The Sage Connection

Since the younger generation won’t read this column anyway


I think it is about time we discuss how the older generation outwits the younger folks. I hesitated to share this information because I didn’t want to give away all our secrets, but then I thought what the heck. They don’t read this column anyway, so we should be safe.

The younger set is very tech-savvy. They are very adept at taking selfies and posting them everywhere possible. They must practice posing in front of mirrors because there is rarely anything authentic about their posts. Nobody goes around looking seductive all day every day. Well, nobody I know anyway.

We older folks are still yelling “smile!” when taking pictures of friends and family. No filters, no sexy poses…just all lined up and smiling.

We take care of our cars. We have them serviced, washed, vacuumed, tires rotated and so on. We know the cost of not taking care of them and we would rather spend our money elsewhere. Everyone wants to buy a used car from a “one owner” person over the age of 65.

We take care of our clothes. We do not rush out and buy brand-named items so everyone will know how cool we are. We know how cool we are. So, if we buy a brand, it’s because we really liked it – not because everyone and their dog has one.

We also have fewer clothes and wear them a lot longer than the younger generation. I know this because my granddaughter has 16 black tee shirts. They are all identical and she is still shopping for more. She wears a different one every day and they all look exactly the same. At least I hope she is wearing a different one every day. I hope she is not saving the other 15 for a special occasion.

We will use the same glass and coffee cup more than once. Refills are allowed. I fear there must be some deadly disease going on in our house that I don’t know about because no one besides me uses glasses or coffee cups more than once.

At the end of the day, there can be four people in the house and 18 dirty glasses, not to mention multiple coffee cups.

The older generation often washes a few dishes by hand or waits until the dishwasher is full before we run it, saving money on our utility bills.

We rarely buy water. Hello! Water comes out of our taps. And if for some reason we don’t want to drink straight tap water we can purchase faucet filters or use the dispenser that came with our refrigerator. 

We will also replace the filters on these products when suggested by the manufacturer, again taking care of big-ticket items and saving more money.

Many of us grow our own veggies and have chickens, ducks and other animals that help protect us from the looming inflation predictions. Plus, we get fresh air, exercise and satisfaction from these activities and animals.

Some of us play more with our grandchildren than we did with our own kids.

Some of us just play more! We have learned the importance of laughter, relationships and friends, old and new.

But I think our best secret is common sense. We have it. We use it…which is why in the long run we are able to outwit the younger folks. Not that they will necessarily listen or learn in our desired time frame…but they will get there eventually. We did.

Kathleen Anderson writes this column each week from her home in Olympia.  Contact her at or post your comment below.


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  • AugieH

    "Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance." - David Mamet

    Friday, June 24 Report this

  • WilliamPorter

    Well... here's one fella born in '92 who reads your column. I admit, I might not be the typical 'millennial' - I grow my own fruit and veggies and keep chickens. To be fair, I don't really recognize this fanciful 'older generation' you write about. I mean, my parents and grandparents scoff at me for living 'like a country bumpkin.' They are the ones who sold my great-grandfather's farm and moved to the city, and they revel in not knowing how their cars (or anything at all) works. When they see me re-wiring an electrical socket or cleaning my gutters, they try to shame me for not paying someone to do it for me.

    5 days ago Report this

  • aylawest

    I'm confused as to why you're comparing elders to teenagers. You mentioned taking care of cars and clothes, gardening and playing with grandchildren. Great, but to compare those things to what teenagers do just doesn't make sense. To assume all youth are the same is just as bad as assuming your generation is the same and this kind of thinking does a disservice to both. Most youth I know understand race, gender and socioeconomic issues better than generations before them. Can you say the same about your generation in their youth? If you wish for the younger folks to seek out your wisdom, perhaps not being judgmental of them for being young and silly, then maybe they would refrain from disparaging calling you "boomers".

    5 days ago Report this

  • Drutty

    Thank you Kathleen. Yes we are the frugal generation repair not replace!

    5 days ago Report this