Before anyone thinks that this might be about anyone in particular, it is just as much about myself as it is anyone else. I’m in my mid-thirties, and from what I remember of my parents at this age (and I was 14 when my father was this age) is that I’m a lot more immature than what they were at my age. My parents like most of my friends parents, didn’t go out and party (granted we don’t really do that by a large contingent of people we know do). They didn’t collect toys. They didn’t play video games. They didn’t watch cartoons unless the kids were also watching. They didn’t do much. They lived. They lived the life that my generation said they would rather die before they reached 30 because it was all downhill from there. We have learned it’s not.
Some of the things I’ve listed people would read as normal, going out and partying. Other things like buying toys or reading comics I will concede the geek side of things there. However it doesn’t change that I know people who I used to be close with (and others that have never been so close) are more likely to go out and hang out than having a quiet evening at home. I will grant you that those of us with kids are less likely to go wander around a 24 hour store at 2 AM. If we didn’t have kids though it is not inconceivable that every once in a while while we would end up on someone’s couch. This isn’t something that ever happened in our home for people my parents age. The sleep overs and crashes were saved for the kids.
Some things are because we don’t want to face the reality of our age and maturity. We prefer doing the same things we have always done and damn those creaks and pains that we never got before. We are still young and refuse to go quietly away to the maturity our parents had. We prefer to flaunt that we are young. I feel really sorry for the retirement homes when they do finally have to deal with our generation. Instead of the Andrew Sister’s music flooding the hallways it is going to be Guns and Roses or NWA.
In the end I can’t say if this is a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing – I guess the true outcome will be looking at the generation that comes after us. How will they turn out? Will they become more “mature” in what we viewed as children that traditional “grown-ups” would be? Will they rush to be old and give up the childhood and teenage years that my generation seems to cling to? Maybe that they named us Gen X because they didn’t know what was going to happen with us is still occurring. We still break the mold in a way that just doesn’t fit the same way in society. Curious and odd, you would think after three decades we would have an idea of what we are by now.