Holidays coming! Let’s get depressed!

American Thanksgiving is coming this week! Many of the students are planning on escaping the university this weekend, traveling to visit family and getting away from homework (I’m assigning some anyway.) And then I read this complaint.

Dear Boomers,

I wanted to let you know why you’re all sitting around feeling sorry for yourselves because your children and grandchildren didn’t come to Thanksgiving.

Because after the last few times you guilted us into driving an hour to visit Because you “never get to see” your grandchild, you sat and stared at the TV (Fox News) obviously, watching people check ballots for bamboo. We were there 3 hours and you didn’t engage or play with your Grandchild. We all sat around, watching you watch TV.

Because we are tired of the passive aggressive jabs you make to our spouses. We are tired of the temper tantrums you throw if anything less than a parade is thrown in thanks to the dinner you made. A dinner that, all the ingredients were purchased by us, as we have always gone to the grocery store multiple times as thanks for letting us stay. A dinner that we volunteered to help make, and clean up.

We’re tired of your racism, the racism you only really show around family, and despite the fact it is 2023 and we’ve made our feelings known on the subject, you can’t help yourself. Maybe you do it out of spite in front of us because you know it bothers us. Regardless, we refuse to allow our children to be around racists that throw around the N word with such ease. To speak about anyone non white non “American” . You see, we can’t wait for the lot of you to go extinct and take your racism and homophobia with you.

Because we are tired of listening to you talk shit about everyone. Your “friends” and family cannot do anything right, according to you. Everyone is out to get you. The world is so unfair to YOU.

Because when we had kids of our own we found how easy it is to make it through the day without screaming, yelling and hitting our children.

Because after years of the above mentioned,. we feel physically ill around you. Because despite the fact that we are grown, professional, adult people, our bodies immediately tense up and ready us for the attack that will come.

Because you are toxic and angry and I don’t have to subject myself to a toxic environment, and I will not subject my partner and my child to that toxic environment either.

Uh, yeah, as a boomer myself I am simultaneously feeling insulted and thinking there’s a lot of truth to what they say. Some of you might have similar stories and similar concerns. I suggest you all invite Leslie Jones to your Thanksgiving.

I have to admit, though, that I have not had this unpleasant experience. I come from a family of blue-collar liberal Democrats. I was always happy to hang out with my brothers and sisters and parents and grandparents and cousins and uncles and aunts. A few individuals might have been closet conservatives, but they weren’t going to cause trouble at the dinner table, unless they wanted to be shouted down.

It’s true that my father had to have the TV on, but it was all football and never Fox News. He would also get upset at bad football and retreat to the bosom of the family, and was generally the primary cook and spent a lot of time in the kitchen. In fact, the last words I heard from him were when I called on Christmas, and he couldn’t come to the phone, and all I heard was “Goddamn it, cat! Get off the table!”

My kids all turned out well and I’m always happy to see them, but they’ve all dispersed, and we live in a place where the weather tends to screw up travel plans.

So I have the opposite problem. My wife and I will have a quiet time alone pining for our families. We do have some freedom, though, so if Leslie Jones would like to stop by for a respite, the door will be open. I’m planning to fix a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, if she’s interested.


  1. wzrd1 says

    Speaks of a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, but doesn’t share the recipe… :/
    While I’m not a vegetarian, I am an omnivore and love a good recipe to emulate and tune to my taste buds.
    And since I’ve got to freeze my ass off with an open window (the room is a bit too warm normally for the task) rolling out pie crusts, why not make one myself? I usually top mine with mashed yams, rather than white potatoes. Sweet for the top, savory for the filling.

    Although, it’s now definately going to be turkey this year. Didn’t pick one up, was grumping that I’d have to walk to the market (either one mile or two miles away) to pick up the smallest bird I could find and the new store in our apartment building’s owner mentioned some food bank donations he wrangled. I asked him for the smallest possible size, lest I still need to make a store trip for cranberries and yams, as if it was too damned big, I’d have to set up on the lobby table and make plates for neighbors… ;)
    OK, not quite grumping. Just casually mentioning that for once, I didn’t have everything prepped, like I usually do.
    Got an entire celery, minus one stalk diced and frozen, alas, the leaves didn’t get dried and bagged, some guy with the knife ate them too fast, but I’ve dried celery leaves in stock anyway. Plenty of spices, a world of stuffing from the food bank (gave away the Pepperidge Farms stuffing on said lobby table, which is an ad hoc food bank and excess property recycling table for the building). So, I’d just need yams and fresh cranberries to finish everything off, as I’ve also got a world of corn meal for non-cake sweet corn bread (I loathe the cake masquerading as corn bread!).
    And a big pot of greens, of course. That’ll help expend that big bag of garlic a neighbor gave me, before it turns on me (I’m infamous for using the sprouts from garlic or onions in my cooking as well).

    Oh, anyone have some interesting lentil recipes? I’ve got both brown lentils and red lentils just waiting to be prepared.

