May 9, 2012
According to this MediaPost article, the newest generation is the Pluralist generation. The oldest of this group is 15, the youngest are newborns.
I had always wondered what my boys’ generation would be called. I’m a Gen Xer, the generation younger than me is Gen Y or Millennials. My parents are Baby Boomers.
So why “Plurals”? According to the article, “it reflects the lack of majority in today’s American society… based on immigration projections, Plurals will be America’s first generation to be pluralistic, or have no majority race…Plurals are being raised in the environment of change and, in their 30s and early 40s, they will be the ones managing the transition into a truly pluralistic society.”
This generation only knows the consumer-centric Internet (Amazon, Google, YouTube and Facebook). They are (or will) experience the changing definition of marriage and family.
Now, my observations based on my boys, ages eight and nine. (I know some of these apply to Gen Y…)
- Mom and Dad have always carried a cell phone and have always been able to take a picture or video, text, email, play games and browse the Internet on a phone.
- They learn to type in 2nd grade. (I learned in 9th grade.)
- Their school projects involve a laptop and multimedia dimensions.
- Watching “live” television is not the norm for them.
- It is second nature to “swipe” something…and I’m not talking about a credit card.
- They just “know” how to use an iPad, play Angry Birds and “Google” something.
- There has always been an app for that.
- The school state tests are taken on computer, not with a #2 pencil (fill in the bubble COMPLETELY).
- Their school lunches are electronically deducted from their account. There is no need to carry lunch money.
- They only know Promethean or smart boards in the classroom. School is not taught using chalkboards, whiteboards, overhead projectors, film strips or a big TV and VCR.
- Pictures have always been digital. And take as many as you want! We can always delete them.
- They use the Internet to research, not the Dewey Decimal System.
- Encyclopedia? Don’t you mean Wikipedia?
- A cassette tape plays “old-fashioned music.”
- You have always been able to “Broadcast Yourself” on YouTube.
- They have always been able to email Santa and “track him” via NORAD on Christmas Eve.
May 4, 2012
So starts the countless hours of researching fun, educational and cost-effective summer activities and coordinating schedules with my mom, who agrees to watch them a few weeks to give them a break from the above mentioned programs (thank you!).
After the 11 week schedule has been finalized, registration fees paid, and drop off and pick up times noted, the panic slowly dwindles…but it is replaced by something else.
Guilt…because in a mere three weeks it will be summer.
Lazy hazy days of summer.
Sleep in as late as you want summer.
Spend all day at the pool summer.
Do whatever you want summer.
But wait…there are no lazy days. We can’t spend all day at the pool. You see, I work, so my children have to attend child care. So we still have to get up and get going in the morning. So much for sleeping in.
But here’s the deal: I like working. I like my job. The people are great, the hours are flexible and the office is just around the corner. I was a stay-at-home mom for four years and am fortunate I was able to do that, but as the boys got older, I was ready for something else.
So why do I feel guilty? Surely I’m not alone. More than half of moms work, and aside from teachers, I’m not sure of any other jobs that have summers off…which means my children are in good company.
Do other moms feel this guilt? Do any dads? Is this guilt leftover from the Mad Men era, where the majority of women were homemakers? Has society made us feel this way? How do I (we) stop feeling guilty?
February 13, 2012
I recently went to a nearby office supply store to make a few copies.
“Hi. I need three copies of this document on white cardstock.” I wanted to see feel the weight of the paper, so the associate fetched a sample for me.
“Do you have anything heavier? Like just one “weight” up?”
“Yes, but it only comes in gray,” said the associate.
“Gray? You don’t have it in white?”
“No, but you can buy a ream of it and then we can print on it.”
“But I only need three copies. Why can you print it in gray, and not white?”
“We are not allowed to print on the white heavy cardstock.”
Um. Ok. “So you can print on GRAY heavy cardstock, but not white? I don’t understand.”
“It’s just our policy.”
Let me get this straight. I’m at an office supply store that sells paper. I can print three pages on GRAY heavy cardstock, but not WHITE. I would understand if they cardstock was too thick to go through the printer. But that’s not the case since they can print using a different color. So I can spend $15 on 500 sheets of heavy cardstock to make $3 worth of copies, because “that’s our policy.”
I left without making my copies.
I need a pair of jeans. I go to a nationwide clothing store that I know sells pants in short, regular and long lengths, and being 5’ 2” it’s quite an accomplishment to buy pants that do not need to be hemmed.
I’m looking through the shelves of jeans. I see lots of “shorts” on a top shelf, and lots of “longs” on the bottom shelf. Being vertically challenged, I can’t reach the top shelf, so I must find a store associate to get them down for me.
Maybe I’m going out on a limb, but wouldn’t it make more sense to put the “shorts” on the lower shelves, and “longs” on the top shelves? You know, because taller people, who probably wear “long” might be able to reach the top shelf. Seems logical, but I’m not in charge of the clothing displays.
At this same store, during the summer, they have mounds of flip flops in fun colors. They are arranged on a wall, rows and rows of them. I see all the smaller sizes way up high so you need a ladder to get to them. Here again…maybe I’m wrong…but generally speaking, aren’t women who wear a smaller shoe size going to be shorter? I know there are exceptions, but most of the time, isn’t that the way it works?
So again, wouldn’t it be more logical and appropriate to put smaller sizes on the bottom, and larger sizes up higher? Just a thought.
I have complained about this before, but I feel I must complain more.
Are baggers at grocery stores taught to put all “like” foods together in one sack? This is a problem when they put 15 canned goods all in the same canvas bag. Why, you ask? Because then it weighs 35 pounds. I may be small, but I tend to think I’m a pretty strong girl. But every time I grocery shop this happens…unless I specifically hover and tell them NOT to put all the heavy stuff in one bag. But isn’t this just common sense?
Two half gallons of orange juice plus three 64 ounces bottles of Gatorade can all fit in one bag, but that doesn’t mean they should. Why not two bottles of Gatorade and three boxes of crackers?
And all the produce in one bag? That’s gets heavy too. Why not fill half the bag with produce and then put a loaf of bread on top? Or that stack of paper plates? That way I don’t need to call the winner of the Iron Man competition to help me unload my grocery cart.
Thanks for listening. I feel better now.