"What's a dad for dad?
Tell me why I'm here dad
Whisper in my ear that I'm growing up to be a better man, dad
Everything is fine dad
Proud that you are mine dad
Cause I know I'm growing up to be a better man
Father I will always be
That same boy that stood by the sea
And watched you tower over me
Now I'm older I wanna be the same as you"
-Yellowcard (Life of a Salesman)
Do you think there is a difference between the way adults act and react with you today and with the way they would have interacted with someone your age about 30 years ago?
Do you think we live in a unique time where that adults relate with the younger generation much easier than any other?
According to About.com, anyone born in the years between 1946-1964 are part of the "Baby Boom." Anyone born between 1965-1979, are considered, Generation X, and anyone who is born between the years of 1980-2000 are considered Millennials or Generation Y.
In the work that I do (Books-A-Million, Books-Are-Fun, Books-Drain-You-For-Life, Arbys), I find that I am privileged and honored to be under the supervision of so called, "Generation X-ers" all the time. Day in and day out I can't help but laugh about the way this generation acts compared to people of my grandfathers generation. They laugh, they curse, they are crass, and they are pushing 50 but still their young selves.
I was very close to my grandfather, but I don't think I remember him much at the young age of 55, but I think its safe to say that he wasn't listening to rock music and still rocking the pony tail then.
Growing up I remember seeing people who were starting to get older and having gray hair starting to turn towards other fashion senses, such as always being seen in Khakis and polo's. But almost every day at my store, I help gentlemen who are 60 maybe 65 and they are still rocking their baseball hats, t-shirts, and jeans with chain wallets! I have men walking into the store with a bag of depends under one arm, old spice under the other, and asking where they can find the Led Zeppelin section.
It truly is awesome.
I feel as if they isn't a boundary between the ages like I've heard some many stories and seen so many movies about. Its as if were being raised by... The rebels.
I started thinking about this concept on my drive home the other day. I had just gotten out of a car that I was riding in with my new boss. We had spent a whole hour drive to our bookfair talking. We talked music, religion, Howard Stern, of course books and many other things. It was awesome. But the part that I couldn't shake was when he was telling me about his experiences at his job at Tower Records. He of course assumed I had never heard of this "myth" of a record store, but I assured him I spent my young adolescence scanning the rows and rows of cds at the Opry Mills Mall Tower Records. He told me that he had actually met Ozzy Osbourne one day. As he was telling the story I could hear the excitement in his voice. He was coming to life telling of this awesome experience he had. While listening to him tell me how nice Ozzy was and how Sharron wouldn't let him have a beer with the Tower employees, I slightly tuned out and heard Howard Stern talking on the radio. My boss listens to Howard Stern religiously on his way to work, so slightly listening to both of these men talk it hit me that these were the "leaders" of this generation right now.
These are the men that are of age to become President.
They are the ones who are leading the next generation.
Even thinking about it now, I can't help but smile. There is a clear cut difference between the way we are interacting with "Generation X-er's" than I believe they did with their parents.
Now I could talk about so many other people, but I have to go with the source. The one guy I know best in this world.
I think it is safe to say that the relationship I (Generation Y) have with my dad (End of Baby Boom Era- beginning of Generation X) is so special and something I will always cherish. I truly believe that our relationship is so awesome and tight because of innate desire a son has with this father, but also because of the tearing down of the social boundaries between generations.
Now my dad is actually apart of the "baby boom" generation by default because he was born in 1961, BUT that makes him the very last couple of years of the baby boom and the beginning of the Generation X-er's. So my dad was surrounded by Generation X-er's his whole life, making him experience and take in the exact same things that they did.
When my dad was born in 1961 to Harvey and Shirley Pemelton, times were different. Men went to work and came home right around the time that the mother had dinner warm and sitting on the table. Families ate around tables back in that day (I know the concept of a table is shocking to my fellow Generation Y-er's, but yes people did sit around a table and not right in front of the tube every night).
Media was starting to boom around that time. Television was starting to become something more common in the American Household. The music was starting to blossom with acts like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones starting to surface and cause change and controversy in the scene. This was something that my dad was taking in as a kid, watching these bands rise and rise and become mega super stars and causing huge influence on the world of music, but it wasn't really a conversation piece between him and his dad.
Now I realize that some people are just different. My grandfather was a country guy, and my dad was a rock guy (Papa- Buck Owens, Dad- Kiss). There are differences and they are all the more intense when you are a kid and starting to identify with things, but I still argue that music just wasn't that huge of a thing for my grandfathers generation. Sure it was there and it was prevalent but it wasn't as monumental and ground shaking like it was for my dad's generation.