  2. kenbakermn says

    Shepherd’s Pie?! What time is dinner and what kind of wine do you like? Oh wait, never mind, I’ll be out of the state.

    My reaction was the same as yours, a combination of feeling a bit insulted but also recognizing that for many people this is accurate. I’m right on the Boomer / Gen X border and while I’m nothing close to perfect I can confidently state I’m nothing like the description in that quote.

    How many times have we heard let’s say not-young people pissing and moaning about how the younger generations are so inferior because reasons and more reasons. That’s the oldest and most boring story in history, not to mention almost always false and insulting.

    But it’s also pretty insulting for youngsters to be identifying all non-youngsters as stupid and racist. I mean, I’m not racist.

    I get along fine with my kids, and my kids and I get along fine with my mother and my multitude of sibs, and the whole unruly mod of us will be crowded into Mom’s small house stuffing our faces, It’s be glorious.

  3. stuffin says

    First off, to paint all boomers with the same brush is erroneous. Secondly that was a funny video, I laughed and now-a-days (as a 70 y/o boomer) it takes considerably keen circumstances to make me laugh. The video accomplished that.

  4. billseymour says

    My extended family are pretty much all Trumpistas, and I generally have no desire to see them.  Also, ever since my mother and one of my cousins died, I’d be the crazy uncle who shows up when there’s food; and that wouldn’t be right even if we agreed on politics or simply didn’t talk about it.

    I’m beginning my final 3-day round of chemotherapy as I write this; and Thursday, even though I’ll be home all day, I’ll probably still have a boxy thing stuck to my stomach that gives me some other drug that gooses my bone marrow.  (One side effect from my first round was a seriously reduced white blood cell count.)

    I have no plans for Thanksgiving, and that’s just fine with me.  I feel no need to hobnob with far righties.


  5. says

    As the Smothers Brothers sang: Oh, you better not shout, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why, santa clause is DEAD!’ Place you tongue in cheek and sing along.
    However, we celebrate the Winter Solstice and reflect on all the positive elements: loved ones and constructive, honest, caring accomplishments during the year.

  6. says

    A vegan shepherd’s pie, pepper with actual vegan shepherd on top? (No apologies to Mr Todd, he’d probably approve.)

    As a boomer who grew up only a couple dozen kilometers from Mr Myers in a… less-enlightened (and certainly less-Enlightened) family, I had very much those complaints in the 60s and 70s about the two generations before that. There are worse racists out there than we’ll-complain-when-nobody-is-listening boomers out there…

  7. Robert Webster says

    I’m fortunate in that my family adores my wife. And we grew up in an actual log cabin (well for a while) with my dad being a telephone lineman, until he got his GED (dropped out of school to join the Army Air force) and became an engineer.

  8. asclepias says

    I get annoyed on behalf of my parents and their friends. Mom was born in 1949, Dad in 1950. They have NEVER been like this! They are till the same democratic, conservation-loving people that they were in the 1970s when they were in college. The same goes for everybody else in the family, except one aunt, but she and her family don’t have the same politics as the rest of us (dunno how that happened), they are perfectly lovely people who strive to be welcoming and good hosts. What bugs me most about these things is that they have generalized the attitudes of some people to everyone from that generation.

  9. Ridana says

    “You see, we can’t wait for the lot of you to go extinct and take your racism and homophobia with you.”

    Won’t they be surprised in another 10-20 years when they find out racism and homophobia did not die with the boomers, but has been kept alive by their children and grandchildren. I get the feeling that they think “boomer” is a synonym for “bigot” rather than an age cohort. Unless they think the blue-check, Nazi edgelords fanboying Muskrat on Shitter are all boomers arthritically typing away?

  10. beholder says

    That “Deer Boomers” screed sounds like a fake trauma dump someone would post on Reddit for the clicks. Something that sounds like a presidential inauguration speech in their heads, but comes off as insufferably whiny to anyone else.

    Yeah, we get it, your Gen-X parents don’t let you pee in the sink. The world is literally ending.

  11. woozy says

    “and thinking there’s a lot of truth to what they say. ”

    I’m sorry but I don’t think there’s any bit of truth to this. If the writer has an issue with their parents and had their bad experience with one thanksgiving, that is entirely on them and them alone and they shouldn’t project this with a wide brush into some nation-wide generation divide. (And as a personal issue, sure their parents may be jerks but their inability to face even the slightest amount of conflict without completely melting down and wrapping themselves into a shroud of self-righteous seeming but really only self-centered infantile behavior doesn’t speak well for them.)

    @14. On the one hand, I don’t identify any family anywhere with this behavior and the letter writer angers me. But on the other hand, I can’t identify or recognize the letter writers behavior and complaint among any-one I’ve known or seen either.

