GenX begets GenZ

Today I discovered something absolutely awesome. GenX radio. 99.7, Kansas City. It rocks!! It takes me back and yet, instantly takes me to me. And it’s made me really think about my history.

I grew up in the 70s, came of age in the 80s and learned to be an adult in the 90s-and the new millennium, and am still figuring it out a decade later. I took my first steps as men walked on the moon, Beatlemania hit the coast, women burned bras and the country was torn apart by war.

My formative years were filled with darkness, a new kind of revolution and a different definition of technology. I remember the first MTV video, the premiere of Madonna, Billy Jean and punk becoming mainstream.

A few months ago my daughter asked me what I thought of her outfit. And I paused, but I asked “Do you really want to know?” She nodded. I asked it again, and again. And finally she lost it (it doesn’t often take much) and she said “YES Mom! What?” And I should stop and explain she had dark streaks in her blonde hair, black leggings, black shiny boots that came to right above her ankle. I think we used to call them combat wanna-bes. Over her leggings she had on gray plaid shorts and on top a black long tee.

Finally, I decided the suspense had lasted long enough. “I think,” I cleared my throat, waiting. “I think, you look just like me in the 80s.” Now I understand why the expression is “can hear a pin drop”.

She kinda scoffed, but I think she knew I was serious. And I was. I can’t believe how this generation of early teens mirrors the GenXers. I remember when people made fun of the idea of a GenX. I remember how much I thought the description totally fit me, my friends and everyone I knew.

And I learn, now, that her generation even mirrors that. Generation Z is considered somewhat of an enigma. Hard to understand, pin down or describe I hear them discussed much as we were. And my heart melts for a second. It so perfectly defined me and I fear it so perfectly describes my sweet, lovely daughter.

And like me, she delights in her status as ethereal and untidy. She doesn’t fit into a cubby, slot or hole. She would love that. And she would hate that she’s just like her dear old Mom.

I try not to love it so much, but it’s so damn hard.


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