Baby Boomer myths you might still believe

We can’t stop time, but we can learn for it. To say things have changed over the course of our lives

We can’t stop time, but we can learn for it. To say things have changed over the course of our lives is to say it lightly. If anyone had told me I would spend my morning colouring in with a friend over a latte, both of us single, still working, pushing 70 and feeling proud for overcoming a challenging yoga pose, I might not have believed them.

But then, as our generation has proved time and time again, just because it isn’t so doesn’t mean it’s so!

Here are just some of the things I believed at some point in my life that I now know are simply not true. I’d love to know if you believed these things once too!

  1. If you sit on concrete or cast iron, you’ll get piles.
  2. X-ray machines are completely safe.
  3. Before I was an adult, I was a “juvenile delinquent”.
  4. Cigarettes help you relax.
  5. You must brush your hair 100 times a day.
  6.  Can’t wash your hair when you’re menstruating.
  7. Sports and games are only for young people.
  8. If you have sex while standing up, you won’t get pregnant.
  9. This pill will take all the risk out of sex.
  10. Ladies wear gloves.
  11. One day I will grow up to be a lady and wear tweed and respectable shoes.
  12. Only prostitutes don’t wear tights.
  13. You don’t eat or smoke in the street.
  14. The man should always pay on a date.
  15. Women will never be allowed to join the army or navy.
  16. Once you get married, your career is over.
  17. If I work hard all my life, the government will look after me when I’m old.
  18. If you listen to that music, you’ll go to hell.
  19. It’s illegal to be gay.
  20. It’s wrong to go shopping on a Sunday.
  21. Velcro is magic.
  22. You mustn’t wear trousers to work or school.
  23. Women aren’t cut out for politics.
  24. Everyone has a right to free education.
  25. When you get married, it’s for life.
  26. Women become nurses; men become doctors.
  27. Definitely no sex before marriage (ahem).
  28. Fizzy drink and chips are party food.
  29. Fish on a Friday; roast on Sunday; bubble and squeak on Monday.
  30. Old age starts at 50.

Do any of these sound familiar? What did you once believe that you no longer hold true? 

  1. Di  

    I am from the younger end of the boomer generation and never believed most of these. However, I do believe #24: education is society’s investment in its own future. The student is not the sole beneficiary and shouldn’t have to incur crippling debt just to become a qualified doctor, mechanic, journalist, or other.

    • Vicki  

      I agree with you 100%. Access to free health care and education should be the cornerstone of our society. I also still think chips and fizzy drink should be party food only. Might help keep we Boomers alive and healthy a bit longer!

  2. Elaine Allison  

    I am an older boomer and never knew or believed half of these things. But definitely believe that education is paramount. Why not pay for it? We pay for many useless things.

    • Jude Power  

      I would’ve thought it obvious that if education is only available to those who can afford it, those who can’t will remain disadvantaged. That’s in fact what’s happening now in tertiary education, especially universities, where increasingly the only students able to afford it have rich parents either here or in another country. All this is subsidised by our taxes, whether we’re rich or poor and surely a better educated population is to everyone’s advantage as well as to that of the individual?

      • Mary  

        In Australia you don’t have to be rich to go to university. All my family including grandchildren will pay rheir HECS bill when they earn over the lower limit. Wonderful way to educate the population. Pity some will take many degrees and just do not look for employment and so don’t pay their share through adjusted tax payment

  3. Gayle  

    Not much of this applies or believed these days, especially no 17.

  4. Diana Ross  

    I always thought that 17 was truth, but that has come crashing down around my ears. The Government did not appreciate the hours we worked, what we went without, or the lack of holidays. It’s been too busy looking after those who didn’t save for a rainy day/old age.

    Of course the idea of roast on Sunday, was so it could be put into the oven before you went to Church and would be cooked when you get home. Bubble and squeak was made because mum always had the maxim, cook extra just in case of unexpected visitors – especially during the depression.

    I married for life – now 46 years, and my kids are content in their marriages too. My mum thought middle age started at 50. If life was divided, say 12 years for childhood, The first stage of adulthood would probably end somewhere in the 40’s as children grow up and leave the nest, second stage late 60’s to early seventies as the wear and tear of age becomes apparent, and from there all is slowly downhill – faster for some people, and slower for others

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