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Thursday
Jan092014

X Is Not the Spot

Whoever's in charge of deciding who's in what generation needs to issue an Official Directive regarding me.  When I was in high school I was referred to as "Gen X," and then people stopped calling me that as, I suppose, actual Gen Xers started barging around various workplaces. I also seem to be in an entirely different generation from Julie The Nephews Mama, who was born 3 years ahead of me and never seems to have any sort of generational identity crisis, but that's possibly because she is, as a human being, competent.

Anyway, in the past two months I've been referred to as "Gen Y" AND a "Millennial," which is simultaneously encouraging and upsetting, as I dedicate great wads of thought to the fact that I'm not where I'd like to be in my career at my age, but now I'm hearing that's because I was conditioned to expect success directly upon presenting myself to the world at large and not due to any direct failure on my part. 

 Anyway, please let me know what I am so I know who to blame for everything.  Maybe you can help.  Here are my generational markers:

-My first big-girl album was Thriller.

-I found a Texas Instruments 99/4A emulator and I hated using the keyboard controls, so I asked my students where I could find a plug-in joystick and they laughed very hard.

-I absolutely knew that this cartoon existed, because Pac Man was my man, and nobody believed me until someone invented YouTube:

-I watched "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?"... as a college freshman.

-All of my baby pictures are slides.  All of my middle childhood pictures were sent away from Weckenbrock's Pharmacy for processing.  All of my high school pictures were dropped off Walgreen's for one-hour development.  Nobody knows what I looked like in grad school because I lost the CD the pictures were transferred to.

-I vaguely knew who Kurt Cobain was at the time Nirvana was big, but as I had no idea what he was singing, I did not in the slightest think of him as a genius.

-I just got all offended because I answered a survey which assumed I didn't know what "burning a DVD" meant, but the same survey wanted to know what I thought about .ISO files and I was like, "What's an .ISO file?"

-My grade school and high school assignments were typed on a computer, but my college application forms were done on a typewriter.  With paper.  And Wite Out.  And a very great deal of cursing.  And more Wite-Out.

-I used the term "ghettoblaster" in general conversation to describe a boombox about five years ago and someone gasped and informed me that it was a racist term and I was genuinely befuddled.

-My mother still uses the term "ghettoblaster."  I passed along my new PC knowledge but she typed EVERYTHING on a typewriter and doesn't care.

-I have had the same Yahoo! address for fourteen years. 

-Ronald Reagan was always the President.  John Paul II was always the Pope.

-I use the word "tape" to refer to recording something on the DVR even though I'm pretty sure that if it breaks I can't just go in there with a Papermate and respool everything.

-Jim The Nephew, while playing Lego Star Wars, wanted to know how the Emperor could talk to Darth Vader in a picture without actually being there. I launched into an age-appropriate explanation of holograms, involving distance, time, Force projection, and asteroid interference. He listened very patiently and then said, "So it's like Facetime?"

-I learned the Cheers theme by hearing it waft upstairs while my parents watched it.  It was on after my bedtime.

-I was on my way to class on Notre Dame's campus when someone walked past me talking on a cellphone and I thought, "That is the dumbest, most unnecessary thing I've ever seen."

-The first movie I saw in a theatre was "A Christmas Story."  It was most emphatically not in HD.

-Childhood career goals, in order: Olympic gymnast, NASA astronaut, newspaper columnist.  Two of those three careers no longer exist.  The third is in a sport which is currently populated by twitching fetuses and barely resembles what I grew up watching; the only remaining constant, apparently, is that it's really f-ing hard to do five cartwheels in a row on a four-inch wide piece of wood.

-I learned to use the Internet on a computer that was sitting in a library next to a card catalogue.

UPDATE:  I have been reliably informed that my age band is officially designated as, quote, "old."

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