This Side of Ninety: It’s a puzzling situation

Harrison resident Ruth Altendorf talks on now living on this side of ninety.

Ruthy and I were having breakfast, musing about the world.  “I am really confused”, Ruthy said “about all those different names we use to identify past generations.  Can you help me?”  I had to tell her that I do not feel more in the know about this subject than she does but, that together we might be able to figure it out.

“Let’s start with us,” I said, “because I think that before us there were no such identifications.  People simply referred to the beginning, the middle or the end of such and such a century and that was it unless they knew the proper year.” But then, this changed.  Take us, for instance:  born in the year 1925, we belonged to the “Roaring Twenties”.  It was a good time.  People were happy that the first world war was over and lived it up a bit.  This was just as well since the good time did not last very long.  The “Roaring Twenties” were not quite over when the next world war, which had been waiting in the wings all along, reared up its ugly head, a war that would be longer and worse then the one before.  When it ended nobody felt like dancing.  It was a time to re-build, look for solutions and new beginnings.  In Germany, where we still lived then, this time was simply called “die Nachkriegszeit” – the “After the war time” and that was it.

Eventually, however, along came the “Hippies” and the world changed!  Who would ever forget them?  “Wow” Ruthy said, “this must have been exciting!”  “Well” I answered, “we all were a little worried and wondered where all those grand ideas would lead to – fun that they were”!

After them, in a complete turn around, the “DINKS” arrived.  “The who?” Ruthy asked.  “The DINKS”, I repeated.  “It stood for “double income, no kids”!  At first they, too, looked like a complete change – over from the Hippy-time but actually the Hippies and DINKS had something important in common:  they did not worry about the future!  After all, how did they think the world would continue without children, to name only one item?

Next came the Boomers, the Gen-exers, the Millenials and finally the Centennials which, by the way and according to the 2012 census are – by percentage – the fastest growing group and by all signs will continue to do so!

I hesitated a bit, but then I told Ruthy about my favourite generation, the one we often forget.  They did not fit into any of the before-mentioned groups and were almost overlooked!  It was, as they were belatedly called, the “Quiet Generation” which caused little fuss, looked after itself, succeeded and prospered.  Eventually they were found out and wedged between the other groups.

This might well have been the end of our discussions but for my friend, Liz, coming by with a computer list of more!  Acutally, however, most of what was on the list were fun variations of what I had remembered.  There were two I should mention because they are really neat:  PODWOG (Parents of DINKS without grandchildren, or the WOOF’S (Well-Off Older Folks).  And finally, what do you think of the last name on the list:  the SINBAD’s?  It stands for “Single Income No Boyfriend and Desperate!”

Well, this is it for today.  Should you have some more good ones let us know!

– Ruth Altendorf and Ruthy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kent council votes 4-1 in favour of Teacup properties development

Coun. Kerstin Schwichtenberg was the only ‘no’ in difficult vote

MP Vis advocates for faster internet in rural communities

Less than 45 per cent of rural households in Canada have high-speed internet

Peace on the water

Harrison Lake was rather serene recently with the lack of usual traffic… Continue reading

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read