Last week as I was talking to a friend and former co-worker who is decidedly younger than I am, I started waxing nostalgic about dancing to K-Ci and JoJo at my junior prom. When she earnestly responded, “Who are they?” I had to marvel at the fact this person shares my generational bracket. Despite having been in third grade when I was making out with my then-boyfriend to “All My Life,” she is also a Millennial and proof incarnate there are oh-so many things that make older Millennials feel ancient compared to younger Millennials. While the world is quick to lump all of us together, the fact of the matter is those of us who were born on the front end of the this bracket are well aware just how old we are these days. And, often, the moments we feel our old ass age the most come in the context of our fresh-faced Millennial peers.
I was born in 1983, which plants me firmly in the microgeneration of what we’re now calling older, or aging, Millennials. It also, as you may have deduced, makes me 33. As in, why, yes, MY LIFE IS A THIRD OF THE WAY THROUGH, thank you very much for reminding me. My aforementioned junior prom took place 16 years ago. When did that happen? If that time was to take human form, it would be getting its driver’s license and arguing with its dad about the length of that frayed denim mini-skirt it bought at the mall.
But I digress. The moral of the story is that there are certain things that serve as instant reminders to older Millennials that we are, indeed, old AF compared to our cohorts who came to fruition further down the generational line than we did. For example…
1. The Adventures of Pete & Pete had already gone off the air before most younger Millennials were even born.
This iconic Nickelodeon series aired from 1992 to 1996. Also known as a span of years when younger Millennials were just being procreated.
2. That kid from Jerry Maguire and Stuart Little is now of legal drinking age
In fact, he’s 25. That cute little face now drives a car, votes, and has six-pack abs.
3. Girls is the new Sex and the City.
While we were busy still quoting Sex and the City and craving Carrie Bradshaw’s massive collection of Manolos, younger Millennials found their voice in the floundering, disenfranchised 20-somethings of Lena Dunham’s Girls.
4. Parents are now naming their kids after Instagram filters
In 2015, young Millennial parents made headlines for naming their babies Lux, Ludwig, Amaro, and Reyes after the photo sharing app’s most popular filters. Meanwhile, I’m over here like, “How do you tag someone on Instagram?” Still haven’t gotten the hang of it, tbh.
5. Frances Bean Cobain is almost the same age now as her grunge royalty parents were when they met.
Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain’s baby girl is now 23. Courtney and Kurt were around 25 when they first met. Is there a ripple in the time space continuum or something?
6. Kenan and Kel are 38.
This hilarious Nickelodeon sketch series gave me life when it originally aired in 1996, so knowing that its stars are now nearing forty (and the fact that younger Millennials may not even realize who they are) literally makes me feel my mortality.
7. Our version of online dating is now totally dated.
Remember when OK Cupid and Match.com were considered avante garde ways to meet your potential mate? Now the dating sites Older Millennials came of age with are basically dinosaurs, thanks to the instant gratification offered by Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble.
8. The X-Files reboot is the first X-Files experience for most younger Millennials.
The X-Files first aired from 1992 until 2002, so Scully and Mulder were a huge part of pop culture when older Millennials were growing up. Since younger Millennials were still being born during that time frame, they didn’t understand our obsession… until now.
9. Going to the mall, on any given day.
True story: I walked into Old Navy at the mall the other day and was overwhelmed by the sheer newness of everyone. Wasn’t the mall, like, just my dominion? Who are all these youths? Where did they come from?
10. Brad Pitt is no longer the gold standard of movie star heartthrobs.
For older Millennials, no man will ever compare to Brad Pitt circa Legends of the Fall. For younger Millennials, he’s that 50-something dude married to Angelina Jolie.
11. “Netflix and chill” means something very different to us.
As much as I’d like to think I could run this game, if I invite you over to Netflix and chill, it most likely means chillin’ a bottle of wine to drink while we marathon Orange is the New Black and eat pizza.
12. Anytime a younger Millennial complains about being so old.
For real, you guys? You have no idea. Hit us back when the kids born the same year you graduated high school are now graduating high school themselves. In the meantime, enjoy your youth and exceptionally high metabolism.