Friday, August 21, 2009

Check out MomCrusades!

My friend has started her own blog and I want to give it an enthusiastic endorsement. Check it out here!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I was a teenage bully-victim

I just read an interesting article in which the author argues that the books for teenage girls written in the late 1960s through the 1980s (books that were read by trailing edge Boomer girls and Gen X girls) are far superior to those being published today. And I couldn’t help but think about my own experience as a girl in the 1980s and the impact these books had on me.

Blogger JenX67 often talks about the ground-breaking book “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” – in fact she’s named her own blog after that title. I, of course, read that and many other Judy Blume titles. But it wasn’t just the “classics” that got me through my rough junior high years.

There was a girl in junior high school that stalked and harassed me for about three years. She used to follow me home from school every day and yell “bitch.” It was pretty bad. In fact, when I got to the first corner turn, I’d run as fast as I could to get to the next block to escape the harassment. There's a whole bunch of other stuff, but I don't talk about it anymore. It's just over.

Like many girls my age, I was told to ignore it. THIS NEVER WORKS. Therefore, I was a really easy target – hey, why not bully Suzanne? She’s not going to do anything about it. I look back now and realize if I would have just gotten in this girl’s face and told her to go fuck herself, it would have stopped. I may have gotten punched (which was really unlikely, because looking back at this person, she was far more insecure than me), but I would have saved myself a lot of heartache. I was well into my 30s when I learned to stand up to bullies at work.

In 7th grade, specifically, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I’m sure the other girls didn’t want to risk the same thing happening to them. But I did have my books.
I used to love to read what I would call teen “pulp fiction.” Books about high school girls living there lives and overcoming their teen issues. They gave me companionship. And they gave me some hope.
I don’t mean this to be my sob story. There are people who have much sadder stories than getting bullied in junior high school. I just think it’s interesting what kind of memories old books can bring back.
Special note: I was also inspired to write this post by my friend Kathy, who wrote a great article on the topic of bullying. Hopefully, she'll post her insights on the topic here, too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Any kid who tells on another kid is a dead kid

In my last post I mentioned the movie Over The Edge. I'm not sure why, but I think it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Can you even imagine what the Boomers who made this film were thinking about Gen X at the time?

Take a look at the trailer and tell me you know what to make it your next NetFlix selection.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

John Hughes "got" Gen X

I've been meaning to write something about John Hughes. As a kid, he was my favorite director (and yes, I did have favorite directors as a kid - I had this thing about movies from the time I saw the movie Nine to Five.) His death is really the end of an era.

John Hughes wrote and directed movies about Gen X teenagers in which the kids were smart. The dialog was unique, because it really reflected the way Xers spoke at the time. We talked like adults - but we reasoned like teenagers. Before Hughes came along, most movies about my generation portrayed us as being possessed by the devil (either literally in movies like The Exorcist or figuratively in movies like Over the Edge - which is this awesomely hilarious movie with Matt Dillon where all the suburban teens are sent off to juvey.)
When I was in junior high school, my mom took me to see The Breakfast Club. People always are shocked that my mom had to take me, because everyone forgets that the movie was rated R. That film hit a nerve with me, because it was so spot on. I don't think you see teenagers portrayed that "real" anymore.

However, my favorite Hughes movie of all time was Sixteen Candles. I still quote from it (what's a-happening hot stuff?). I'd like to say that I identified with the Samantha character, but frankly, I was more like Farmer Ted.

Goodbye John Hughes. Thank you for being one of the first Boomers to "get" us. Thanks to you, there will be some proof to future generations that Gen Xers were not all "possessed" as teenagers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

More proof that Generation X should start in 1958

Typically, we say Generation X starts in 1965, because the Baby boom supposedly ended in 1964. However, I argue that since 1958 was the first year in an 11-year decline in birth rates in the U.S., then those born 1958-1964 are really more X than Boomer. (I could go on and on and on and on to the similarities, but it's still rather early here in Michigan).

Today I saw this video on and I thought, is Craig Ferguson an Xer? The answer: Well, kind of. He was born in 1962. So enjoy the video. And I'd love to hear your thoughts on when Xers started gracing this Earth - and why you picked that year.