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Wednesday conversation: Generation What?

Posted by Robin Abrahams  August 11, 2010 05:58 AM

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Here's something I'd like to hear about from you, especially given that we're in "birthday season":  do you feel part of a particular generation, and if so, why?

I'm 43 and while I didn't used to feel this way, I now feel very much a part of Generation X. In my 20s, it seemed that being Gen X was about being a slacker, and liking grunge music. I wasn't, and didn't. But I graduated high school the year "The Breakfast Club" came out, and dang if I didn't get a serious case of the torn-ups when John Hughes died last summer. Ask me to think of a bad-ass high school girl and I think Veronica Sawyer, not Buffy. You can reduce me to helpless giggles at any moment by saying, "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

There's a psychological as well as a pop-cultural component of being a Gen-Xer too, of course, but that's harder to write about. Unlike a lot of my generation -- at least as the official story of us goes -- I didn't feel alienated from the work world. Within a few months after college I had a job in theater management with good prospects, and throughout my 20s I almost always worked second jobs or attended classes in the evenings. But I do feel there's a certain quality of skepticism about Gen X, and I share that.

What's your generation? Do you identify with it?

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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