My writing group was discussing a piece submitted by our youngest member, a very bright and passionate millennial girl. Young woman? It was mostly great but I told her that I was having a hard time keeping her characters straight and maybe she could give them names?
“There’s just the one guy,” she said.
“Really? Oh I thought there were two. You are talking to your ex in the first scene but then a few pages later you wake up next to this guy and there’s no transition…”
“Yeah it’s the same guy. It’s just one guy.”
“Okay, well I was confused. Maybe I’m the only one…” I looked at the other writing group members for help.
She laughed. “You Gen-Xers. You don’t get us at all. When I say that we broke up I don’t mean we are over. I still need to get off. I still need a roommate. You guys are so easily shocked.”
She was right – I didn’t get it. But it wasn’t in a prudish “do you mean that you did the DEED with a BOY you aren’t IN LOVE WITH?” way. I don’t care. It’s a clarity problem. Not a generational problem. Also, for the record, I spent most of the last ten years focussed on either dating or writing. Good relationships are hard. Good transitions are harder.
Still, it reminded me of the time I was at that dance club in Greece (I never go to dance clubs but we were in the Greek Islands) and I was wearing white pants (I never wear but we were in the Green Islands) and I got my period of fucking course. And I asked a group of Australian college aged tourists if one of the had a tampon and they looked at me like I was a particularly nasty leper asking for a band-aid and said, “Uh – no!? We haven’t had a period in years!”
Once I got over how an accent could be super cute and way judgey at the same time, my mind exploded. “What do they know that I don’t know?”
When I got back to the States I asked all my friends, “We are all still having our periods, right? Because apparently Australians have evolved and don’t do that anymore.”
So, apparently Aussie girls had that figured out back in the aughts and now millennial girls have evolved beyond broken hearts and paying full rent. Good for them. Less Tampax and Kleenex in the landfills.