Updated: Aug 2, 2021
My birthday is this week and I will be turning 54. It got me thinking a lot about our generation. Some people think we are Baby Boomers but we are NOT!! We are Generation X.
What does that mean? It means so much. We are in a position at this point in our lives were we accomplished so much and are just starting to enjoy and appreciate it all. For most of us, our bills are all paid off, our mortgage is low and we have a big chunk of money in our retirement fund. We are the generation that has the money to spend but we don't want to waste it on nonsense. My husband is out of the sports car phase and onto the "smoke some meats" phase. I am out of the expensive purse stage and onto the "decorate the beach house phase". Everything I now want to do in my life is not about me but about how I can make other people comfortable.
We were the generation that worked really, really hard for what we have. It was not given to us, we worked!! I was a single mother who worked two jobs. I have always worked at a law firm but I even cleaned the office after hours to make extra money to buy my child nice clothes. I always paid my bills and did without most of the time so that I could provide a better life for my child.
We are the generation that hurried home after school because at 2:45 p.m. MTV was going to play the Michael Jackson Thriller video. The movies that defined us were "The Breakfast Club" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." We went to the the roller skating rink, to the movies and sometimes just hung out in the McDonald's parking lot. We walked the malls on a Friday night, not buying anything but just hanging out. We were so social!! Maybe it is because we did not have the technology, which I truly believes make us a very special generation. We actually loved hanging out with each other and learned so much from each other. I can think of eight things off the top of my head that have disappeared in our lifetime that my grandkids will have no clue about -- CD's, DVD's, answering machine, Walkman, mixtape, MTV, video store, mall. There were still some rotary phones around in our childhood—now it’s nothing but virtual buttons.
We were the generation that went to Lallopalozza! I saw the very first Rage Against the Machine show (they were nuts by the way). I wore my hiking boots, flannel shirt with ripped jeans to the show. I wish I had a picture but we did not have cell phones, we were in the moment! We got lost and met back up at the car at the end of the night. Me and my best friends spent every Thursday night together, cooking, drinking cheap wine and watching Beverly Hills 90210 and then Melrose Place. We lived for it.
We are now the generation that does not mind staying in. We will spend our money on a really good bottle of wine and $200 at Whole Foods to make the perfect dinner. My family especially loves spending time outside in the yard, grilling and playing lawn games. We play cornhole and Jarts. Jarts is the game that was banned because it is dangerous but my husband found an original set in Britain and had it shipped. Our generation loves nostalgia.
We also know how to fold a newspaper, take a joke, and listen to a dirty story without losing our minds.
We are the generation that is now getting old but does not want to admit it. We try really, really hard with technology. We end up getting it but it takes us a long time. We want so bad for it to just hook up to our blue tooth and when it doesn't we will spend three hours getting it to work and in the end we have no idea how we made that happen. This is how me and my husband listen to music -- "hey Siri, play music", "hey Siri skip song, hey Siri skip song" this goes on until she actually plays a song we like. We do not understand why the younger generation does not work their fingers to the bone. Maybe they are just more savvy with their technology, but we just do not get it.
In the end, I would not want to have grown up in any other generation. We are the last generation that can ever have that old-time childhood of riding your bike to the next neighborhood, stay out till the street lights comes on and get dirty and have fun. Here's to getting older and having the great memories of being part of Generation X!! Truly the best.
I am the last row, third from the right.