Generation Gap

Let’s talk about social graces.

Now as you may or may not have been able to deduce, La is not the most politically correct person on Earth. And actually, I take quite a bit of pride in this. I’ve seen so many lose themselves in the mire of acting like they’re “supposed to”. And it drives me crazy. Seriously, it’s a big pet peeve of mine. Just, BE. Don’t be how you’re supposed to be, what’s considered correct or acceptable. Just be YOU. DAMN.

I digress.

Today in Starbucks with my Mama and Godmother, we started talking about she and Godfather’s wedding many moons ago. Somewhere in the conversation she said something about, “socially acceptable.” It was around this time that I said to my mother, “You will NOT be getting a “socially acceptable” wedding from me, IF you get a wedding at all.”

They both get silent, and give me the look like You say that now. Which is another thing that bugs me; at 23, having lived the life I’ve lived, I feel as if I’m MORE than capable of solidly making my decisions and sticking to them if I so choose. I’m no longer an 8 year old child who says I’m gonna be an astronaut. I don’t wanna get that look anymore.

Being the talkative person I am, I’ve indulged in many a random convo with people older than me. And when I state my opinion, they discredit it with being the unstable opinion of a child. I’m not a child. And I certainly have the presence of mind to not make big sweeping statements I’ve not thought through.

I acknowledge that there are many people, of varying ages, who don’t think as I do. But they’re not ME. But what really gets to me is the sweeping statements about my generation. You’ve heard them. We’re all shiftless, aimless, apathetic. And I’m SICK of it. I’m not shiftless, aimless or apathetic. And I’m tired of the work that I’ve done on myself to build my character being discounted because I’m 23. More so than an age, I am ME. If I say I would prefer to elope than have a wedding attended by friends of friends and business associates to be “socially acceptable” I MEAN it. I’ve thought about it. I’ve considered it. And right now, at 23, “socially acceptable” is the least important thing in the world to me. And I’m happy about that. Proud of that.

I try, at times, to be understanding of the vast generational gaps that exist between us. I remind myself we think differently, times are different, we live our lives differently. I’m young right now, I live my life on a whim, on my instincts and my impulses. The baby boomer generation- my mother’s generation- sought stability; the white picket fence, mini-van, 2.5 kids. I can’t relate. I try to remind myself that the way I seek to define and enhance my life is vastly different. I remember having a convo very similar to this my freshman year at Howard and the fundamental difference between us can be summed up with what I said then;
Our parents’ generation thought that to become CEO you must work for 20 years to climb the corporate ladder to get on top. We are the generation to go out and start our own business for us to be CEO of.

I try to be objective. But I get tired of my presence of mind being undermined because I am 23. That is almost as bad as being undermined because I am a woman, because I am a minority. It is a different kind of prejudice, but a prejudice nonetheless, that shouldn’t be tolerated just because it’s “socially acceptable.”

If such a time comes that I do decide to share this life with someone, PLEASE believe any marriage ceremony will NOT include invitations to people I don’t know for social acceptance or more gifts. The people I want surrounding me on what should be one of the happiest days of my life are the people I know and love, the people who will actually be my village when my marriage is going well, when my marriage is going bad. I choose that. I choose not to be surrounded with people who don’t know that my wedding, my life, will not be “socially acceptable”.

And that’s what I’m proud of.

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