David and I called Lauren this morning, to sing her happy birthday over the speaker on his cell. She’s 25 today, sleeping in after a night of sushi and dancing with her guy. His folks took baby Tobiah last night, so it was a rare free night for them.
And we asked her if she’d gotten the card we sent. There’s a gift certificate inside for a hefty chunk to squander at a salon — David’s idea, to pamper the young mother. The man knows what women like, I can attest. Lauren said she’d have to check the mailbox. Which they usually don’t. For days or weeks at a time.
How can you not check your mailbox, I asked her.
Well, all her bills come online. All messages are emailed. All they get in the mailbox is junk and it makes them mad to look at it. So they don’t. I told her there was probably a “save the date” notice from her cousin in there, for his summer wedding and she sounded bemused by the possibility. This is so Gen X to me.
You may have noticed the impassioned comments on my last two posts from Politico08, exhorting me to use the term “Generation Jones” instead of Cuspers. The article he/she (I’m betting on “he”) cites, Jonathan Pontell, is compelling, in a thrilling political-rally kind of way. Though I view anything in USA Today with a bit of a jaundiced eye.
I must confess, I don’t like “Generation Jones” much. (Not only because I’ve got a “Me and Mrs. Jones” ear worm going now.) I never loved the term “jonesing” either, having heard it WAY too much in high school. There was nothing my cohorts didn’t jones for. Which is, I suppose, the point.
But I do feel swept up in the idea. The last line of the article says, “We’re not late Boomers; we’re late bloomers.” There’s something to it, the feeling that we’re coming into our own. After spending most of our lives thus far in the Boomers’ deep shadow, that we’re emerging into the sun. I began hearing when I was in middle school that my generation was cynical and selfish. I didn’t buy it then and I don’t buy it now. I do believe that there’s a middle ground between socialism and free-market pillaging. I believe that we’ve caused a drastic shift in the global climate balance and that we can do something about it. I’ll pay some bills online, but I prefer to mail checks for others.
It’s exciting to feel that maybe we are our own group after all. And more, that we can be effective. “Yes we can” might have sounded like a political line at first. But it does embody my approach to life. It’s certainly how I answer clients — even if it means I’ll figure out later how I’ll do it. It’s how I approach all of my problems — with the belief that an answer can be found. Maybe that is what our generation has to offer.
So, I’ll hop on the wagon, for solidarity’s sake. I won’t give up my fondness for the grey area. But I love feeling like we’re finally out there doing something. If you all want to call it Generation Jones, fine by me.
We’ll see who’s the greatest.