Police remove a protester at an anti-Vietnam War demonstration in...

Police remove a protester at an anti-Vietnam War demonstration in Washington in 1971. Credit: AP

Ann Rita Darcy, 57, lives in Huntington Station.

Having lived through too many wars, at least two recessions and countless ska revivals, I feel justified in calling myself old. Middle-aged sounds boring, as if you are just muddling through life. The term I cannot abide is "boomer'' or worse, "baby boomer," as though we never grew up.

Has there ever been a generation as reviled as ours? It is fashionable in the media to summarize our lives, since we are reaching retirement age. First, reports show us as screaming babies. Did babies never cry before 1946 or after 1964?

Next the reports remind us that schools were built for our benefit. Apparently, this was the first of our many, many "demands.'' I felt very fortunate that I had only split sessions till third grade. I went to public school in a church basement in Huntington Station with no cafeteria, no gym and no library. I was disappointed when I finally went to school full time.

Next, of course, we were teenagers. This is when the trouble really started because we liked to dance to different music and enjoy the popular intoxicants of the day. People seem to forget that every generation has its own way of doing this (disco, anyone?), but ours really seemed to anger the older generation.

Politically we could do nothing right. Some people bravely fought in the Vietnam War and others bravely fought against it. Those of us opposed were blamed for the problems of the returning vets, as though returning vets never had trouble adjusting before.

In truth, most vets, including my husband, ended up being high achievers, but you don't hear much about that.

Another thing we did wrong was not producing enough replacements to pay into Social Security. How selfish of us to just have the number of children we could afford to properly care for. Nobody seems to like the children we made, either, the ones called Gen X. It may be because they have a lot of self esteem or something.

Our biggest crime is occurring right now as we have the audacity to keep on living. This is bothering a lot of people because it is assumed we will get sick and use up all of "their" money. (My solution is to legalize the immigrants so they can pay taxes, but that is another issue.)

I am a mother of two, grandmother of five and work as a pediatric care nurse. I have tried to live a simple, useful life and (insert snickering here) tread lightly upon the Earth. To go through life being called "the Me Generation" and constantly labeled as selfish and demanding is something I find hard to take. I am sure I will now be accused of whining.

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