Her Favorite Generation ~ The ’90s are tough to beat!

Written by Leslie Means

Written By:  Leslie Means

I have three older sisters who are my senior by two, 11 and 13 years. Because of the age gap, there also is a generation gap. My two oldest sisters grew up in the ’70s and ’80s. My sister Lindsay and I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. Throw in my parents, who are children of the ’50s and ’60s, and we have an interesting family dynamic.

We grew up during different eras. There’s a good chance each one of us would say our era was best.

I’m usually not bothered by arguments about who grew up during the best years. I know in my heart that the ’90s can’t be beat. What bothers me is the comment, “You wouldn’t understand. You grew up in a different time. Someday you’ll get it.”

Those words always come from the older generations. When I hear someone tell me I’m too young to understand I usually smile and swallow my pride before I let my loud mouth run.

But something happened this week. It was something I wasn’t expecting. I found out my generation is now the group spewing the words, “You just don’t understand.”

Here are a few quotes I heard from the thirtysomethings this week:

“What is it with that nasty neon color students are wearing? We drove by UNK tonight and all the kids were in crazy shorts!”

“Try walking in the mall. The shoes are the most ridiculous colors ever! What is it with kids these days? They have no taste!”

“The ‘good old days’ are gone. All the awesome drinks and style have gone out the window.”

“These kids have never lived in a world without computers. They have never seen a pay phone either!”

“Kids these days don’t understand responsibility!”

I also heard one that targeted the older generation.

“My hands were full! I had my pop in one arm, my child in the other and these two old ladies just shut the door behind me. They must think our generation doesn’t work hard enough so they take it out on us!”

Most of these comments made me laugh, especially when I heard the words “kids these days” coming out of 30-year-old mouths. Weren’t we just kids? Wouldn’t the older generations say we still are kids?

And then it happened. Something I’ve been fighting since I was a teen. Maybe I was poked by all the comments earlier in the week or maybe I just got fed up with trying to be young in a generation that is getting older by the day.

I said something. They were words that I have been avoiding for the past 15 years: “Oh honey, you have no idea what tired really means.”

I couldn’t help it. This recent college graduate tried to tell me how exhausted she was, how hard she had been working. I found no sympathy in her words. Instead I found them to be laughable.

“Tired is taking care of two little girls while working full time. I know tired. Your situation can’t possibly compare,” I thought.  “You are so young and can’t possibly understand.”

Her reaction was familiar, something I had seen before. When I saw the half smile and heard silence, I knew she was kindly keeping her mouth shut but cursing me under her breath.

I knew because I did the same thing days earlier when the grouchy old ladies wouldn’t open the door for me.

It’s a vicious cycle. Each generation will continue to think they worked harder, played better, stood taller and looked prettier than all the others before and behind them. Truth is we all did the best we could during the era we grew up. Each generation is different. Each generation is known for something unique. Each generation is strong.

But no generation can compare to the ’90s. If you grew up in a different era, you can’t possibly understand.

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What is your favorite generation and why?  Here’s a little taste of my generation just in case you  missed it!

About the author

Leslie Means

Leslie is a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, co-founder of Her View From Home.com and has several published short stories as well.

She is married to a very patient man. Together they have two pretty fantastic little girls ages 6 and 4.

When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

Find more details about her children’s books at ellabbella.com

  • Linda

    Yes, I do believe you 30-something, full time working moms of multiple children do have the right to be delcared the “most tired”. It makes me tired to watch you and hear all the things you get accomplished.

    But, in the generations before we thought a woman could do it all “you couldn’t possibly understand” why we “made a pie for our man”, thought $5 was an extravagant price to pay for a pair of shoes, required our children to be in on time, limited preteen sports and on and on. I lived through it and my head spins when I think of the career paths a woman can follow now. In 1967, in rural Nebraska a young girl either 1. became a teacher, 2. secretary,3. or got married. That’s the way it was and we didn’t know we could “buck the system” (heaven forbid). If there was even a dimly fleeting idea that you might pursue a career as a medical doctor it soon disappeared as these role models were few and far between.

    I do not regret a single moment of living through all these generations. I was too naive to understand the tumultuous nature of the ’60s until reviewing it in retrospect. Farming in the 80’s was heart-wrenching; but, we raised our family and moved on. As we come upon our 45th wedding anniversary I am wondering what retirment years in the 2000’s have in store for us. Yes, the world moves on and each generation has its special considerations!

  • http://www.ellabbella.com Leslie

    I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how much it will change in 10, 20 30 years. Yikes!! Plus,. I think my 30 something generation is tired – but we probably do it to ourselves! Running kids around every which way – being involved in too many things and “trying to do it all.”

  • Kelly Maeser

    This is a great article.
    I recently had a facebook friend who went to high school the same time I did (the late 90’s) post that what ever years you were in high school contain what you feel is the best music. Then there was a debate between the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s to which was best. I have to say I must agree with this since I still LOVE music from the late 90’s. :)
    The late 90’s were the best years. The clothes and hairstyles were great. I don’t look back on my high school pictures and think wow that was awful what was I thinking, but more I still wish I had those shoes/dress/sweater, etc.
    With the exception of maybe the 1920’s, because what a wild ride those years would have been to live during, I don’t I would choose a different time to have had for my childhood/teen years. :)
    But you are right; what ever time you grew up during holds fond memories making it the best time to have grown up.