Minor pet peeve time: I hate generational stereotypes.
I would like the record to show that I was not on board with “OK, Boomer.” (Before you say it: I know. “OK, Boomer.” You got me.) I was also not down with the Great Tide Pod Slander, and I hope both of these facts are reflected in my permanent file. I’m hedging my bets so that no matter who takes over, I’ll have demonstrated I’m one of the good millennials.
Unfortunately, despite my pacific stance toward my fellow humans of all ages, I’m sad to report that the kids have come for me.
The youths. They’re dunking on us.
“Us” being millennials. We are now embarrassing-parent age, as evidenced by our clinging to our side parts and our skinny jeans and our laughing-crying emojis (which, I agree with the kids, are cringe).
I understand that this is all meaningless and not worth getting mad about. Getting mad is the cardinal internet sin. You should never do it.
But! I’m mad!
With all generational warfare, no matter what tribe you’re in and which tribe you’re dunking on, all you’re saying is that you were born at a specific time and so were your compatriots.
That’s all! Just the bare fact of being a certain age, which is younger and/or older than people you take issue with for also not having been born roughly when you were.
That is such a poor substitute for having a personality. Astrology aside, when we were born is the least interesting thing about any of us. We had absolutely nothing to do with it!
And, whether you’re touting your own time-tribe or laughing at another one, all this does is it highlight how conformist we all are, which is pretty boring. The kids are laughing about ladies of my age still looking samey-samey wearing fashions from the aughts, while they’re all wearing the same fashions from the nows. Is either of those facts interesting? All of us could be fashionable given enough money. That’s not a personality either.
Worse, once someone has pointed out the “tells” of being millennial, I feel like I can no longer be neutral, no matter how much I want to. My awareness of this whole thing started when someone at work declared me a millennial during a video meeting because my hair was parted to the side. Now I can’t escape it, even though I didn’t consent to be a combatant. After all, wouldn’t I be a try-hard Old if I suddenly parted it to the middle?
The only option to stay truly neutral in all this is to keep the hair back at all times in the giving-up bun, refusing to reveal where it’s parted. Refusing, indeed, to part or even brush it at all. That I can do in the name of peace.