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Millennials ruin this. Millennials ruin that. Things aren’t the way they used to be. We’re all doomed. Blah, blah, blah, and so on. There’s no shortage of generational complaining in this modern age of the internet and there’s no need to cover what we’ll ruin next because per reports, we’ve already ruined everything. I too am sick of the words “ruin” and “millennials,” but when The New York Times comes a-knockin’ with some of their trademark punchable journalism, you know I’m popping up from the couch and answering that door immediately.
This week’s New York Times Weddings exposé, I Married a Millennial. I Married a Gen Xer. Now What?, holds no punches in portraying us all as completely and utter pieces of shit. And yeah, we probably deserve it.
As always, the original column can (sadly) be found in quotes below.
I Married a Millennial. I Married a Gen Xer. Now What?
Uh, I can think of one strategy here. Maybe pump the brakes on the whole marriage thing for a bit. It’s not for everyone.
Katie Lowsley-Williams, a 30-year-old yoga instructor living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, likes listening to the Chainsmokers and Bon Iver. Her husband, Daniel Lopp, 47, who works for a hedge fund, prefers the Who and the Grateful Dead.
There aren’t many times I read these New York Times wedding columns and immediately think, “Yep, time to write.” This, however, was one of them. Just so much to dissect from these two sentences.
My first question being, “How can a 30-year-old yoga instructor live on the Upper East Side?” It was only after I read the second sentence that it hit me like a ton of designer bricks of soap from Glossier — yep, it’s because she married into money. The second question being, “How is this guy such a numbskull that he doesn’t realize what she’s doing?” Oh, right, because he just wants a hot yoga instructor by his side. All makes sense.
In their three years of marriage, they’ve come to expect other differences, too: She doesn’t get tired until around midnight; he usually calls it a night before 9. And while Ms. Lowsley-Williams likes to text and check her Instagram feed on her cellphone while doing just about everything, Mr. Lopp has no trouble putting his phone away.
I don’t want to speak too soon, but this might be the least self-aware feature in the history of The New York Times. Okay, okay, it’s not the *least* self-aware. That crown is still held by those hipsters from The Sound of Music family.
She likes to incessantly check her likes and he likes to go to bed at nine? Uh, yeah, maybe that’s because there’s a seventeen-year age difference and she’s trying to stack followers to justify her career choice. This guy graduated high school in 1989, which means nothing to her other than being a Taylor Swift album. I mean, she was legitimately born in 1988 while he was applying to Yale and Penn in between listening to Morrissey and Cheap Trick.
“If I don’t have a screen next to me, I get antsy,” Ms. Lowsley-Williams said. “I always need to be doing something else — I can’t even watch a movie, and it drives him crazy.”
Oh my God, Katie, stop. Please stop. As a 31-year-old millennial piece of shit, I can whole-heartedly say that you’re not just making yourself look bad but you’re making all of us look bad. Want to know why it drives him crazy? Because he just paid $5.99 on iTunes for a new release and you’re over there on your back laughing at Fuck Jerry memes rather than paying attention to a movie he didn’t want to watch in the first place.
No matter what generation you’re from, there’s a good chance you’ve been distracted by your smartphone. But while Generation X — those like Mr. Lopp who are born from 1965 to 1980, and ages 38 to 53 — could count Atari as a big technological moment of their time, millennials were deeply immersed in technology from a young age. Generally born between 1981 and 1996, or 22 to 37, millennials grew up texting and sending email. Social media defined their teenage years. And the selfie? They perfected it.
Way to completely diminish the technological advances of our generation. Perfecting the selfie. Great look. I guess that makes sense considering the reason The Chainsmokers (again, her favorite “band”) got famous in the first place was because of a song called “Selfie,” but still. Steve Jobs is rolling in his cryogenic freeze chamber.
So it’s not too surprising that when a millennial marries a member of Gen X or even someone older, their age difference can stir up some funny (and maybe frustrating) intergenerational drama. (Of course, there are plenty of older spouses who are just as obsessed about their phones and social media, and younger people who eschew Facebook or Twitter.)
Not surprising? Yeah, understatement of the new millennium. He’s probably asking her for lessons on how to copy and paste files to new folders on his iMac and she’s sighing with frustration because she’d rather be liking photos of acai bowls on her discover feed. She’s watched The Wolf of Wall Street; this guy lived it. He thought he signed up for a stay-at-home wife and now he has to deal with her burying her face into her phone 99.9 percent of the time.
Text or Pick Up the Phone?
Kathleen Johnston, who is 32 and a development officer for Cornell University, says she often checks her “millennial tech habits at the door” when she’s with the family or friends of her husband, Neal Johnston, 44, an owner of a flour mill in Ithaca, N.Y.
Okay, finally some reprieve. Kathleen, please please save us from ourselves (and from the wildfire that Katie started in the beginning of this column).
Ms. Johnston, who goes by the name Kaki, says she doesn’t want to be considered rude and be “one of those millennials who is always on their phone.” Yet when she and her husband are alone — when her stepdaughter is asleep and she’s finally winding down after a long day of work and commitments on two local nonprofit boards — she will sometimes pick up her smartphone. Mr. Johnston will then encourage her to put it down. She often obliges.
I get the feeling that “Kaki” read some Cosmo columns and listened to a Goop podcast that encouraged her to put her phone down. She’s definitely misrepresenting the situation here because — unlike Katie — she understands that she’s being INTERVIEWED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES AND DOESN’T WANT TO COME OFF AS A VAPID MILLENNIAL.
