I'm a millennial. I just found out today at lunch, so excuse me if I take a moment to acknowledge myself as the special snowflake that I am. I'm kidding.
For several years I was one of the youngest teachers in the building, My friend across the lunch table and I like to joke with each other about the generation gap between us. She was a leg warmer 80's girl and I was a slap-bracelet 90's kid. She let it slip once that growing up she had to wear this awful, thick plastic swim cap with giant flowers on it in order to be let in to her local pool. I had never heard such a thing and a robust debate ensued with the entire lunch table. I am now convinced that the generation gap between myself and other women can be answered just by inquiring about the swim cap policy at their local pool growing up. This is, of course, a very scientific litmus test.
For years I have been operating off the assumption that I was Gen-X's ill-defined younger sibling. But a new player has entered the game. The brand new teacher right out of college! The new teacher and I discuss her 90's fashion (the 90's are in again!) and she doesn't recognize her boots as the Doc Martens I lived for in high school.
Today's generational snark at the lunch table (now with the newest generation chiming in) resulted in some fact checking. It turns out my mid-1980's birthday means that I am, in fact, a millennial. Sorry, that's Millennial with a capital M. I have to do that now that I am one of them. It's in the contract.
How can I possibly be a Millennial? I grew up playing "Sim-City"- none of this "The Sims" ridiculousness. Transformers were toys, not movies, and I'm still waiting for that Beanie Baby collection to pay off. But Millennials? Millennials invented artisanal mayonnaise.
I'm not a Millennial! I rebutted. I refuse to be labelled!
And with that, I had just said the most characteristically Millennial thing possible.
I *am* a Millennial, I said, astonished.
Reese: Elementary Music Teacher in Chicagoland. Clarinetist and Trumpeter.
I'm writing a Slice of Life every day for the month of March as part of the Slice of Life Challenge. See more at TWO WRITING TEACHERS.
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