WARNING- THIS POST IS FULL OF GENERATIONAL GENERALIZATIONS.
Last night I saw an ad on TV for Botox. The (mostly) women featured in the spot looked like they were barely 30 years old.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, botulinum toxin procedures have increased 28 percent since 2010 amongst 20 to 29-year-olds.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not “against” Botox, but I’m a 57 years old woman who wouldn’t mind looking like I’m 47 again. If you are 30, are you trying to LOOK like you’re 19?
I also saw an interesting ad for a new bar on Instagram yesterday and was dumb struck by the furnishings. No lie, the plaid chairs looked exactly like one we dragged to the dumpster after our daughter graduated from college. I thought about some of the other bars I’ve seen that cater to millennials and to be honest, many of them actually do look like frat house living rooms and patios complete with giant Jenga, Connect the Dots and Nintendo stations. I guess there are plenty of 30 year olds who want to FEEL like they’re 19 again?
The fascinating thing to me is that my generation actually wanted to grow up. We wanted to get (the hell) out of our parents’ home. We wanted to get married, wanted to buy our first car, wanted our own place with a lawnmower, wanted to have our first child.. We really wanted to be adults.
Our parents REALLY wanted us to be adults too.
Shortly after our wedding, on our move to California from Maryland, my husband and I rolled our car off a snowy highway on the Kansas/Missouri border. I remember calling my dad in tears asking if he could help us in “$ome way..”..
The answer was firm “no.”
I can still feel myself walking out of that phone booth in a disbelieving, dizzying daze realizing we were truly on our own. It was a terrifying, clarifying experience to say the least; a painful kick in the ass that launched me straight into adulthood. We were going to have to use our own heads, and our own money, to solve our own problem..and that’s exactly what we did.
A new survey from TD Ameritrade says that 50% of “young Millennials” plan to move back home with their parents after college.
I’m not here to bash anyone.. but (in typical millennial mom fashion) I am deeply worried about this most helmeted, buckled, padded, inoculated, coached, awarded, subsidized, protected, praised, prized and deeply loved generation.
Since 2014, millennials (or people who turned 23 to 38 in 2019) have seen a 47% increase in major-depression diagnoses. “Deaths of despair,” or dying from suicide, alcohol, and drugs, increased in the millennial population in the last 10 years, and they are more likely to report feeling lonely than other generations.
I’m worried about the ‘life equivalent’ of a low sex drive in many millennials.. the complete loss of urgency or interest in embracing adulthood with all of its attendant responsibilities.
Adult responsibilities, like mortgages, spouses and children, while seemingly scary are also what drives us to get up and show up when we don’t necessarily feel like it.
“According to a recent report out of the Urban Institute, an unparalleled number of millennials will remain unmarried through age 40. They often view marriage as a “capstone” rather than “cornerstone” of one’s adult life.”
Responsibilities and accountability are the critical building blocks of self-esteem, relevancy, satisfaction and a sense of purpose. In shirking grown-up responsibilities, millennials are essentially robbing themselves of the opportunity to climb and conquer their own mountains.. to build their inner core.. to strengthen their “sea legs” and to mature into less self-centered adults who, in putting others’ needs ahead of their own, feel connected to “something greater” than themselves.
The kindest thing my dad ever did for me was to tell me he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) help us in our moment of extreme need.
Doesn’t that sound just awful?
But in that most terrible moment when he cut me off, he actually set me free.