I was on Twitter the other day, spending my time in a productive manner, and I followed a link about the new New Adult genre, and somehow that led me down a rabbit hole about the success these poor, confused millennials are having peddling stories about their technology addictions, crummy relationships, and general malaise. There’s a blog called “$%&# I’m in my Twenties,” and its author just landed herself a book deal based on her creative Tumblr posting.
I could take it as encouraging that there is a whole new market cropping up to bridge the gap between stories written for kids, and adult books and shows. It might be nice to read a YA-style book with a protagonist who can vote, or start to watch a fun new TV show in which the main characters are not all in the tenth grade.
On the other hand, when I watch Lena Dunham’s Girls, my old gen-X self is thinking, what is wrong with these people? First of all, being in your twenties is not cause for profanity and moping. We live in a youth-worshipping culture. Yes, the economy is pretty terrible, but, news flash, when we Gen X-ers got out of college, things weren’t that much better. The main difference is that there were fewer situations in which an experienced Old Person would lose their job to a someone much younger. Today, lots of companies are looking for millennials who are social-media savvy and plugged in to what’s hip. Also, no one was giving twenty-somethings their own shows on HBO back in the day. For example.
I’d like to start my own blog called “Crap, I’m in my Forties.” I’d have to say “crap” or “darn,” because I’m a teacher, and I can’t be posting the kind of profanity the Twenties girl throws around. Come to think, it also wouldn't be appropriate for me to be posting about crummy relationships, which leaves me with my technology addiction and general malaise. And nobody wants to hear about that from someone who’s forty. That’s the thing: like Dunham’s Girls, in your twenties, you’ve got some leeway to say and do dumb things, and wear extraordinarily ugly “vintage” clothes. Somewhere after the thirty-mark, behavior—and wardrobe—that seemed quirky or eccentric becomes just sad, or downright strange. Maybe that’s the main reason these folks need their own genre. Your twenties are a different world: you’re not a kid anymore, but you’re sure as hell not completely one of us boring grown-ups yet either.
I’d tell that blogger girl to stop swearing and moping about being twenty-something, but it seems like she’s doing all right for herself. She’s probably having a cocktail with Lena Dunham right now, wearing a weird hat.
It's a brave new world for those folks. Darn, I’m not in my twenties—actually, on second thought, I’m good. I do wish them luck, but I’ll be content to read all about it.