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On Being a GenXer
(in no particular order)

Age 8: See Star Wars at the Uptown Theater. Convince brother we can recreate it using tin foil and cardboard, and ingenuity. Wear Princess Leia buns to the pool and get yelled at by another little girl for thinking “I was soooooo cool.”

Really fucking identifying with Carrie Fisher.


New York in the early 80s. Scary AF. SoHo before the galleries, shops, restaurants, 1 percenters. Get lost with the family while driving up to the Vineyard. End up in The Bronx. Get out of the Bronx.

Tell parents I’d never go anywhere with them ever again.

Back in NYC in the late 80s. Area, CBGB, Pyramid Club, Limelight. Underage drinking. Live for the moment, all in black. VIP, baby.

Wear Doc Martens with flower patterned short-alls and think it’s the height of fashion.

First boyfriend, a guy named Chad from Minnesota.

Parent’s mystified.


Manic Panic. All day, errryday.

Age 19: Dye hair brown because I want to look like Sherilyn Fenn from Twin Peaks. Unsatisfied by how light it is, so dye it again. Look like a death metal rocker. Pierce nose and get black leather jacket to complete the look.

Go home for Thanksgiving. Parents not amused.

Insomnia from age 8-15 because I thought we were all going to die from nukes.

Insomnia from age 8-15 because I thought we were all going to die from nukes.
Agoraphobia at age 11 because I thought we were all going to die from a tornado.

Endure depression and bullying before there were movements, support groups, hashtags, or pills.
Get on Prozac at age 20 and am too ashamed to tell anyone.
At age 25, tell boyfriend who shames me for “taking the easy way out.”
Suggest mom, dad and brother all go on Prozac.


Two words: Frozen yogurt.
Two more words: Calorie counting.

Get up at 7 am to do the Richard Simmons workout.
Get up at 7 am to do the Jane Fonda workout.
Go to Weight Watchers meetings at age 8. Youngest one there. Mortified.
Give it up and eat Twix and Skittles.


Birthday party at bowling alley with the family. Hear that President Reagan was shot. Think it’s shocking and terrible. Look back on the memory as “quaint.”

Still call it the Hinckley Hilton.


Crush hard on David Cassidy, Elvis, Brandon (who lived up the street and didn’t know I existed), Peter from the Brady Bunch, Mike (who worked at a café with me during college; didn’t know I existed), Johnny Depp before he was skeezy.

Worship Debbie Harry and Madonna.
Want to be Gillian, Sophie, Sarah, Belinda. Anyone but me.


Independent coffee shops.
Independent book stores.
Independent record stores.

Mixtapes for friends.
Mixtapes for boyfriends.
Mixtapes from boyfriends.

Walk for hours listening to my trusty yellow Walkman.


Five channels on the TV. Love Boat. Fantasy Island. Mrs. Roper. Mary Ann and Ginger. The Partridge Family. Oh, David Cassidy, you are dreamy.

See The Smiths in concert before they break up.
Young Morrissey taking off his shirt is forever imprinted on brain.
Meat is murder.

See Slackers stoned.
In awe of Richard Linklater’s brilliance.
Do not understand Julie Delpy’s attraction to Ethan Hawke in Before Sunrise.
Singles.
Reality Bites
.


No Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, iPhones, Twitter, email, Internet, Square Space, MySpace, Alexa, virtual reality, the Cloud, Silicon Valley, dotcoms, memes, chatbots, viral videos, fucking influencers, spam, GPS.

Maps. Getting lost. A lot.

Nirvana, The Cranberries, Jane’s Addiction, The Sundays, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, Stone Roses, New Order, The Smiths, The Cure, Belly, Bowie, Depeche Mode, Carole King, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Brit Pop, Grunge, Riot Grrrrls, Crowded House, Men Without Hats.

Alone in my room amassing a collection of Lipsmackers, Aziza cosmetics, deliveries from the Butterfly Club.

Cranky about being too early, too late, ahead of the curve, behind the times, never at the right time. Cranky about getting older. Missing the boat. Not following dreams. Missed opportunities. Getting over it. Resilience. Reinvention.

Houston’s, American Café, Hot Shoppes, HoJos, Chadwicks.

Graduate college in 1991 and mail hundreds of resumes. Rejection after rejection. Deep depression. Even the Prozac didn’t help. Stints at a bagel shop, Limited Express, and Starbucks. Finally land first job as an editorial assistant. Happy to be there. No complaints. File, photocopy try to learn DOS. Write reviews about woodworking tools. Evade sexual harassment. Barely even know what it means. No #MeToo.


Cranky about being too early, too late, ahead of the curve, behind the times, never at the right time. Cranky about getting older. Missing the boat. Not following dreams. Missed opportunities. Getting over it. Resilience. Reinvention.

That’s me. That’s us. That’s Generation X.


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