Born at the Tail End of the Baby Boom, “Tail-Enders” or “Cuspers” have sometimes gotten a raw deal. The spoils have been gobbled up by our predecessors who grabbed all the attention, natural resources and opportunities. We can cry in our soup or look at the bright side. Here are a few rules that make the Tail-End work to your advantage. Those Boomers will be soooo jealous.
#1. Don’t begrudge your elder Boomers and all the focus heaped upon them as the oldest of the generation as they march into retirement and “old age”. Consider all the medical research they are succumbing to that will benefit you in 15 years and possibly prolong your life for another 20 or more.
#2. Don’t cut your hair, don’t change your wardrobe – you do not need to buckle to pressure to get an older hairstyle or way of dressing. Those embroidered blouses from the 70’s are blissfully back in style and you still look damn good in them. Your long tresses do not need chopping to suit your advancing years. There’s nothing more beautiful than a full head of flowing grey locks. Even hipsters admire your ability to manage this silver mane, hoping they too will one day have such a fine head of hair.
#3. Enjoy the profits that the housing booms have provided – though the elder Baby Boomers often scarf down resources before we Tail-Enders can lay any claims, and have made the real estate market a fraught affair our entire lives, we have sopped up the gravy on the run up in prices along the way. It’s been a quiet clean up behind the leaders of the boom, but we’ve patiently taken our turn, buying then selling, moving up the housing food chain. Our homes have essentially been the nest egg we never earned, and we’re hoping to pass these bennies on to the next generation since their prospects are looking slimmer and dimmer.
#4. Be grateful we missed the draft. Seriously. We were too young, but our older boomer comrades were drafted, uniformed and shipped off to the jungle to endure a horrible fate in Vietnam. We stood by the sidelines and collected MIA bracelets, but were powerless to even protest or understand what was really going on. Everyone kept a watchful eye on the draft numbers and knew people with lottery numbers so low a chill would run down our spines with fear for our friends and neighbors, brothers and cousins, since the war might persist and more young men would be swept into service. It was a harrowing time with death and dismemberment a tangible reality. We avoided the aftershocks, the PTSD, the physical limitations and stigmas that veterans returned with, the abstraction of the war so distant for us tail-enders to fully comprehend. Be thankful and remember our servicemen on Veteran’s Day and throughout the year. That could have been you.
#5. Learn from others mistakes. So what if we’re at the tail end. So what that we’re always getting the dregs from jobs to real estate. Look at the bright side. The Baby Boomers have made plenty of mistakes. We can learn from these…from not saving enough for retirement to staying in jobs for too long, to not taking enough vacation time when they could, the elder Boomers have made error upon error and have tipped us off to work arounds, so we can avoid their sloppy, misguided missteps.
#6. Don’t be bitter. It’s true that the first of the baby boomers took it all. They were born into a world charged with hope and renewal. When we Tail-Enders were born the moments of glory had passed and everyone was settling down into complacency. Of course, the civil rights movement and the age of Aquarius changed that stupor, but we didn’t get to participate in those either since we were still in grade school. But harping back and holding on to a bitter taste never ends well. We did profit from the path the Boomers laid and by the time we could enjoy the spoils, integration became the norm, women were getting more rights, and look, pot is almost legal across the US. That probably wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the Boomers and their persistence, so take a toke and sit back and relax.
#7. Don’t just mirror the Boomers, define the new Boomers. There’s still time for Tail-Enders to make their voices heard. We still have time to make an impact on world history, our own story in our own words, not the old Boomers’ Kumbaya theme song. We’re still young, and some of them, pushing 70+, can’t really claim that, now can they? Some of us are not even 60. Perpetually considered children by our still extant parents.