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Are Boomers Still Cool? Or Are The Millennials Absolutely Right About Us?

I’ve seen a couple of lists on the internet claiming to show what Baby Boomers think is cool. These lists are written by younger people — Millennials or Gen Xers or Gen Zers or whomever — and so of course the clear message is that whatever a Baby Boomer thinks is cool has got to be the most uncool thing in the world.

Some of the items on these lists are set-ups. Mom jeans, for example. Has anyone ever thought that mom jeans are cool?

What Do Boomers Think Is Cool?

The Items Up For Debate

Sending emails. Supposedly, Baby Boomers think sending emails is cool, while Millennials wouldn’t get caught dead using email. They text. Or use Instagram, Snapchat or something else that requires only a few words. I don’t know if Baby Boomers really think emails are cool. But they are useful. So the only thing I can conclude is that Millennials don’t have much to say.

Landlines. Okay, a few of the coolest people I know have given up their landlines. But most of us have kept them. If landlines are not cool, then a telephone book is even less cool. But the other day we got a letter in the mail addressed to an unfamiliar name at our address. If we had a telephone book we could have looked up the person’s address and if she was local, just dropped off the letter on her doorstep. But now, no phone book, no way to find her address. All we could do was hand it back to the post office to return to sender. 

Cruises. We’ve never taken a cruise, although it seems that most of our friends have been on at least one, and we have a few friends who take two or three a year. So, yes, they’re right. Baby Boomers do think cruises are cool. 

Paper bills. Uh, guilty. I pay my bills electronically, but I like to get paper bills in the mail. I find them easier to keep track of that way. Otherwise, you get some bills by regular mail, some by email, some by text … you never know where the heck the bills coming from and invariably one gets lost and doesn’t get paid on time — and we get stuck with a late fee!

Retirement funds. Baby Boomers are big on IRAs and 401k plans. Apparently, Millennials not so much. But I got news for Millennials, Gen Xers and all other young people, wherever they are — they’d better get with the program. Otherwise, when they get to our age, they’ll still be eating ramen noodles for dinner.

Pickleball. Guilty. It’s all the rage where I live, or at least it was before Coronavirus set in, and hopefully will be again. But whether the so-cool Millennials think it’s cool or not … it beats playing Hero Academy on your smartphone.

Cable TV. We still get cable TV. Our kids do not. But as a Baby Boomer I’m not sure I think cable TV is actually cool. It’s just a force of habit.

Meatloaf. B likes meatloaf. I don’t. That makes me — ahem — cool in the eyes of the younger generation.

Catalogs. Same as above. You see, I am cool.

Throw pillows. Ditto. I’m so cool!

Newspapers. We get the weekend editions of the NYTimes. But cool or not, lemme tell you, the world would be a better place if more people read good old-fashioned newspapers.

All-you-can-eat buffets. Nobody thinks all-you-can-eat buffets are cool. But I love ’em. So much comfort food!

Bar soap. I use a bar of soap. B uses liquid soap. I always thought it was a male-female  thing, not a difference between people who are cool and people who are uncool. Okay, I’m beginning to get the picture. Maybe I’m not so cool after all.

Malls. Honestly, we don’t go to the mall very often. But what’s Christmas without spending some time at the mall with Santa, the Salvation Army, the tree and the decorations?

Clint Eastwood. Whatever you think of his movies, and I don’t care how old you are, Clint Eastwood is definitely cool. 

Golf. Golf was cool back in the 1990s. Not anymore.

Visors. The coolest guy in our golf group wears a visor. I guess that shows you how cool our golf group is.

So I might as well tell you, when I was in high school, I wasn’t exactly the coolest guy in the class. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I smoked cigarettes, drank beer, and did a lot of other stupid things that I thought might make me cool. Then I finally realized. The truly stupid thing is to try to be cool. Because it doesn’t mean a thing. You’re much better off being yourself.

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About The Author
Tom Lashnits
Tom Lashnits
Tom Lashnits spent 40 years in New York book and magazine publishing before retiring to Bucks County, PA, in 2017. He now volunteers in the school system, produces the baby boomer blog Sightings Over Sixty . . . and is just starting to chase after grandchildren.
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