  12. chris says

    “Because after the last few times you guilted us into driving an hour to visit Because you “never get to see” your grandchild, you sat and stared at the TV (Fox News) obviously, watching people check ballots for bamboo. We were there 3 hours and you didn’t engage or play with your Grandchild. We all sat around, watching you watch TV.”

    This is exactly why we stopped flying to Arizona to visit my dad (who was born in 1927). He ignored our three millennial kids. Now they are adults, and we boomer parents have them over often but do not turn on the television. Instead we have lively conversations at the dining room table (my youngest looked at me and told me I was unable suspend disbelief, which is why I no longer read fiction).

    We don’t have any grandchildren, but that is not our decision. Especially with how hard it is to buy a house, so we are helping with adding to the house fund. I call it “boomer guilt.”

  13. billseymour says

    I’d guess the reason we hear folks screaming about their particular treatment by their parents is that it was worth screaming about.  We don’t hear much from folks who had normal childhoods because there’s nothing much to say.

  14. raven says


    Strangely enough, a lot of people on this thread…are Boomers. Including myself. And PZ Myers.
    We aren’t like that description of Boomers at all.

    Neither were my parents, who were the generation before the Boomers.

    That being said, someone has to be voting for the GOP and Trump.
    “Among seniors, for instance, the study found that Biden received 48% support compared to 52% for Trump.”

    The largest percentage of Trump voters was…the Boomers.
    But it wasn’t that lopsided, 48% Biden to 52% Trump.

    If your parents are abusive racists who don’t like you, by all means find another place to spend the holidays.

  15. gijoel says

    If you added stoush/brawl with relatives then you would have had every childhood Christmas with my mother. That being said she was never racist and would never use the n word.

  16. says

    My parents try not to talk about politics and I’m angry they won’t when their politics have such an awful effect on the nation and world. I have a very different dynamic here.

    Attempts to get them to do the defending their beliefs thing (and I was raised like defending ones beliefs with knowledge was a moral imperative) have resulted in angry irrational responses like: insults about how I feel about our relationship (“hogwash”), dismissal with empty accusations (I’m “reading into things” and he doesn’t explain how or where, or I always do “that”, without explaining “that”).

    I’m turning the temperature up on the simple general patterns, no acknowledgement yet. I’m quickly getting to the blunt claim that they don’t have good reasons for what they believe and have to use force via government. They are political gossips who don’t look their gossip up so they can say what they want like it’s reality. Acting like they know when they only believe. And they’ve gone away with this for long enough.

    They can tell me to go away. They haven’t yet. They may not of it forces them to admit to some things. I can’t say for sure how this will go.

  17. says

    Not that anyone should do what I’m doing. It’s just different in ways. I’m physically shunning them and telling them why, and what needs to change if they want me to want to come over.

    The instincts are what they are. Bigots shun for bad reasons, or no reason at all if they just want to use a disgust based social dominance display because they’re used to getting to be socially irrational and aggressive.

  18. hemidactylus says

    Well maybe it’s a stereotype that the boomers were the me-obsessed generation who helped put the Gipper in office as they discovered BMWs, Wall Street, and cocaine in the 80s. A far cry from acid and Woodstock…maybe. I fear my generation, the Xers, will be found out for what we are. I recall slackers was the early assumption. We helped the boomers fuck things up for the millennials and zoomers to the extent we could given our aloof passivity and resignation. We may have even failed at that. Sorry boomers. Now we are getting older, crankier, and slackier.

    As for turkey day I usually get invited to a friend’s so her family behaves for a present guest. This year I won’t even have my dog. But football should help and a good book and not being subjected to polarized rants about Brandon. I might even heat up a sub sandwich. No turkey!

  19. John Morales says

    hemidactylus, so This Bruce Gibney pontificates about collective guilt.

    And “America” (by which he means the USA) is supposedly bankrupt and screwed and broken.

    Right. Well, it is true it is not punches that he is pulling — vigorously.

  20. hemidactylus says

    @26- John Morales
    Not sure what you’re on about though you might need some tissues to clean up. Gibney kinda turns The Who song “My Generation” around on itself a bit. Do I need to unpack that for you?

  21. John Morales says


    Not sure what you’re on about

    Heh. Again: he’s for sure doing a good bit of pulling, and it is not his punches, as you say.

    (Still too elliptical?)

    Do I need to unpack that for you?

    Nah, I get it. You are deflecting.

    (And I’m preening my feathers — well, I suppose, technically, a touch of ruffling is involved in preening, no? ;) )

  22. says

    I forgot to mention “Trump’s not Hitler”. I had Trump claims dismissed with “Not-Hitler” from my father. That’s a child’s heuristic as well as a lie to dismiss.
    My mother has had a more passive role here with “post more nice things” type stuff. I have nothing nice to post.

  23. says

    My mother is satisfied with her place despite disliking it so far.
    That can be a thing if the future went that way, I’m trying to get them to both to talk and hitting broader areas that encompass things that make her place in the culture I grew up in harder.