Kathleen Norton

Behold the “Year of Chuck”

Posted on: July 20, 2010

Move over pig, I want the 'Year of Kathy'

The place mats at my favorite Chinese restaurant always irked my Baby Boomer soul.

“Why do roosters have a special year but I don’t?’’ I whined. “What’s a pig got that I haven’t?’’

Call me selfish, but I am a victim with psychological scars from growing up a member of the most overcrowded generation in history.

Our Boomer schools were so crammed that we took turns sitting.  I had odd days. Even now, I check the calendar before taking a seat.

There were so many kids on the kickball team, we had a farm league so everybody got to play.

Teachers constantly ran out of school supplies: you were forced to find a crayon pusher on the playground.

Due to those bleak conditions, middle-aged Boomers have an overwhelming need to be singled out, to grab the spotlight, to be special.

What? Did you think I started this blog just for fun? Nope. It fulfills a desperate boomer need to be noticed.

One time I thought I had a cure for this strange generational affliction. The idea came to me over egg foo yung while the Year of the Rat loomed under my plate.

Why not declare the Year of the Boomer?

So I took a poll.

Non-boomers were not amused. They already blamed us for bankrupting Social Security and wanted us to formally apologize for disco.

They were not interested in the Year of the Boomer. And I almost gave up.

But then along came Chuck.

He is a Boomer pal who e-mailed from Connecticut. Chuck did the most amazing thing. At his party to celebrate his first 50 years on the planet, he launched “The Year of Chuck.’’

He did not wait for a day to honor all Boomers. He did not ask anybody’s permission.

He simply elbowed his way to center stage (like only a tormented boomer can) and planned out a year of doing the things he’d always wanted to do with friends and family.

Now that, my friends, is some decent Boomer chutzpah.

During the “Year of Chuck’’ he and his wife kissed the Blarney Stone. They went to ballgames and concerts they’d wanted to see. They had a “Year of Chuck’’ banner and flew it along the way.

Chuck said he used the occasion to buy a large screen HDTV, and I must stop here and state my objection to this because it encourages all other husbands out there. “Chuck has one!’’ they will cry.

But Chuck’s giant TV was not the high point. During the Year of Chuck, he got to meet his Boomer boyhood football hero, Joe Namath.

Oh my boomer heart be still!

As an eighth grader I planned out my entire wedding to Broadway Joe – right down to the green and white tuxedos – and waited for him to return my 1,457 phone calls.

In 1970, this was “puppy love.’’

Today, it’s called “stalking.’’

Anyway, when the Year of Chuck was over, a funny thing happened. Chuck decided to continue with all the fun, and it’s still going on even as I write this.

Some even think it will turn into the Decade of Chuck. And to this I say: Whoa, Chuck. Give another Boomer a chance.

My banner’s almost done. The Year of Kathy is about to begin.

I just need one teensy, weensy favor from you.

Please send me Joe Willie’s phone number.

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4 Responses to "Behold the “Year of Chuck”"

what a hoot! Good luck with the Year Of Kathy!!

I am sure the “wim” will play a role.

The Year of Kathy, has a nice ring! Have fun, just be careful out there. Thanks for keeping us laughing!

Hi Joan:

Yes, it does have a nice ring! Hope you’re recovered from babysitting week.

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