Slackers Versus Narcissists

I’d like to get it out there that my birth date is smack in the middle of the decades that define Generation X. Woo-hoo, baby, we’re the slackers! At least, we were twenty years ago. Now it seems that we’re becoming curmudgeonly, a stage reached by every generation when they start settling into middle age.

All this complaining about the millennials is really starting to annoy me. People my age, and older, are not hesitating a moment to label them as narcissistic and entitled.

Come on, Gen X-ers, really? I guess age does not always bring with it wisdom. It would be nice, instead of aging making us critical and cranky, aging also brought a little bit of perspective. Do we really want to criticize the young cubs the way the baby boomers criticized us? Can’t we be better than that, if only because we’ve been there?

News flash: most people, when they are in their twenties, are slackers. Or at least they might look like slackers, because they are trying desperately to figure out what in the world to make of their young lives. Most people, when they are in their twenties, are impossibly self-centered. Were we really any different?

The answer is: no. No, we too were narcissistic slackers when we were in our twenties. Just as every generation is.

At least, I think so. It’s not as if I’m five hundred years old and have been overseeing humanity for generations upon generations. I guess I think this because I never have felt really part of my generation. Not twenty years ago, and not now. When I graduated from college in the nineties, I remember thinking that rooming with anybody I had known from college sounded just like signing up for some nice fresh hell for a few more years. I worked as a nanny, with adults who were older than I was and children who were clearly much younger, and there was nobody my age in sight. I did that on purpose, because I wanted to remove myself from people my age as far and fast as I could. Because people my age were behaving in the self-centered manner of young adults from time immemorial, and that annoyed me.

Now, twenty years later, the complaining of my generation annoys me. Especially when we complain about millennials, as if we were so much better.

Because? We weren’t.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy



  1. I’m a baby boomer with the result that the period when my gen should have been narcissistic we were fighting the Vietnam war and the insanity of Watergate. You guys didn’t have anything like that to get you out of yourselves. The millennials I know tend to be writers or Bernie Sanders supporters and they don’t seem too narcissistic to me. But maybe we stop saying that about people when we get to my advanced age. Or not. Maybe it’s that I’m an unreconstructed hippie and I bless all.

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