Beta: What’s this for?
Me: Because you done good, kid.
Beta: What’s this for?
Me: Because you done good, kid.
(scene opens in evening dinning room)
Me: (weary in front of laptop)
Beta: (walks in with dog) I found something on my walk.
Me: (looks confused) What’s is that?
Beta: (hands it over) There’s a lot of money it it. That’s enough to help me get an Oculus, but that’s stealing. So I though you and dad could get it back to the guy.
Me: (stunned, opens wallet to see cash and cards) Uh, yeah. We can do that. That was good of you, Beta. It’s important to get all the cards and I.D.s back, but sometimes that cash is all someone has to get them through the month. This could be a life saver.
Beta: (shrugs, pleased and embarrassed, leaves stage left)
(scene opens in dining room)
Me: (slowly and carefully assembling flower pieces)
Beta: (enters from kitchen) Those are really pretty mom. Can I pick one up?
Me: (abstractly) Sure. Be careful.
Beta: Now what are you going to do with them?
Me: (sighs) I don’t know.
Beta: Something else to lay around the house and gather dust?
Me: (reprovingly) Maybe. Not all art is profitable. Sometimes we do it anyway. Because we can. It makes the world a prettier place.
(scene opens up in kitchen)
Me: (tiredly making lunch and drinking cold coffee)
Delta: Mommy, can I ask you some questions? (sits on stool)
Me: Sure honey, what’s wrong?
Delta: How many more days until life gets easy?
Me: (extreme feelz) I wish I could tell you.
(scene opens in cluttered dining room)
Me: (head in hands, giving up)
Husband: Is there anything I can do to make it better?
Me: (morose) No. Nothing went right this week and I’m raising wild and incompetent meat puppets.
Husband: (sits down along side, wraps arms around wife) You’re a good mom.
Me: (pathetically) Really?
Husband: Not the best mom.
Husband: (going for broke) Probably not even in the global top ten. Realistically, above average. But you’re a good mom. I mean, technically your only job is to keep them alive! So far all that hard work is really paying off, despite their best attempts otherwise.
Me: (weak laugh)
I wrote this January 2, 2016 – before I caught up with new-fangled things like blogs and Twitter – so I’m pushing it on in case someone finds something useful in it.
Dear Millennials and Younger,
I believe in you.
I know, I’m taking a different route than the endless “What’s Wrong With America/Kids These Days….” I didn’t/don’t much like it when Boomers say it to me, so I’m not going to say it to you. You are the product of the younger Boomers/older Gen-Xers and “kids my age” are already talking shit about you guys as if we were the ones storming beaches at Normandy and you’re pinko commies because you dare read FB while riding the bus. I used to read books on the bus and hated it when some stranger thought they could talk to me. Don’t believe the meme-y bullshit that not talking to your seat partner is bringing the decline of civilization. Utter and complete bullshit.
Yeah, ok, you have the internet and better video games than we did at any age you want to compare to, but I also had it better than my parents than I did at whatever age.
None of us ever lost a classmate to polio or measles. We had Mtv. Hell, we had tv. We had the start of mobile phones, so it didn’t matter if they weighed a ton and came in their own tote bag. You just have way better/cheaper versions.
You guys live in a future that I could only dream about. Nothing in the cut-rate science fiction I loved was ever going to come true. Not in my life time. It hurt knowing that. But now I can watch new Dr. Who episodes on my Star Trek-like communicator device. I can sit in my yard with a computer that weighs as much as my shoe and catch up with friends I’ve not physically seen in 20 years and talk to friends on the other side of the world. In real time. Without a long distance phone bill. Do we even have a long distance charges any more, or are they just now “roaming”?
I cried the day I saw a picture of a sunrise from the surface of Mars.
Do you have any idea how fucking amazing that is to someone who thought we’d never see the surface in my lifetime?
I live in the fucking future and everyone who’s hit middle age who can’t see that over bitching about how awful you guys are are narrow minded old-before-their-time miserly scared-of-the-dark fearful curmudgeons that, quite simply, embarrass me. Go ahead and be embarrassed of them and dismiss them for giving up. For being afraid. After all the bitching we got from those that came before, you think we would have learned something. Learned how to be better, learned how new isn’t automatically the worst thing ever. Seriously, older generations have been bitching about the younger since the Roman Empire (documentable) and likely before. If we never had evolved and “did something new” then only unlettered barbarians would be wearing pants and “real men” would be rocking the office toga. Take that as a simple “Don’t learn history, doomed to repeat” example.
And go ahead and rock that office toga if you want.
I’m sure there’s some stuff that you do that mystifies me. I’m sure you’ll be doing something that I hate. Your music will supplant mine. Your culture will supplant mine. Your fashion will supplant mine. It is a reminder that all my generation will pass away. That once we were important and once we had power and once we had influence. The Greatests didn’t like it, the Boomers still don’t like it, we are now getting a taste of it, and one day you too will hate what the next wave will be. You can give up and insist that the “best music ever” just happened to be during those years you were in High School/College and you’ve never moved past it, or you can hear something new right now and like it and not only is it not selling out, but it’s not giving up on yourself.
Don’t hate them, those that are coming after you. Accept that seasons come and go and listen to new music and wear new clothes and embrace that new technology that your science fiction suggests could now be possible, understanding it’s probably already being attempted somewhere. There seems to be less of a gap between your world and your science-fiction and I envy you that. I envy you all the things that I might not live to see you experience because I am already in my 40s. It’s just not possible it’ll come fast enough.
You are the ones supplanting the Boomers, not us, and I gladly make way for you to see what you do with it. You have the numbers, you have the vision, you still have the youth and all that supposed optimism and potential that theoretically goes with it.
Give me something awesome, Millennials.
I know you can do it.