From The Confessional: We're Gen-Xers, And We Have Some Sh*t To Say

by Karen Johnson
Two cassette tapes on a purple background
Jena Ardell/Getty

Do you remember the day Kurt Cobain died? Like, you know what you were wearing, where you were when you found out, and which song you immediately went home and listened to? (Was it “Heart-Shaped Box” or “Come As You Are”?) Do you list his death as one of the defining moments of your adolescence? Were you also a huge fan of “My So Called Life” and “90210”, and did you wear combat boots and dark brown lip liner to hang out at the corner store or to a party in the middle of a field on Saturday nights?

Do you remember your first concert, and was it Lollapalooza?!

If you can relate to any of this, you’re a Gen-Xer. Not a boomer, and not a millennial, but somewhere in between. The last generation to grow up without technology as kids, but the first generation to really know what the “internet” even was, along with mind-blowing inventions like call waiting and AOL instant messenger. We saw the rise of CDs and the death of cassette tapes. We saw the dawn of DVDs and the demise of the VCR. And we all remember the sound of dial up internet and can still hear it in our nightmares.

Gen-Xers are unique in being the first and the last of many things, and even though we tend to be the “forgotten” generation, we’re still very much here — and we have a lot to say.

H and I are Gen X, have a small home in a nice middle-class sub. Neighborhood is half friendly young couples w/kids, and half mean-spirited Boomers. We don’t quite fit in, the forgotten generation, still stuck between youth and death. Fuck I miss the 90s…

Confessional #25845569

Gen X women have it really hard. We have to work our asses off, while also caring for aging parents (and grandparents), plus our own kids (and grandkids). We're doing it all, with minimal support, and anytime we dare have an opinion we're called a Karen.

Confessional #25843289

First of all, because we straddle both sides of the technological age, we don’t really fit into any one box. Also, we are drowning in the responsibilities of raising kids in a society that requires two incomes, the personal drive to have our own careers, the pressure to still be supermoms who do it all, and the exhaustion of caring for our aging parents all at the same time. It’s great. Really, really great. (*cries*)

I miss the 90's. At least I still have our music to listen to. What an epic, awesome decade. I'm not a "kids these days" type usually, but there's something about Gen X that just sets us apart, and I miss that. For one thing, we have way more grit.

Confessional #18506022

Locked myself out yesterday (bottom knob, not the deadbolt) and the locksmith wanted $200. Hung up on him, pulled out a credit card, and broke back into my house myself. I am ridiculously proud of my Gen X resourcefulness right now! :)

Confessional #7391423

But despite being forgotten and not really fitting in, we have some serious fucking grit and are resourceful as hell. I mean, we had to find our way home from those field parties in the middle of the night, by curfew, without smartphones, so we learned a thing or two.

I thought My So-Called Life was a way better show than 90210. And Jared Leto was hawwt. 90210 was just another privileged rich-kid show. MSCL was way more perfectly Gen X.

Confessional #21915204

Have started streaming Tiny Toons, Pinky & the Brain, and Animaniacs for DC 9 & 7. Gen X cartoons were sooo much better. Besides, Pinky & the Brain is where I learned my whole smart vocabulary! 🙂 They love it.

Confessional #1639771

I don't like or relate to anything from the 80s. I'm a 90s kid all the way, true Gen X. Well, except The Princess Bride. Everyone loves that movie.

Confessional #22447042

We had THE BEST TV shows and movies. Hellooooo Jordan Catalano. And we got our movies at Blockbuster before our weekend sleepovers, which was all part of the magic. Be kind and rewind!

Realized today, I'm now in that "older generation." Gen Xer here!

Confessional #25784005

We’re old, but not like OLD old. We all rely exclusively on our phones now for GPS and where to find the best takeout, but we still send out real family Christmas cards with stamps to everyone we know.

I'm a Gen X-er and I do not give one fuck about Star Wars. Never have.

Confessional #25838847

I’m a Gen Xer and have never worn Docs.

Confessional #25825561

I’m a Gen Xer, and I know a ton of peers who decided to have no children. I think it’s going to be the same way for younger millennials, too. I don’t blame them.

Confessional #25833384

I'm Gen X (remember us? we exist!) and I've been disinterested in marriage and committed relationships my whole life. Show me men who aren't in it just for themselves, and I might reconsider. But at 40, I haven't met one yet.

Confessional #22584001

The best thing about Gen-Xers is that we like what we like and we DGAF if others don’t. Even if it seems like all the other Gen-Xers are doing it and we don’t want to, we’re like nope. Don’t care.

I love saying OK Boomer to every self-righteous, denialist Baby Boomer that talks down to us. The Gen X-Y-Z solidarity against the destruction of the Boomer generation is beautiful. That they get so offended just makes the whole point of why we say it.

Confessional #25758579

I’m a Gen X-er, and I love Millenials.

Confessional #21365063

I hate when people complain about Millenials. Like we Gen X-ers were somehow perfect. I recall plenty of rudeness, entitled behavior, and general douche-baggery going on back when I was a kid/teen.

Confessional #16942105

We stand in solidarity with millennials because we remember what it felt like when the older generations all thought we were pieces of shit. Plus, the boomers ruined it for them, like they ruined it for us, so there’s that too.

I'm sure there were narcissists before the Boomers, but there is an epidemic of them in the Boomer generation. It's a result of the socioeconomic structure of society in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Research it. Gen X was screwed by being raised by narcissists.

Confessional #22493874

When the Boomers came of age, they could go to college w/ no debt and buy a house + 2 cars w/ just a GED, single income, and a job in retail. If I hear one more fucking Boomer claiming they "worked hard" and shaming my Gen X struggle, I will stab them!!

Confessional #22253499

To put it in perspective, Generation X (YES, WE'RE HERE TOO) is the 1st generation that decided it's not our job to take care of men's every little need. Thing is, Gen X men were raised by Boomer moms that DID think it was their job, hence our problem.

Confessional #21752872

My mother is the epitome of a selfish Boomer. I'm Gen X, and I wish people would remember that these pious frauds ruined life for us, their own children, way before they ruined it for Millennials and everyone else. They truly are a plague.

Confessional #17803107

Yeah, we’re really fucking pissed off at the boomers. Like a lot. We are spending our adult lives cleaning up the messes they made, hearing them lecture us about how they “worked hard” and “saved” even though they could survive on one income and send their kids to college for like a tenth of what it costs today. Seriously, Carl, STFU.

I was born in 1980, so I’m a proud Gen-Xer who came of age during the ’90s grunge days that were abruptly followed by the teenybopper Britney/Justin days. I got my first computer in college. My first email address in college. My first cell phone in college. My childhood was spent riding bikes, playing with Barbies, and reading books in the way-back of the station wagon on road trips, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Now, I wouldn’t trade my iPhone for the world. That’s what being a Gen-Xer means, I guess.