There I was. Just minding my own business. Looking like a hungover Cruella de Vil with my gallon-sized black coffee and my big dark sunglasses and my resting bitch face. Sitting at an outdoor table quietly attempting to write a beautiful and heartfelt rant on why I thought Blake Lively was the devil.
When suddenly, the three of them plopped down at the next table. A blur of bobbing, shiny ponytails and leggings.
And with a shudder of horror, I realized Yoga in the Park had just let out and my personal space was being invaded by the Millennial Yoga Girls.
Never one much for movement if not strictly necessary, I decided to hold my ground and keep typing away, wracking my brain to come up with synonyms for the phrase “just the worst” to describe ‘ol Blakey Poo. But professional scribe though I am (with the tiny, tiny paycheck to prove it), I couldn’t help but be distracted by their conversation.
“Like, I’m not impressed, you know?”
“Yeah, like, she would say ‘get on all fours’ and then tell us to sit up and I was, like, wait, what?”
“Yeah, she was obviously a new instructor. Like, watching YouTube yoga videos doesn’t make you a professional, Jessslyn.”
“Oh my god, that’s so funny.”
I was getting ready to get up and leave before my brain committed suicide when I overheard the one with the shiniest, most bobbing-est ponytail say “My dad is in the cheese business.”
A unique enough sentence in its own right, sure. But it was the fact that she trailed off after saying it. And just left it at that. Like her dad being in the cheese business was self-explanatory.
Granted, I missed the beginning of the conversation. But what conversation topic can be reasonably concluded by the statement “my dad is in the cheese business”? It was like that old Lewis Black joke about “if it wasn’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.” Her sentence just kept rattling around in my brain.
So, I reluctantly decided to stay and eavesdrop. For, you know, professional reasons. Who knew? There might be a comedic goldmine here to exploit. At the very least, I figured, I could live tweet their conversation since they pretty much spoke in audible tweets anyway and maybe get a few retweets by people who are even older and even more bitter than I am that the world around them is changing without their consent.
“Yeah, I just spent, like, half my paycheck buying a bunch of [unpronounceable hipster food].”
“Oh, did you get it at Whole Foods?”
“Yeah. I mean, you know me. I like to buy local whenever possible but, like, Whole Foods is Whole Foods…you know?”
“Oh my god, you guys are so funny.”
My fingers were practically smoking across the keyboard. I knew it was wrong. You shouldn’t make fun of the young folk just because you’re old now and grew up in a different generation. But I just couldn’t help myself.
“It’s like I told him, ‘Joshua, you can’t, like, wash those jeans. When they get dirty, you put them in the freezer to kill the bacteria.’ Everyone knows that.”
“Ew. He washes his jeans? What year is this? 2009?”
“Oh my god, that’s so funny.”
During a lull in the conversation, when they were all taking the mandatory post-yoga, pre-coconut water refresher selfie, I Googled “annoying Millennials” to help pad whatever snarky blog/column/essay these notes would turn into when I read something that stopped me in my tracks. According to the Pew Research Center, the Millennials are considered anyone born after 1980.
It couldn’t be…
But it was…
I was one of them.
But, but, but…
I’ve spent my whole life associating myself with Generation X. To this day I still love to rock purple lipstick and would slap my own mother if it meant I could get my hands on a bottle of old-school Chanel Vamp nail polish. I worship Nirvana and David Foster Wallace. Winona Ryder in “Reality Bites” is my spirit animal. Hell, I still consider the word “slacker” a compliment.
And now those bastards at the Pew Research Center have made me one of the oldest millennials instead of one of the youngest Gen-Xers. And no one wants to be the oldest of their generation. Because now instead of having the excuse “I was born in a different time, kid,” I’m just the pathetic, out-of-touch grandma that gets Grindr and Tinder confused.
My whole sense of self has been shaken. If I’m not a Gen-Xer, then just what the hell am I? Besides the woman now frantically texting all her younger friends “What is Snapchat? And how is it different from Instagram?”
But worst of all is the realization that I’ve been cut off from my own people all these years while I was busy shopping for second-hand flannel shirts. I know nothing about us, other than the snarky columns I’ve read from bitter legitimate Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers.
Guess I’ll just have to face it. I am a woman with one foot in each generation. Rendering me essentially generationless.
Still, having never been one to back down from adversity, I plan to embrace my new Millennial status with gusto.
Now, does anyone know where I can buy coconut water and if it pairs well with copious amounts of vodka?