Generation Gap  

We used to hear people talk about the generation gap all the time, but I don’t remember hearing it lately.  Going to a wedding rehearsal dinner brought it all back.  We were the oldest ones there – third tier generation, I’d guess.  John’s cousin, father of the groom, was almost one step below, and the young people were just a bit older than our grandchildren.

The first thing that hit me was height.  Those young people were tall!  Of course, John and I have shrunk an inch or so, exacerbating the difference.  They were tall and thin.  The women wore beautiful short dresses with flared skirts.  No one my age could have gotten away with that.

Hair color was another difference.  I think there were two women in the whole room with long dark hair, lustrous hair.  I was the only one in full, natural gray.  There was one man with naturally blond hair.  The rest of the men were dark or graying.

The older two sets mingled well.  Most of us had never met each other before.  I loved watching the exuberance of the post-college group.  They knew each other well, had a recent shared history, and teased each other constantly.  They focused on celebrating the marriage of dear friends.  The closeness will be challenged now, with various ones moving out of the area.  We found out that our bride and groom will be moving to Florida after the honeymoon.  They will keep up better than our generation, but distance will change their closeness.

Everyone was offered the same food and drink.  I think young people ate less and drank more.  The glaring difference was coffee.  There was none!  Coffee was always the obligatory quiet end to dinner for us.  It was certainly not important to twenty-somethings.  We got senior coffees at MacDonalds to take back to our quiet hotel room.

15 thoughts on “Generation Gap  

  1. Senior coffees from McDonald’s? Why do I find that amusing? No coffee at the reception? Wow what a concept… come to think of it my kids (all in 50s) drink coffee after various wing-dings, but the grand-kids (19 to 38) don’t. I remember when I went to high school and one of the girls colored her hair…sort of a garish blondish color. We only had 16 kids in our graduating class, so…

    On a more serious note…two of the girls in their Junior year…both named Barbara…they were best friends…both became pregnant and had to drop out of school (or be kicked out)…but we had baby showers and did “appropriate” wedding shindigs. That was in about 1952.
    One of the Barbaras had seven daughters, the other Barbara had seven sons. I always enjoy telling that whole tale.! I often wonder what ever became of them…

    Of course I might add that as late as about 1970 two prominent kids “had to” get married…one was a football legend (or would have been had he not “had” to get married) and the girls a cheerleader and almost-prom queen but of course she was not allowed to continue….what with the baby and all. That whole fiasco was a giant deal! The school board actually voted on whether or not the two were to be allowed to graduate with their class…or just get their diplomas quietly. Times have changed for the better in some instances.

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  2. Very interesting observations, Anne. I am surprised that coffee wasn’t served though. I always thought it was a big deal for any generation over 18. Out our way, Starbucks is a huge deal and “everyone” seems to love the stuff (your average drink contains approx. 1/4 of the calories needed per day for a woman and 1/5 for a man!!!). When I was in my early twenties, I played around with streaking my hair. It looked really good until it started growing out. I decided right then and there to never color my hair again. I have stuck with it too. About 20 yrs. ago, I read an article that said it is “now considered quite chic to let your hair go gray naturally”. It still is so. That was good enough for me, chic or not, I prefer not to color my hair also. 🙂

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    1. You and I could probably write another post on drinking coffee. My first thought, after reading your comment, was one featuring the letter “e”. Young people drink coffee only if it is exotic and extravagant.

      I’m thrilled to know someone, anyone!, considers it chic to have gray hair. It’s the first time I’ve ever been on the cutting edge of fashion. Rats! You said 20 years ago. I was a brown head then.

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      1. It doesn’t matter. You are still on the cutting edge of fashion. lol. As I look on line at a lot of famous women, they are letting their hair go gray and are still considered attractive. So enjoy! 🙂 ….. As for coffee and the young people, I think you are right about that. Maybe I will do a post on coffee. Last night, I sat down with my hubby and we went over our own diets. I have been using a LOT of oil in my cooking and with salads. It tastes so good, but those calories really add up. We also love cashews. We must cut back as we have been paying dearly for it. It gets harder as we get older, I have noticed. :0

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  3. Been there done that! The memory gap usually gets me the most. “Mary Agnes, who was that?” “I don’t know” she would answer. ‘Well they sure knew us.” Here’s hoping they were good memories. Seems we retire for the evening a bit earlier than the young ones Anne. I like that final coffee also. Have a great weekend, it’s a HOT one up here.

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    1. I’m pretty good with names. The only trouble is, it sometimes takes me 2 to 3 days to come up with the right one. We’ll search for a name in church, and days later while on our morning walk, I’ll exclaim, “Doreen! Doreen is the name we wanted!” On a really good day, John will know what I’m talking about.

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  4. I’m in the middle category (mid 40 something-ish)…I cherish my coffee (any kind as long as it is void of any cream or sugars)…and just cannot figure my children’s (early 20’s) generation out. I always assumed I would stay in tune with the various generations. As young as I am, I’ve completely lost track.

    Wonderful, thought provoking post!

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  5. My stepkids (in their 40s) live cross country. When we visit we always stay in a hotel. They don’t do coffee in the morning (we would die if we didn’t). We also love our routines and peaceful late evenings. As for hair you never know what you will find. I color my hair and will until I can’t anymore. Recently I attended a seminar and the woman in front of me (probably my age) had totally gray hair with purple streaks. I liked it in a weird kind of way. One of your commenters said it — the young kids (including my teenage grandkids) prefer foo-foo coffee to the nice black stuff I grew up on.

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    1. That’s great that you solve problems by staying in a hotel. We stayed with one child several times with no cultural problems, but she now lives in Denmark. I’m happy with people who color their hair as long as they don’t expect me to do it. I’m surprised I haven’t had nightmares about dying my hair.

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