Music of course is the first thing I start on, because it is one of the main things me and my dad get to talking about when we first see each other. "Have you heard The Scripts new album?! "Have you heard Taking Back Sundays New Album?! "Did you Hear about the Nevermind Repress for the 20th anniversary?!" These are little things we say to each other all the time, and I now see that in such a new light. I feel so blessed to have a dad that I can just relate with all the time in the field of music.
But there is so many more fields...
Now, I'll keep it light, but I think its safe to say that there were some major changes in the way Sexuality was look at around the time my dads generation was born. Imagine how big of a rift that would have caused between the teens and the parents of the 60's?! This sexual revolution had people of the 60's and 70's experimenting their bodies and sexuality in ways that had not been looked at as "acceptable" before. When the "baby Boomers" starting to act out sexually, I really feel as if their parents(1925-1945 - Silent Generation) probably were very resentful and not accepting of this new look on sexuality.
Either way this caused Sexuality to be thrown into a totally new light for Generation X-er's. This became very clear to me as I was listening to Howard Stern with my new boss. The way they laugh and talk about sexuality is really awful to be honest with you, but its apart of their culture I believe. Now in my situations of life, my dad would never ever ever EVER talk like Howard Stern does, but I think that we are free to joke around about sexuality so much more in my generation.
I love that I live in a time that I can make a "sex" joke around my dad and he can look around to make sure my mothers not around and laugh. I love that we can sit and watch movies like Anchorman and Stepbrothers and laugh and not feel super awkward. I feel as if that were to happen with the baby boom generation and their parents, the parents would be passing out and calling in exorcisms.
But our lives Between the Generation X-ers and the Generation Y-er's somewhat line up. We both experienced a time of High political outrage (X- Protesting 'Nam and Y-Protesting War in Iraq). We've both grown up in a time where media really played a huge part in our lives, but isn't responsible for raising us like Generation Z(2000/2001-Present). And both of our generations were highly affected and still feeling tremors of the drug revolution of the 60's.
Times are different now.
Adults aren't becoming the stereotypical "elderly" like I've always known them to be. Now let me clarify, my dad is only 50 years old mind you, he is not the "elderly" I am referring to. I'm referring to the 60 and 70 year old's I deal with every day at the store.
Older men walk in with band t-shirts and pony tails requesting books on Nikki Sixx. Older women come in buying their exotic romance novels that they've been reading for years. No khaki's or polo's are really in sight.
But those with the Khaki's and Polo's they aren't obsolete, I do see them from time to time, and I admire them.
It sounds bad to say, but I feel as if they are somewhat accepting of their age. They only problem I have with these Generation X-er's, is some of them refuse to "grow up." Its as if we live in a time where men forget to grow up. They still sit and curse real loud in the store and do whatever they "damn well please," but they don't accept that they are aging and maybe should clean up their act because they are not 20 anymore. Don't get me wrong though, I love a many of these types of people. Writer/director Kevin Smith is a hilarious human being who I adore, but there's a part of me that feels he isn't accepting of his age.
But really I can't say too much about that.
Look at my generation.
When we get old and begin putting away on the golf course... were gonna look like a bunch of freaks. All of our tattoos drooping and stretched with our saggy skin, our ear holes dangling from the gauges we should have taken out when we were 40, but didn't.
Were all apart of a unique generation and the way we act will always be completely different from the next one or the one before us.
I feel so blessed to be in this generation.
I am so blessed to have been raised by Generation X.
I love that they have created us in a way that has the "arts" front and center.
I love that they have created us in a way where we can be comfortable to talk about things with our parents.
I love that we have this sense of understanding with each other.
I understand my situation with my dad is very rare. Some of you AREN"T best friends with your dad like I am, but I have to ask.
Did you really try?
Did you really try to sit and relate with your dad and see all that you have in common?
I guess what I'm getting at is this: Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity we have Generation Y and Generation Z. We are alive in a time where there is somewhat of a revolution in the way that kids and parents interact.
I know that I am a product of it, and I love every second of my life.
Thanks dad for making me a bi-product of generation X.
And I can't wait to see what affect I have on my kids,
And I can only hope that I do half as good of a job that my dad did with me.
"When I am a dad, dad,
I'm gonna be a good dad.
Did the best you could, dad,
Always understood, dad.
Taught me what was right, dad,
Opened up my eyes, dad.
Glad to call you my dad,
Thank you for my life, dad."
-Yellowcard (Life of a Salesman)
Media Associated WIth This Post:
Song: Life of a Salesman
Album: Ocean Avenue
All pictures hijacked from Google Images
except picture of Pemelton's at Mecca/Cornerstone Music Festival Taking by Anya Harden probably.