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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Talkin' Bout My Generation

I struggled a bit this week with Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

The letter is X.

What starts with X? Hmm...

Well, there's the Xbox that my little XY chromosomes are currently grounded from due to unacceptable behavior but since I've never actually played it myself, I didn't think I could construct an entire post based on that. 

Oh, I know!  Xerox.  I used that big, obnoxious Xerox copier daily back when I worked in an office.  Surely, I can recall a good story about that.  Um. Nope.  Not so much.  Too many years gone by, apparently, because I couldn't recall a single Xerox story worth re-telling.

Then it hit me.  Of course!  Generation X!  

So I googled it.  And while the birth years classifying someone as a Gen X-er vary from source to source, most all agree on including the years from 1965-1976. But some even say 1961-1981 and I fall  smack in the middle of that span, with a birth year of 1971.  

Here are some of the repeated words and phrases I found that are commonly associated with members of my generation X...

*"latch-key" kids
*better educated than previous generations
*divorced parents
*t.v. dinners/t.v trays
*"work to live" instead of "live to work"
*not easily impressed
*eager to learn but resist being "bossed"

I have to say, while I have never given much thought to the fact that I'm a member of Generation X, I can absolutely relate to most all of those words/phrases above because just about every single one of them does apply to me.

Well, all except the "latch-key" kid.  I had to practically get down on my hands and knees and beg my mother to allow me to ride the bus home at the age of 14 and stay alone for a couple of hours until she got home from work.  Up until then, I still had to go to my "babysitter's" house after school.  And not that she wasn't a wonderful woman because she was.  I just thought 14 was entirely too old to be "babysat".  

But as far as all the others go?  Wow. I found myself nodding in agreement at almost every article I read describing a Generation X-er.  And by the way, this Generation X-er just happens to be turning 40 next month. 

Did I mention that?  Oh, only about a hundred and fifty nine times? I must've forgotten. I hear the memory is one of the first things to go. I couldn't even recall a story about the Xerox monster who gave me fits every day for 5 years back in the 90's.  

I'm kidding. I'm kidding.  Relax.  I know 40 isn't old.  Well, I guess it depends on who you ask... "Forty is the old age of youth; fifty, the youth of old age." ~Victor Hugo  Hmm...

Here are just a few of my favorite Generation X peeps who are also turning 40 this year...

John Hamm (who plays Don Draper on AMC's Mad Men) LOVE that show!  Genius.

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Amy Poehler (Hi-Larious! Love her.)
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Winona Ryder (I will always think of her as Lydia Deetz, "the weird and strange" girl in Beetlejuice)
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Mark Wahlberg (or the artist formerly known as Marky Mark!) 
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Taye Diggs ( While I watch him play Dr. Sam Bennett on Private Practice every Thursday night, I can't help but remember him as the fine young thing who gave Stella her groove back!)
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Christina Applegate (she's come a long since Kelly Bundy)
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Alternate names for my generation:

*The Reagan Generation
*The MTV Generation
*"Baby Busters" (due to the decrease in births following the baby boom)
*The 13th Generation (because it's the 13th to know the U.S. flag)

More Gen X Facts:

*The term was first used in the late 70's by the Billy Idol led punk rock band, Generation X.

*Most educated fielded U.S. military force to date.

*Often known as "Generation E" in continental Europe

*1970 had the lowest birth rate of the generation.

Attributes identified with Gen X:

~War on Drugs
~Desert Storm
~Dot-com bubble
~1980's hair bands (Bon Jovi, Motley Crue)
~Rise and fall of disco
~NYC blackout of 1977
~Punk rock
~Heavy metal
~end of the cold war
~fall of the Berlin wall
~Iran hostage crisis
~Grunge/alternative rock bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam
~Hip hop culture
~Inception of home computer,
 video games,
 cable t.v.,
 and finally...

 the wonderful world of internet! 

And how did any of us ever survive without that?!


  1. Loved you list of fortyish Xers. Beetlejuice is one of my favorite movies!!

  2. Wow this was an interesting post. I would not consider it to be as early as 61 - 71 only because of the latch key kid and phrases like that. I was born in 62 and everything I knew was still more traditional style family at home and the same for everyone I knew.

    I love how much info you dug up on this. tons of fun here!!

  3. Hi Diane,
    Wow, this is interesting...I think of it as fun times! It reminds me of being a generation of Michael Jackson and Madonna's work...Oh, and remembering watching Family Ties...and also Atari and the Rubic's Cube--too fun!

  4. I love this post! I was nodding along with most of it. I actually was a latch-key kid for a few years and I think you remember that I finally got to see Bon Jovi this year!

    Thanks for starting my day off with a chuckle!

  5. I learned so much! You have such interesting facts!

  6. Well, this post certainly took me back a parent of an X'er! Yep, it was an's one for your list about Punk Rock. My 15 year old 39...came in one day and said, "Mom, would you take me and some friends to a Pat Benatar concert?" I said, "Who's HE?"!!!

    Obviously, I'm a Baby Boomer and only fitting to have a Baby Buster! Great Letter X post!

  7. This genX chick is tired! Does it say anything about that?

  8. I've never considered myself in that generation but I guess I am. I wasn't a latchkey kid though. My mom stayed home.

  9. Wait, all of those people are 40?? I think of them as like . . . 20. Because I'm *totally* 20. And Mark Whalberg will always be Marky Mark. I loved this!!

  10. Huh, I thought Christina Applegate was older. - I was a latch key kid from about 6th or 7th grade, my mom stayed home before that. She only got a full time job when my brother went to first grade, but then her first job was at the high school across the street from our house. :P

  11. Excellent ! I was into the disco scene and watched it fall too :) we not only were latchkey kids but alone on weekends because my mother would stay out with her boyfriends!
    I hated weekends

  12. Great Gen X post. My kids were born between 1975 and 1982, so I have three Gen-Xers and one on the cusp.


  13. Diane...They don't call them babysitters anymore. They are called tutors. I can relate to all of those things on your list except divorced parents and I'm a baby boomer. Your spring photos are great. You are so far ahead of me since I have snow on the ground. xo, Rosemary

  14. this was interesting ... disco ... oh i remember that sooooo well! Saturday nights at the disco ...

  15. there's a lot written about generation X! I'm surprised that Xers are already 40 - how time flies! {:-D

  16. I must say, I could relate to most everything on that list too! What a great way to define oneself.

  17. Well, gee, I'm a boomer (which is, of course, the coolest generation!) but your generation sounds pretty cool, too!

    I actually learned a lot reading this post. Some of the information surprised me...I didn't realize a few of those actors were that old!

    Thanks for an x-cellent and interesting link this week.