Living Out Loud

Not All Boomers


Let me preface this by admitting that things are complicated. I missed being a boomer myself by a mere 52 days, so I'm sure I share a few traits with that generation just as other older Gen X folks do. I also love my Dad despite his faults, as he loves me despite mine. We have good visits from time to time where he shows me new YouTube videos (his favorite pass time) he's discovered recently. The visit I describe below was not one of those good ones, however.

My Dad (age 77) contacted me (age 59) last week and said he had a book he thought I'd like. I thanked him and let him know I'd swing by Saturday to pick it up. When I got there it turned out the book was on a battle he was in during the Vietnam War. I should have figured that would be the case. He's very proud of his Army service (much more than I am of my own) and talks about it in nearly every conversation. I've always listened to his stories no matter how many times I've heard them. It's only embarrassing when he does it around other people because JFC, he's been home from Vietnam for 51 years and anything can get him started about how "one time in Pleiku…" 

While visiting with him I asked what he thought about Deion Sander's success at Colorado. That was the wrong question. He's not a big fan of showy athletes so he quickly let me know he's always disliked Sanders because of his mouth "just like I didn't like Cassius Clay, Muhammed Ali, whatever his name was".  Wow Dad, way to go racist on one of the most popular athletes in history. 

I tried to move the conversation in a safer direction by asking him what he'd been doing for fun. He let me know he'd been having a few beers occasionally, "but not Budweiser, not since they made a can for that trans guy. Boy, that sure cost them a lot of money. The girl who had that bright idea got her ass fired." My jaw just dropped after this outburst. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of a reaction so I just looked at my watch and announced I had to go.  

One visit and he got to three strikes in about 30 minutes. It would have been sooner but we managed to have our visit in one room in the house that didn't have Fox news playing on blast. That's what really exacerbated his worst tendencies. As recently as 2004 Dad was open-minded enough to attend an anti-Iraq war event with me. But, by the end of the first Obama administration he was all-in on the crap they sell on that excuse for a news organization and it's been pretty much down hill ever since.