A while back, my friend Angela showed me this. I laughed, recognizing myself, but also wondering a bit at the source of my generation’s nearly ubiquitous fatigue.
I got a piece of the puzzle handed to me when meeting a friend’s parents for the first time.
I’ve known this friend for around 20 years. If you’re a thinking person, you recognize that if your child has friends of such long standing, it’s because they are good people, good friends, worth knowing. And if your child’s friends go way way way out of their way to be with your child on that day, and bother to take the time to meet you, it’s probably because their relationship to your child is important to them.
So maybe, just maybe, repeatedly implying that your child is not a success, or isn’t trying hard enough, or is some kind of disappointment, is not only utterly uncalled-for, but really just five shades of fucked up.
Here’s the deal, old man. This is my friend. I don’t appreciate you attempting to harpoon my friend, and I really REALLY don’t appreciate you trying to pretend like you don’t understand what I’m saying to you in pushback to your not-nearly-as-subtle-or-clever-as-you-think jibes. The appropriate response to an honest (and therefore wholly supportive and complimentary) recitation of your child’s skills is pride, you stupid bastard.
Here’s what you aren’t seeing. You aren’t seeing that I have his back, and always will, against you and another six like you. Just because you’re incapable of recognizing the success your child is doesn’t mean you get to be rude to him and to me both, for daring to stand up to your hot and cold running derision
I have a sneaking suspicion, in fact, that the reason my friend wanted me to meet you was so that I could better help support him in breaking further away from you. You might have spent our time together building him up, and earning both his loyalty and mine. Instead, you assumed that your relationship of blood allows you greater liberty with him than my relationship based on mutual respect does.
You are wrong.
My generation are slowly strengthening the bonds of friendship and chosen family, and we’re done letting you commit the torture of a thousand papercuts upon our souls in imagined solitude, isolation, and shame. We’re tired of waiting for you to figure out how spectacular we truly are, and the cold fact is that we will outlive you, and our friendships with people who are truly appreciative and supportive of us will last longer than the time you were given to be with us, that you squandered in your vanity, arrogance, and self-absorption.
Your loss, Boomer Generation. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.