Gen-x ladies ...are we over the hill?

Short answer: NO!


3 min read

Gen-X ladies….are we over the hill?

Ok so I’m an over 40 mother of three with all the typical signs and wonders of having lived more than four decades on this spinning rock, and for the most part, I have made my peace with that. In fact, over the past few years, I have taken to heart the “love- yourself-body-positive-50- is -the -new 30” (thank you J-Lo) mantras that dominate the airwaves so much so that I often forget how “old” I am.

In fact, recently I've caught myself myself partying like it’s 1999, responding with “As if” in everyday conversation and online shopping for outfits my mama would have stopped wearing before she was 22! And by and large, I feel plenty of support for my somewhat delusional lack of age awareness. I mean what kid wouldn’t want a mom who's willing to let you have frozen pizza for dinner 4 nights a week.

(This could be a testament to my laziness, but I kinda doubt it ).

Still there have been a few instances where I’ve had to institute a genteel, “Excuse me?” because I wasn’t quite sure if I had heard some Judgey-Judy correctly. A couple of real gems include being labeled a “Geriatric Pregnancy” when I became pregnant with baby #3 at the ripe old age of 38 and being labeled ‘the elder teacher’ on the hall when I surpassed the age of all the new hires by 15 years (insert eye roll here).

But the most recent of these indignities came from a well-meaning dermatologist who, upon analyzing my skin, declared that I was in fact……“well-preserved.” Yes. Dr. Self-esteem Squasher actually used the phrase: Well-PRESERVED. As in desperately trying to salvage something that is aging rapidly past its prime in order to “preserve” its few remaining savory qualities before it’s too late!

And while I have no doubt, he meant it as a compliment, I would have much preferred a phrase such as “age-defying” or “fresh-faced.” Or really any phrase that wouldn’t have instantly clouded my mind with images of my Memaw’s peach preserves congealing slowly in an old Mason jar on the back shelf of the pantry.

Trek toward antiquity

Still nothing has reminded me of my inevitable trek toward antiquity so much as a recent article in NewsWeek magazine about an incredible “time capsule” find of a perfectly “intact Gen-X bedroom.” Ummm, WHAAAAAATTTTTT??? The article describes the finder’s awe at revealing fossils like a Cypress Hill CD, tube televisions and a VHS copy of Road House as if he has just uncovered an artifact likened to the brittle, old bones of a T-Rex or well-worn copy of Lincoln’s “Gettsyburgh Address.”

Seriously? I mean, since when did people born before 1981 enter the realm of time capsule material? Are we that decrepit? Are we really so prehistoric that uncovering one of our vintage Kurt Cobain posters warrants a national news story? If so, maybe we should just hang it all up, invade the local nursing homes with our ancient PearlJam posters, portable walkmans, Goodwill t-shirts and call it a day.

We could do just that. But in the words of the all-wise and unforgettable Gen-Xer, Alicia Silverstone: “As if!”

GEN-X Unite

Instead, I say we Generation-X ladies unite! Pull yourself up by your worn-out Doc Martens, tighten up that flannel shirt around your waist, and crank up your favorite Stone Temple Pilots song! Let’s show these millennials and Gen-Zers what our generation has to offer.

In fact, here’s a top 5 list:

  1. We know how to use a real, paper map! Yes they still exist.

  2. We can manage an in-person, face-to-face conversation with another human for more than 30 seconds

  3. We easily recognize Winona Ryder in anything other than Stranger Things

  4. We know how to use an open car window to hop in the driver’s seat in case the door is welded shut:

"Thank you Bo and Luke Duke"

  1. We can belt out all the lyrics to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” without missing a beat

So forget the dinosaur inferences, the elderly and geriatric labels, and let’s live out the second half of our lives smelling like teen spirit and being proud of it!