Matt Heath: Why I love Boomers

OPINION:

I just spent two weeks living as a Boomer, and loved it. Some people dismiss senior opinions with an “okay Boomer” or a “shut up granddad”. Not me. No one chooses when they were born. We should judge on individual character not age or any other trait outside a person’s control. If you’re young and envious of the old, you don’t understand how lifetimes work. No matter how well off a 75-year-old is, they would give it all up to be 25 again. Property is no replacement for the possibilities available to the young. Enjoy your youth privilege while you have it. Use your energy to build your own life. Don’t waste it hating on Boomers. You’ll be old and unpopular soon enough.

I prefer to celebrate Boomer culture. After two weeks living with my dad, I have distilled the best parts into five categories: e-bikes, tucked-in underwear, Brokenwood Mysteries, manicured lawn sports, and whisky.

I used to get triggered by battery-powered wimps passing me on hills. I believed in human pedal power. Everything changed last week when my dad put me on his e-bike and sent me around the peninsula. Dunedin was 27C with nary a cloud in the sky when my father started his 30-minute e-bike safety briefing. “It’s not a 747 Dad,” I complained. Eventually he handed me a humiliating skid lid and a ridiculous amount of reflective gear: “I look like a Christmas tree dad.” It was all worth it when I passed my first group of self pedallers. I blasted those losers from behind with the bell then left them in Dad’s three rearview mirrors. Didn’t even get a sweat up. By the time those slowmos got to Portobello Cafe, I was halfway through my second ice cream.

I run a cliched boxer brief situation. It’s the standard undie for a man my age. Last week poor packing and a minor accident forced me to borrow items off dad’s clothesline. I grabbed a baby blue singlet and tucked it into the matching briefs. Complete game changer. It’s like you have a set of clothes under your clothes. It gets even better when you throw on a pair of matching socks and prance around the house; the kids love it.

I turned up for my Boomer experience with a list of shows to educate my dad. Stranger Things, The Book of Boba Fett and MacGruber. He hit back with Fraser, Inspector Morse and New Zealand’s own The Brokenwood Mysteries. TBM is a quality show. It’s like a warm bath. You never want to get out. Great plots, performances and scenery. Forget your trendy Rust, Succession and Mayor of Eastwood. The Boomerwood Mysteries is where it’s at.

I spend a lot of time shooting hoops with my son at the local half court. No more. Not since dad introduced me to croquet on a quality club lawn with a professional titanium mallet. The skill, strategy and the age range of croquet is hard to beat. Across one morning, I got my arse handed to me by a 12-year-old, a 42-year-old and an 81-year-old.

My generation has a drink storage problem — we boof everything in the house in one go. Boomers have liquor cabinets and wine collections. My dad has a cupboard full of incredible old whisky. He drinks it straight from tiny nose glasses late at night. There is no need for mixers; if it’s too strong, he adds a drop of water from a syringe. It’s dignified, organised and delicious. Nothing like stumbling off to bed sophisticatedly inebriated.

Boomers have life sorted. They look after their lawn mowers, furniture and shoes. They have DIY skills, a nose for meat bargains, a penchant for pet euthanasia, a love of sticking to the speed limit or just below and a healthy disregard of fashion. We younger generations have a lot to learn. So let’s drop the shallow, materialistic envy and respect our elders for who they are – the best of us. Try a little Boomer culture today. The way they drink, ride, watch TV, play sport and wear their undies is an inspiration — #Boomerlife.

* My dad was given this article for approval in advance of publication, he would like the following noted: “I draw the line at accusations of tucking my singlet into my underwear and you have to mention how good the weather was in Dunedin. It was 27C and not a cloud in the sky when you went on that bike ride. Put that in your article.”

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