Betty White turned 99 a couple weeks ago – and we missed it.

Betty White is a big deal in our house. Her “Golden Girls” sitcom seems to be on one of our televisions most of the time. Lifetime, Hallmark, TV Land, day and night, one of those cable channels is running a “Golden Girls” sitcom.

Just about the time I heave a heavy sigh because Rose Nylund is launching into another St. Olaf yarn, I find myself pausing, watching and laughing even though I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve heard her tales.

So, happy belated birthday to Betty who, as I wrote in a previous column, credits her long, healthy life to two things, “…vodka and hot dogs, probably in that order,” she confessed.

The same newspaper that reminded me of Betty White’s birthday also revealed something I did not think could ever happen – Baby Boomers have discovered online shopping.

A reporter excitedly reported that a Boomer with a searing toothache paid $17.21 for a tube of Anbesol he ordered one night and Amazon delivered before dawn. The reporter did not reveal where the Boomer lived but it must be a place that doesn’t have 24-hour CVS stores on every corner.

Really? Overnight delivery of a tooth medication? Part of the thrill of retirement is doing some serious shopping at 2 a.m. at the CVS on Kingwood Drive. Smarties candy discs. Egg-shaped Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. Maybe a bottle of shampoo, too. Come to think of it, the proof is in the crowd. Late night shopping excursions appeal to every age group.

The Boomer and his high-priced tube of Anbesol was part of a bigger story about how Boomers have discovered online shopping and – shock of shocks – are embracing it.

The gist of the story was that Boomers who had never shopped online before COVID got their kids and grandkids to show them how to. Really, we are not THAT dumb. Now, in the words of the reporter, “…Boomers have embraced it.”

The numbers are impressive, the article said. Since March, the percent of consumers over age 65 who are shopping online has increased 49 percent, the fasting growing cohort of online shoppers. And the number of grocery shoppers who are having their groceries delivered or are picking them up curbside has tripled since March.

Another impressive number. Boomers shopping on Lowes.com increased 70 percent during the first two months of the pandemic.

I guess you can even teach this old dog a new trick since we are doing a lot more online shopping, but never at the expense of a late-night trip to CVS.

And you can teach this old dog “old” tricks, too. At this point in my life, I am not very trendy. I am not up on the latest music. I tried to watch the American Music Awards but had no idea who most of the singers were. I am not up on the latest television shows either. I missed “The Crown” and “Westworld.” I guess it would help if we had a couple of those television streaming services.

So, imagine how thrilled I was when we watched Jon Bon Jovi – we know who he is. He sang “Here Comes the Sun” on inauguration night. Well, he lip synced, as the critics snarked. They blasted poor Jon, raging on about how he was lip syncing as his unplugged mike chord was dangling to nowhere. Another critic said Bon Jovi’s performance looked like an ad for medication that helps lower cholesterol.Yikes!

Hey, those old songs sell a lot of drugs on television.

Who needs the critics? We loved it at our house. We must be admitting that our taste is all in our mouth. We were so inspired that we whipped out our real Beatles version on real vinyl and played it multiple times on our real record player. Remember those?

We have got a passel of vinyl records. In the olden days, we called them LPs. Creedence Clear Water Revival, Three Dog Night, The Supremes, The Beach Boys. A couple hundred more LPs. Wonderful memories packed into every groove.

Playing “Abby Road” inspires me to buy more vinyl. I wonder if CVS sells records. Sounds like another late-night trip down Kingwood Drive.

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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