are also known as the Millennials because the majority come of age after the turn of the century.  There are actually more of them than there are Boomers.

But I’m getting a little sick of  the attention they’re getting, as well, with all the tweeting and Instagramming, and the me-me-me attitude.  But what else can you expect from a generation that wins ribbons just for showing up?  All of that self-centeredness, however, does not make them ineligible for an unique identity, even if the word “millennial” does evoke visions of a multi-legged insect.

And have you heard about Gen Z, also known as iGen?  Born after 2001, and most barely old enough for a bar mitzvah, they already have the attention of the cultural pulse-takers, while their grandparents and great-grandparents slip further into obscurity.

All of which brings us to today, when I’m sure somewhere someone is working hard at predicting the zeitgeist of a generation yet to be born, and trying to figure out a catchy name.

So back to the predicament of the invisible 28 million.  Surely there were significant events during our decades that would lend themselves to an overriding identity. For example,  I’ve heard us referred to as the “Depression Babies” or the “War Babies,” but those are such downers.  Certainly we can do better.

shutterstock_112636382We are the generation that saw the end of prohibition, the New Deal, Social Security, Superman, and sliced white bread.  (Forget the last one.  I think I’d rather be known as a “War Baby.”)

The truth be told, I actually discovered that my generation did, in fact, have a name.  If you are not a sociologist, I challenge you to tell me what it is.  I don’t recall ever seeing it used in any type of popular media in my lifetime.  If you were born between 1926 and 1945, welcome to the “Silent Generation.”

The “Silent Generation.”  How does that sit with you? Called thus because we didn’t make waves, worked hard, and stuck by good old fashioned values.  All positive traits, I suppose, but so boring!

So as the Silent Generation, it seems fitting that we have gone unnoticed.  And now that the truth has been revealed, however disappointing, perhaps it’s time to move on to more important  causes, such as discovering the true nature of Atticus Finch.

After all, “What’s in a name?” asked Juliet, from her balcony in Verona.  But at our age, should we really be debating existential questions with an iGen?

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