Keeping Up with Appearances

I had a friend once in the trades who was always big on never looking the same for more than a little while.

I wouldn’t say he was big into disguises or something like that, but he just always had a different look.

One day he’s got on glasses.

The next day no glasses.

He could go from a three-piece suit to shorts, sneakers and a tank-top in the same day.

A beard in June turned to pork-chop sideburns in August, and then a pencil mustache by Christmas.

It got to where I didn’t even recognize him at times.

And I guess that was the deal.

One day he had his wallet out and I noticed the photos on his IDs.

Naturally, every one of them was a different look, in an almost calculated way.

In his driver’s license, he was clean shaven, with glasses and a businessman’s suit.

On his carpenter’s license, he had a shaggy beard, no glasses and a sweater vest.

And on and on.

“Why do you do that?” I asked.

“Do what?” he said.

“Why do you always try to look different?” I asked.

He explained that he felt it was important to look different so that if anyone was ever looking for him, he would have a head start by not looking like his ID or his last known description. For instance, if the cops were after him, all they would have is his driver’s license, and he would look nothing like the picture they would have for the BOLO alert.

It was an awful lot of thinking for something no one thinks about.

“Is anyone looking for you?” I asked.

“Not yet,” he said.

I think that fella oughtta stick to hammers and nails. Leave the thinkin’ to someone else…

  • • •   •

The whole Millennial swoon is about to drive me nuts.

I love being the adult in the room. I’m comfortable with the aging process and where I’m at and what I have left to do. I don’t care to be hip; I’d rather not follow every Tweet from every important person.

This is unlike a lot of the Boomers I know, who can’t stand to be old and so they fight the eternal fight against aging and being edged out of the cool scene. Their best weapon is to swoon incessantly over the young Millennial generation – seeking out youth and trying to be near to and understand this hip and innovative scene.

But it’s all just a scam.

I’m wondering if anyone else knows this but me.

I get the e-mails saying Boston is the fourth best city for Millennials. The apartment buildings all advertise being the hip new spot for Millennials. Banks cater to re-designing their “experience” so that they can get the Millennials in the door (or on their app).

I talk to a lot of Millennials. There are some who have really made it for themselves, but the truth is, most Millennials are confused, broke and debt-ridden.

They’d tell you that. They’re like any other generation, but with more hurdles in their way.

The Millennial swoon isn’t about Millennials, it’s all about Baby Boomers trying to stay young by proximity. More Boomers than ever are moving back to the city and selling their suburban or country homes.

They want to be where the action is, where the young congregate.

So, real estate people are smart and talk up Millennials wherever they go on all of their projects, jobs, and retail offerings.

Millennials are here, but Boomers are the ones coming.

It’s downright hilarious.

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