Is the “Trophy Generation” the new black? And the “Sandwich Generation” the old black? (You must confess, the trophy name is a bit confusing, since for the past several decades the press has associated it with the word,’Heisman,’ which was a good thing, or with the word ‘wife,’ which the jury is still out on). Are you the only one who didn’t mind that her children got tiny statues ordered in bulk from the small sporting goods store down the street, when they were in rec leagues during elementary school? Wasn’t it simply for getting involved and learning a new skill? When you were in Girl Scouts in the 1960’s they awarded you with you badges when you learned a new skill. You will never believe that because your son got a faux-bronze basketball with a happy face when he was seven, that it gave him a sense of entitlement. We aren’t talking about the Stanley Cup here. You thought it lent a sense of fun and team spirit to the ‘rec banquet’–usually held in a back church room or at a pizza place–an end of the season memento, much like goodie bags are given after birthday parties, celebrating the occasion. Later, in upper school, there were still team parties, but your children had to earn personal awards on their own.
What happened to the Gen X’ers? Are they sandwiched between the Sandwiches and the Trophies? Wasn’t there a Gen Y somewhere in there? What happened to Z? Alpha systems are always good, like keeping track of hurricanes.
You do like the term, “Millennials,” coined by expert Neil Howe, that covers several decades, as well as the catchy “iGen,” for children now roughly around age twelve, even though it sounds like a new Apple product that you’d like to stand in line for. You sure wish you’d had a G-rated Youtube button to push to entertain your Gen Y children when they were toddlers and crying in the middle of the grocery store.
Are many of us now, both Baby Boomers and Sandwiches? That takes too long to write, much less say. How about Baby Sandwiches? Maybe better than Boomer Sandwiches, which sounds sort of like a sub chain.
Your divorced friend, Heath, calls herself half of a sandwich: part-time caregiver to her mother, one of the distinguished “Silent Generation,” with a Gen Y child who lives at home and is gainfully employed.
Before you get too caught-up in too much labelling and make sweeping judgments about certain generations, you may just head over to Quizno’s and get a baby sandwich (isn’t it called a bullet?) that costs next to nothing– and chew over the whole generational thing. Or maybe Subway or Jimmy Johns…(the list is starting to sound like your Gen Y son’s credit card purchases during this first week of college)…and then there’s always the entire Echo Boom to ponder. You’ll call your Silent Gen Mom and see what she says.
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