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Latest Generation X Information, Links, Tweets and Stories (June 5, 2015)

Welcome to the latest round of Generation X information  links, tweets and stories. If you’re new here, be sure to read Who Is Generation X?

So, this is the June 5, 2015 edition of the old Blue Plate Special – the original category for Generation X News, established in 2009.

Ferris Bueller Took His Crazy Day Off 30 Years Ago Today

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was 30 years ago today. pinpointed the day by identifying the baseball game Ferris attends at Wrigley Field. I loved this movie so much. One of my all-time favorite movies scenes is Cameron in the museum.

Happy Birthday Barbapapa

barbapapa Google doodleEarlier this month, Google honored Barbapapa with an official Google Doodle. The series of children’s books was started in Paris, France, 45 years ago. They were popular in the 1970s and beloved by many Gen-Xers. Originally written in French by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor, they were translated into more 30 different languages. The Barbapapa Family (barbe à papa means cotton candy) were known for their ability to shape-shift at will.  In their native form, they’re blob-shaped with no legs and distinct arms and eyes. They’re super cute and are enjoying a bit of a revival. There’s a bunch of Barbapapa items for sale on Etsy including some books and wonderful birthday printables.

barbapapa book 1974barbapapa printables

animated gif barbapapa

Generations Nowadays in Four Pictures

The source for these drawings is @Patti_Luu on Twitter.

Generations Today Social Media people nowadays Generations Today Twitter Cell Phone Suntan Generations

Will A Gen-Xer Be President?

Haven’t we already had this discussion a few times? The Washington Post published an article on May 27, 2015: Here’s What It Sounds Like When Generation X Runs For President. Here’s an excerpt:

Generation X has hit the campaign trail.

For the first time, multiple members of Gen X are running for president – candidates who came of age during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the fall of Communism, the first Gulf War and the 24-hour news cycle. They expertly quote from ‘80s and 90s movies and music. They admit to being hooked on video games and binge-watching “mind candy” television.

Do Generation X Parents Suck, Too?

Anjali Enjeti wrote a piece on Generation X’s Parenting Problems that pretty much sums up everything else I’ve ever read on the subject. Enjeti still manages to be original, however, right down to our Chef Boyardee dinners and our children’s Mandarin lessons. {{{Sigh}}} I definitely recommend this for any mom or dad who gave all they had and still stare up at the ceiling at night wondering how they came up well over half empty and wanting — for what we don’t even know — since our kids were everything. Like Enjeti says, we had our kids late, are now sleep-deprived, have underwhelming careers, and no nest egg. But, the kids got cello lessons…

Gumball Machine with Sponge Bob balls

Colorful Gumball Machines (June 2015)

Round Gumball Machines

My little girl grabbing for gumball machine toys. (Blazers Ice Rink, June 2015)

Here’s an excerpt:

In our youths, we did chores. We scrubbed linoleum floors, folded laundry, polished silver, scrubbed toilets, ironed drapes, or washed cars. We completed chores because our parents “said so,” because our parents had backbones, because they were dictators whom we feared as much as Gorbachev or Fidel Castro or nuclear warheads. There were no “chore charts” adorned with sparkly stickers or smiley faces, and we were almost never paid for household work. To earn money, we delivered newspapers, mowed lawns, bagged groceries, answered telephones, and bussed tables at restaurants.

Our own children receive allowances for merely existing. They’re too “busy” to hold down real jobs. They have a dizzying array of “choices.” Their childhoods resemble the all-you-can-eat buffet at the Golden Corral. They can even pick their own discipline — time-out, restrictions, aw, hell, what does it matter? It’s not like they know the meaning of the word “no.”

Generation X and Cigarettes

The New York Times published a commentary on June 4, 2015 by Choire Sicha, a Gen-Xer who recently stopped smoking. It’s a terrific piece that bubbles over with the Gen X experience. From high schools that provided smoking courtyards for students to classic Xer cynicism to San Francisco before Silicon Valley, it’s a terrific, terrific commentary.

School Smoking Area 1980s

A teenager lights up in her high school’s designated smoking area. Note the sign above her head. Source: John Lonto on Flickr, March 1985


It was a heavenly time. In the mid-to-late-’80s, non-chain liquor stores would sell to my baby face. Evanston Township High School even had a luxurious smoking courtyard for us teenagers. So easy to be goth all winter!

Sicha is the author of Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City.

Single Gen X Women

Check out this piece from Susana Rinderle, Single Gen X Women: Lost Generation or Bridge Generation? Here’s an excerpt:

Women are looking for our equals and they’re not to be found – yet.  Perhaps we Generation X women are a lost generation.  The triumphs of our great-grandmothers, grandmothers and mothers in the 20s, 40s and 60s reverberate throughout our lives today.  And yet it might take one or two more generations for men to catch up.  It might take more initiatives like The Good Men Project.  Maybe we Gen X women are meant to explore being single and living alone in service of women’s evolution.  I hope not, but perhaps.  As they say in México mejor sola que mal acompañada – better to be alone than poorly accompanied (by a man).

Gen X Mom Remembers Her Mother

One thing that absolutely arrests me is the thought of dying before my children are grown. I have two friends who lost their mothers very young. Even 20 years and better after their deaths, they both still post tributes on Facebook on their birthdays and other anniversaries. It’s very touching. Vita is a personal trainer and mother of twins. She writes about losing her mom when she was young in a moving and boldly honest way.

Here’s an excerpt:

She let us eat sugary cereals with reckless abandon. I must have eaten 100 boxes of Lucky Charms during my childhood. She drove a Ford pick-up truck like a maniac and sometimes left me alone in it while she “quickly” ran inside a store…I would give anything for more time with her but, the time I did have was real and I’m grateful for it every single day.

Graduation 1985Class of ’85 30 Year Reunion

Finally, in celebration of the Class of 1985’s 30th Reunion, I leave you with a couple of personal photos from my senior year. It was a great year that I will always treasure. Joe and Jamie, two of my best friends, were with me. We enjoyed so many crazy times together and I loved them both so much. I wish I could go back and tell them both one more time how much they meant to me.

On May 19, 1985, we, along with 48 other classmates, had our tassels turned and received our diplomas. We cried and hugged and then we walked out of the school and pretty much out of each others’ lives forever. I went off to college in Oklahoma City, got married, and nearly never looked back.

I saw Joe two times after high school, but we wrote each other letters during my freshman year of college while he was away at Army boot camp. The last time I saw him he was in a coma in Jane Phillips Memorial Hospital in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He’d been in a tragic car accident in December 1988. He would never wake up from that coma and died in 1994. I think about him often and I so wish he were still here.

1985 PromI also saw Jamie twice after high school. The last time I saw him was at our 10-year reunion in 1995. Jamie died in April 2015. Here we are in our prom queen and king photo, May 4, 1985. He was such a good friend to me.

It’s hard for me to believe that the two guys I was closest to in high school have passed away, and I’m still here, plugging along. Plugging along writing about Generation X of all things — a generation whose life and times have left so many wanting for something more.



Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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1 Comment

  1. Allie

    Thank you so much for including one of my posts to your update here! I loved reading ALL of this but I’m so sorry about your two closest friends from high school. Reading that gave me goosebumps and I just can’t imagine! I’m still very close to a few high school friends and, luckily, we haven’t lost very many from our class…yet.
    Great read and again, thanks for the shout-out!

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