I hoped this article, written by a member of Generation-Y, would spark a heated discussion, on his site. Unfortunately, it created a forum for people to question his facts, but not offer any alternative thoughts. Sadly, I suspect it will continue to degenerate into a list of “I know you are, but what am I,” “you’re WRONG,” or “______ you” comments, so I brought the discussion over here, so we could delve into it with a little more in depth.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of Generation X. I received extensive human resources training in generational differences in the workplace, but I am a product of my generation and it certainly impacts by world view. I identify with many of the characteristics ascribed to my generation: independent, due to being a latch key kid; suspicious and mistrusting of companies/corporations, after seeing many of my friends’ parents lose their jobs in the 1980s and 1990s; comfortable in a diverse workplace (and world), and place a great emphasis on work/life balance. I work to live, not live to work. I am also aware that we are not one of the larger generations (population-wise). I graduated college in 1991 and in the mid-1990s returned to advise a couple of student organizations, at the same university, as a volunteer.
For the past eight years, I have noticed a growing disconnect with the students. I knew I was “aging out,” or identifying more with their parents, than the students themselves. Every year I felt as if we were growing apart, even though I tried to keep up with their cultural trends and interests. This year, however, the gap became too great. I knew it was time to move on, when my patience dwindled to nothing.
One of the minor reasons I stopped advising college students, was that I felt they were too “fragile.” The women I worked with directly, learned quickly, that I never minced words. To some, it was a rude awakening. Some rose to the occasion immediately upon being treated as an adult. Others did not, and discovered the “joys” of personal accountability, or cleaning up one’s messes. I may have been the adviser, but ultimately, they were responsible for decisions made. Time after time, I was impressed by these women, but they seemed to be the exception, not the norm.
When I read Eddie Cuffin’s article it resonated with me, because it hit upon many of the things I witnessed, not the least of which was a delayed emotional maturity. At that moment, I knew my “honesty is the best policy”….well, brutal honesty, in my case, would not work with the newest generation and it was an opportunity for someone else to take my place. I was also exhausted of being “misinterpreted,” “translated” or worse, “watered-down” to make my words less harsh to delicate Generation-Y egos. So, I moved on, but left with a sense that there was unfinished business and that I never really understood the newest 18-20-year-olds.
Generation-Y followers, do any of the ideas brought forth in this article resonate with you? What about my Generation X and Baby Boomer followers, what have you observed? Please share!
My Mazel of the day goes to Julie Richman, for tearing my heart out to Bruce Springsteen, the soundtrack of my youth. I have some beautiful Mazel Shot Glasses from Andy Cohen’s Bravo Clubhouse, just for you, Missy.
I will start by publicly flogging myself for thinking this was a “New Adult” novel, featuring a bunch of entitled, horny, self-centered, shiftless college students. It is not. I will further admit that I purchased it on sale, thinking it was a New Adult novel, featuring a bunch of entitled, horny, self-centered, shiftless college students. Therefore, my Catholic girl penance is that I am writing this post at 4:45 a.m. ET, after staying up all night long to finish reading Searching for Moore Enough said.
Ok, I took a couple of cat naps last night and work from home. Don’t feel too badly for me.
Holy debut novel, Batman.
I mean, HOLY. FUCKING. DEBUT. NOVEL.
The premise is simple: what if you were only one Facebook friend request away from your true love – that one person who knew you better than you knew yourself – 24 years after you last saw each other? Would you reconnect with her/him, even if it meant uprooting the life you had been creating for yourself? If you were given that chance, would you take it?
Searching for Moore begins in the present day. Schooner Moore’s wife, CJ, is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his 43rd birthday. It is filled with “the beautiful people,” superficial individuals who only wish to be seen at this party to rub elbows with the rich and famous. Schooner Moore is both. What CJ and her “guests” fail to realize, however, is that Schooner dislikes the shallow displays of artifice that are his life and social circle. Then, his college buddy, Beau, casually mentions that he has chatted with Mia Silver, a classmate from college, via Facebook.
As Schooner reminisces, we are transported back twenty-four years into the past. He remembers their freshman year of college and the first taste of independence, of “finding himself,” meeting diverse people and learning about true love. Schooner meets and is immediately attracted to CJ, the quintessential, beautiful prom queen. They are the “perfect” All-American blonde couple, who would be featured in an ad for Ralph Lauren. He also meets Mia Silver, antithesis to CJ, sassy New Yorker, attending school in California, who marches to the beat of her own drum. CJ fits into his world, effortlessly, like a well-decorated room that lacks personality. Mia challenges his mind, steals his heart and completes his soul. Schooner and Mia are each other’s first true love. Then, Mia leaves him, without a word.
We return to the present day and Schooner sends Mia an innocuous Facebook friend request. A friend request that she is fated to accept. The story continues as the veil of time is lifted, a lifetime of betrayal by CJ is exposed, and that first true love is renewed.
Ms. Richman writes Schooner so that the reader is able to see the “real” Schooner that Mia sees. He has spent his life as a handsome shell, a chameleon who morphs into whomever he is expected to be. He has been incredibly successful in business, but we know he is so much more. Conversely, Mia is a ray of sunlight, warm, ebullient, full of life and loyal. She is successful, loved and will bring balance back into Schooner’s life. Unfortunately, not everyone is pleased with this reunion, especially CJ and Zac (CJ and Schooner’s son – who inherited his personality from CJ).
We live a lifetime through their story. There is the angst of first heart break, the ambivalence and acceptance of life’s circumstances, and the joy and hope for renewed, healing love. Then, Ms. Richman ends this rollercoaster ride of emotions with a cliffhanger the reader sees building from the middle of the story, but is incapable to stop. Searching for Moore is funny and quirky, profound, poignant and moving – all at the same time. It is the best book I have read about aging Generation-Xers, this year.
Exceptional debut for Ms. Richman! I need the second book NOW!!