On not really growing up, for NBC News THINK

July 8, 2018


I've got a piece out this morning, from NBC News THINK, and it's about growing older without growing up. I only wish I could I have included two sources who gave me great material -- who said things that have stuck with me -- but whose quotes I couldn't quite get to fit the flow of the argument. 


First, from Tim Kreider, the utterly fantastic essayist and frequent NYT contributor:  "I'd say that although millennials aren't the first American generation of the 20th century to be downwardly mobile (e.g., to live in a culture in decline)—we Gen Xers were—they're the first who've known it from the start. Which has got to be dispiriting. Whether marriage/mortgage/kids/job were bullshit or not is irrelevant; they're obsolete. One secure lifelong job and affordable mortgages doesn't exist anymore. I personally never had any interest in any of that stuff—it just seemed like prison to me—but I'm an artist, and artists have always been eccentrics, nonconformists, wrongos. Most people still want the conventional things; they just can't have them anymore."


Second, from writer and editor Nicole Dieker of The Billfold: "If millennials really are spending less on breakfast cereal or beer or paper napkins, it's because we're making financial choices that reflect both our income and our values. Some of us might prefer cloth napkins, which only need to be purchased once and have less of an environmental impact; others might skip the paper napkins because paper towels are less expensive and work just as well. Despite the fact that millennials are viewed as a monolith, our purchasing decisions are, in fact, individual."


Great stuff, right? [Weeps]

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