65 is the new 21?

All I can say is WOW. I’ve thrown research study rules to the wind and conducted my own informal research survey this week at the NC coast. Study participants had to meet stiff requirements: 1) have gray hair; 2) be on the beach between 9a-4p regularly Monday – Friday; 3) smile, laugh, or otherwise radiate happiness. Data analysis is still in progress but preliminary results indicate that the age 65+ cohort is having a lot of fun…more fun, perhaps, than the college kids who are sharing the same beach! Sure, the surfer dudes are riding some nice waves, the girls are beautifully tanned and toned, but they pale in comparison to the “senior citizens” (really?, what a stupid label!) who are definitely hanging in there with cold drinks, fancy rods and reels, slick 4-wheel drives, and a “party on” spirit that stretches over 2 miles of sand and surf.

Pay attention folks. The baby boomers have arrived. They are “in the house”! Sure, they are comparing their cardiologist appointments, debating to dye or not to dye hair, beards, mustaches (gray IS the new black in my humble opinion), but, instead of challenging one another to beer pong, or regaling their stories of late night parties, they are busily taking photos of fishing, cook-outs, tent camping and, on the spot, Photo-Shopping and uploading their pics to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and, heaven forbid, a few even talked about Vine!

Seriously folks, after a week of in-depth focus groups and one on one interviews, my hypothesis has been informally confirmed. 65 IS the new 21. Those UNC-W kids? They headed home at 7:00 to study and write papers; the silver set was partying on into the night!

One neurologist confirmed that he was checking off an item on his bucket list: spending the entire night on the beach, fishing and making new friends. Life gets sweeter as the years go by.

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