After a couple of false starts I’m now set on why I started No Longer Relevant.
I can’t recall the last time someone truly wanted to know what I thought about something. Honestly. The last time I got a call from a survey company about my radio listening preferences, we didn’t make it beyond the “age range” question. “Thanks Mr. Bailey, but you’re not in our demographic.” Really? I listen to current Top 40 music, why doesn’t the radio station manager want to know what I think about it?
I’ll tell you why: According to their research, I don’t make the purchasing decisions in our household. My wife and her “baby boomer” women friends are driving the economy. For more examples of how this one-time male “power” has been stripped of us, see Stephanie Holland’s blog — She-Conomy.com – The Facts on Women. Once relegated to keeping the house and deferring big purchase decisions to the husband, these “moguls of the shopping mall” are responsible for 85% of all brand purchases today.
But this is only one example where men in my demographic have ceased to matter in the big scheme of life. For most of us we’ve worked 30 years or more to provide for our families. We stuck with one of the first jobs we got out of college because employers wanted “career men,” only to see our retirement plan converted to a 401K – then raided by the top brass when the company began to falter. We fathered our children and helped prepare them for productive and responsible adulthood. We continue working at keeping the romance alive in our single-most important relationship – the one with our significant other. We mow the lawn, and take out the trash. We clean up after our pets, and make appointments with the mechanic to keep the car running strong. We learned to vacuum and wash dishes the way our spouses want it done. We babysit our grandchildren when our kids let us, and we’re quick to help them financially when they get in a bind. There was no war to fight when we graduated high school…and no enemies still when we got out of college. When the 9/11 terrorists fueled our patriotic interests to engage, we were too old to join up.
We’re the “been there/done that, seen-it-all change, head full of thoughts, ideas, and suggestions if you’ll only ask, yada-yada-yada” generation. So before my children starting instructing my grandchildren to “…go see if Grandpa wants a glass of lemonade,” I’m going to take this written journey through my middle-age years and, if I do nothing else but entertain, then I’m glad you came on this trip with me.
Next: Why Can’t I Shop at Old Navy?