I keep seeing sad articles about Generation X, how we're this teeny demographic blip between the Boomers and the Millennials who are going to end up shafted on benefits and have a muted voice in politics. How we are destined to age and die alone, poor, and broken in our desert tent cities, eating dry cat food out of the bag while we tunelessly croon snatches of Nirvana and the Pixies to ourselves.
I think it's all a little overwrought. And yet, my sister and I went to one of the big department stores in the mall tonight to shop for something to wear at our stepmom's birthday party this weekend. We walked through the enormous juniors section--it just kept going and going--and rounded the corner into the Older Women area. Creased slacks, sweater vests with faux-fur collars, crisp blouses with gold-rimmed buttons, rack after rack of this. We kept going and circled around to the fancy dresses, and then the juniors again.
Where was the section for us? There were a few displays here and there that had stuff I would consider wearing, or at least could see people I knew in, but mostly there...kind of wasn't one. I never find much I like in department stores anyway, but the message seemed pretty clear.
"I feel betrayed by fashion," my sister, whose hardest choice at the mall had long been what not to buy, said a few minutes later while we pawed through limp, uninspiring tops that were just a little too young for us at another national chain. She seemed genuinely distressed. I didn't know what to tell her. "Join the club, kiddo," seemed callous and obnoxious, and I am trying to be less of those things.
Plus, I felt a little disquieted myself. If we're such a nonentity that the big guys aren't even bothering to market to us during our biggest earning years, maybe there really won't be any social security left by the time we're 67.