I have a confession to make: I am not “hip and with it.” I know that phrase is almost as dated as I am at this point, but it’s the truth. I’ve never been trendy or on point when it comes to clothes, hairstyles, makeup, or even keeping up with whatever things are trending in pop culture.
I listen to classical music and Crooners like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. I’ve never really kept up with trends in TV shows or music because I just can’t be bothered most of the time. Sometimes I’ll pick up a TV show that’s popular, but I usually get to it after everyone else. That’s what happened when I discovered Downton Abbey, actually. I got into it at least two seasons after it started, so by then I was already behind.
Have you seen all the TikTok memes about “aging millennials” that have popped up lately? I feel like if you’re on any social media at all, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Apparently my generation is teetering on the cusp of middle age while rocking our dated side parts and skinny jeans and emoting too hard.
Wasn’t it just a few years ago that older generations were lamenting how much millennials were destroying things for them? What all did we ruin? This article details a rather hilarious list of what millennials have ruined, including dinner dates, cruises, the 9 to 5 workweek, and marriage.
It seems like no one can win in this game of generational trends.
If we aren’t disappointing our parents, we’re being laughed at by the next generation for being frumpy and clueless. Isn’t that the way it always goes? Every generation seems to have their fair share of these behaviors, and I kinda doubt it will change anytime soon.
That said, I’ll just go ahead and throw it out there: I’m not worried about being hip and with it.
I don’t particularly care about following trends, and I think a lot of people feel the same way. If my side part bothers someone younger than me, that’s fine. If my favorite TV shows aren’t the most popular ones right now, it just means I have different tastes.
While all the memes and jokes about different generations sometimes bring out fierce defensiveness, I think it just proves that we could use some real communication to try and understand each other a bit better. It’s something I’ve talked to my mom about since we have differing values about certain things, like politics and employment. We both agree that sometimes we don’t understand each other, but if we can at least talk about it, we might learn more about each other and in turn where those values have come from.
Here’s a great example of those generational differences: employee loyalty. I’ve heard so many people in the older generation lamenting my generation’s swiftness to jump from job to job. The complaint is that we have no loyalty to an employee and are ruining our upward mobility by not sticking with an employer long term. Meanwhile, my generation grew up seeing a lot of our parents rewarded for their loyalty with lay-offs and poor benefits. We grew up to feel that our parents worked for an employer only to be given very little real reward for their hard work. My generation tends towards shopping around for benefits and upward mobility by moving companies and negotiating for what we want because we don’t feel convinced an employer will be loyal to us.
I’ve had this conversation with my mom, and we agree that things have changed dramatically over the years. So now, looking at my young kids, I’m wondering what things will change by the time they’re in their teens and 20s. I imagine by then, they’ll be too “smart” for me and “know everything” and find me to be very clueless. And maybe we’ll be able to have this conversation, too, and learn from each other.
I may be clueless and wear clothes that aren’t trendy. I may never be “hip and with it.” I won’t necessarily follow all the trends. But even then, trends are cyclical, and just as crop tops and rompers and tie dye have somehow come back into style, I’m sure eventually I’ll see my favorite things come back around, too.
Either way, I’m not too worried about my “impending middle age” or whether my tastes suit anyone else but me. So if you’re out there not jumping on the TikTok bandwagon or parting your hair down the middle, I hope you’re enjoying your time not being “hip and with it,” too! We’re all on point at some time or another, just like we’re all clueless and frumpy at some point. We might as well just enjoy our own tastes and not worry about the rest.