On their Hawaiian honeymoon in Kauai this past January, she decided to leave her phone in their hotel room when they went to the pool or hiking. Even at home, she never brings her phone to restaurants. “I’m trying to meet him halfway,” she said.
Brave. Noble. Inspiring. Those are the only words you can use to describe someone to valiantly leaves their phone behind while falling asleep poolside or eating a one-on-one dinner where she’s forced to interact with someone. Pretty wild that the bond of marriage could convince even the most tech-heavy 32-year-old to “meet someone halfway.” How fearless of her.
Typically, however, Ms. Johnston spends lots of her downtime while she’s alone on her phone, looking at memes or texting with friends. If she’s not with her husband, she’s texting him, too. Mr. Johnston will text her back, but he’s often puzzled when she sends him bursts of texts in a row rather than just pick up the phone.
Her husband is running a fucking flour mill so, no, of course he doesn’t have time to just sit with his feet kicked up on his desk responding to the hundreds of texts she sends him on a daily basis. I’m not sure of exactly what can go wrong in a flour mill, but it seems like literal messes will occur if you’re not paying close attention.
And honestly, I wanted to be onboard with Kathleen (yes, I’m refusing to call her Kaki). But to start so steady only to finally admit to “looking at memes”? You’re killing us here, lady.
“I’ll be up on a ladder at work, and then she’ll wonder why I’m not responding right away,” he said, chuckling. Still, she says, at least she’ll get on the phone now and talk. When he called her after one of their first dates, she cringed. “I was like, O.M.G. What’s wrong with him? Why is he calling me?” she said.
And here we have life imitating art. For anyone out there who continually asks, “People aren’t really like this, right?” while reading Things Girls Do After Graduation, here you have your answer. Yes, she actually said, “oh. em. gee.” Unfathomable that someone wouldn’t be immediately responsive while they’re *gasp* working.
But communication isn’t the only sticking point. Social media can put pressure on marriages, too. Many millennials are accustomed to posting edited photos of themselves for friends to see at every life stage. And just because they marry someone who is older hardly means they’ll stop.
I can’t exactly skewer this because I recently posted a shitty #fitpic that got over a thousand likes. My life is on display and I’m probably no better than anyone in this column, but the beauty of millennial life is being able to sit back behind a keyboard and make fun of the life of others with zero consequence. Let’s proceed.
“Generation X is more private — they are more careful about what they share online,” said Jason Dorsey, the president of the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research firm that studies generational differences in baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials. “They don’t look for that same external feedback that millennials do.”
Okay, I don’t want to go off the rails here but why the hell is there a goddamn research firm that studies the “generational difference between baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials”? Are people that desperate to use their degrees that we have to justify them spending $120,000 on their education by creating research firms like this? Here, I’ll do it for you.
Baby Boomers: Sucked us dry.
Gen X: Yuppie scum but kinda tight too.
Millennials: Ruin everything.
Please just stop the bleeding and put this entire column to a screaming halt.
Social Media: Transparency Not Mutual
Veronica London, a 35-year-old photographer living in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, says she “could take selfies all day.”
Nooooooooooooooo, Veronica, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?
Please redeem yourself. Please.
When Ms. London and her husband, Patrick Michael Wickham, a music composer and part of Generation X, went on their honeymoon in the Italian island of Capri, she was snapping photos of them on her camera phone at every turn. She was particularly thrilled when they hiked up a mountain. At the summit, she immediately took out her phone and began posing with Mr. Wickham, trying different filters.
And it was at that moment that Patrick realized that he had made a huge mistake.
Just as Mr. Wickham decided he was going to jump, he made a sudden movement that cramped his leg because he’s not built for hiking and realized he didn’t have the physical fortitude to jump.
Mr. Wickham would have preferred she live more in the moment. “My private life is private,” he said. “I don’t feel the need to share everything with everyone.”
Wild wild wild wild thoughts. I mean, not to completely shit on Veronica, but even fucking Kaki knew to put her phone away on her honeymoon.
The couple’s differing approaches to social media couldn’t have been more obvious than when Mr. Wickham refused to change his relationship status on Facebook. Ms. London wanted him to switch from “single” to “in a relationship,” but Mr. Wickham didn’t think it was important. He resisted until they tied the knot in 2017. That’s when he changed it to “married,” much to Veronica’s relief.
Oh, this is classic. As someone who’s always been under the belief that changing a relationship status on Facebook signals the downturn of a relationship, you have to respect this guy sticking to his guns. Sure, maybe he could just remove his relationship status altogether, but instead he just maintained the “single” card until he finally had legal documentation proving he was taken. The bigger question I have is why Veronica cared about this in the first place. I thought the only people who cared about Facebook were over the age of 50.
“It really bothered me,” said Ms. London, adding that she and Mr. Wickham had numerous conversations about why he wouldn’t change the designation. “I wanted him to be more transparent about us on social media.”
As someone who respects transparency, I can wholeheartedly say that in this scenario, I respect his complete and utter lack of transparency.
Sadly, the rest of this entire column delves into things no one wants to talk about — kids and jobs. Gross.
But on second thought, maybe a job and some kids are just the responsibility everyone in this abomination actually need. .
[via The New York Times]