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Hart Beat

I'm finally "nouveau" something

The great English rock band, "The Who," had a great song in the 60s called My Generation. It describes my take on the love children of the post-war baby boom. The lyrics are raunchy, rowdy and totally disrespecting of authority, a condition my generation has lived up to in spades.

Oh, we did eventually grow up, only enough to make all kinds of anal retentive laws. We have made laws to regulate all the horrible things we did as kids so that our kids won't, hopefully, turn out just like us.

I think part of our over reaction is based on the fact we don't want our kids to be daring, adventurous or even a little reckless. After all, look at what all that wild abandonment has done for us.

We are the healthiest generation in history and the fattest. We are the most affluent generation in history, and we are also the most selfish and the most broke. We are the hungriest for power and yet, we are never satisfied with our successes. We are always wanting bigger toys.

My generation has never been a content lot. We started out being rebels and apparently we are going kicking and screaming into our golden years as well.

We members of the love generation simply can't see ourselves as wrinkled, old people with canes, wheelchairs and drooling grins. Heck, some of us think we will be wearing miniskirts and going braless well into our 90s. We might consider giving up the spike high heels, but with medical advances being what they are, perhaps we'll keep the sexy shoes as well.

We hate the idea of being called "the elderly." So we simply have come up with our own nickname, a slang word which describes actually our inability to grow up. Those of my generation, aged 55 to 70, have decided there ain't no way we want to be called senior citizens. Oh no. We are "tweeniors." Isn't that cute?

I learned about the latest term for the elders of my generation reading a few trendy magazines and few odd press releases from the nation's lifestyle watchers.

Learning that "tweenior" is a term I can look forward to be saddled with in my golden years, came as a bit of a shock, but not a surprise.

It makes a certain amount of sense that the senior class of the baby boom generation, who by rights ought to be relaxing by the pool, is preferring to work past the traditional 62 retirement age. After all, we don't feel old. We still enjoy everything we enjoyed in our 20s and 30s and 40s. Some of us have actually started to enjoy life a lot more now that the kids are grown. Having the house to one's self is quite liberating, until the grandkids show up for milk, cookies and cable TV.

Others of us have waited until our 40s to have babies There's a decision that will force you to stay young well past the historic retirement age.

Tweeniors may be on to something. Looking around at the people I know who are past 55, I see a lot of people who are leading vibrant, exciting lives. There is not a dullard among them. They go dancing, hang out at spas, go on cruises to exciting locales and are forever thinking of ways to spend the kids' inheritances. Plus some of them work exciting jobs, taking on the role of being leaders of the free world.

Just like we broke the mold of being boring in the 60s and 70s, we are facing the sunset of our lives with gusto. That is an exhausting thought, but sort of reassuring, as well.

I think I like the challenge of having another 40 years or so of being a part of a trendy generation. Maybe by the time I hit 70, my generation will have a new term for senior citizen. I look forward to that.

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