If Gen X is truly the middle child, then many anecdotes about our generation can be found on The Brady Bunch, specifically in the character of middle child, Jan Brady. Jan (Generation X) annoyed with her older sibling, Marcia (Baby Boomer) always getting the attention. The boys love her. She’s prettier, her generation more flashy and funky. After all, she had the protests, the birth control pill, women’s rights and landing on the moon.
Like Jan, Generation X feels desperately mediocre. Gen X walked home from the bus stop around to the back of an empty house to get the key hanging on a nail from under the deck, made a small attempt to do homework and stayed in her room to watch television because her parents were out to dinner. She learned The Facts Of Life, understood that Good Times was all about getting white people to treat them with Diff’rent Strokes and she wanted to be Melissa Gilbert on Little House On The Prairie because she wished Michael Landon was her father. Of course, she was disillusioned that Landon wasn’t perfect and after River Phoenix’s death, Gen X Jan graduated from the University of HardCore Disappointments.
And then there is little Cindy (Millennial). So precious and wonderful, Cindy is the poster child of ‘Baby On Board’ – don’t drive like a murdering piss ant because I have a baby on board. Cindy is a star – raised to feel special and her parents love her and make sure she gets a trophy in her Taekwondo classes and soccer tournaments, even though she may not be that good. It doesn’t matter – little Cindy can be anything and everything she wants to be, despite not finding a job after college and her tuition being four times the amount as Mr. Brady paid for his suburban house in the early ’70s. Keep smiling Cindy, we’ve been there and we really do wish some of your optimism would rub off on us.
“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” says Jan with a deep sigh as Marcia speeds off in her SUV, squashing a squirrel on her way out of the driveway, off to a soccer game loaded with her precious children and a plethora of cheap gadgets she bought from Wal-Mart to keep her children entertained during the ten minute ride to soccer practice. Jan played The Alphabet Game on five-hour road trips and if she reached X before the last stop for a pee break, she gave herself a pat on the back. Jan looks at little Cindy, her cute curls and bursts of positive verbosity and is reminded that her parents weren’t that into Jan; just like every guy she dated who stood her up for a Laker’s game or a week-long D&D game with the guys.
Whatever… Jan feels bad no matter what, but only because she sees a way out of the impending decay of society if only she would wear her glasses. Jan just wants a better world and peace even if she puts holes in Marcia’s socks with an ice pick. Jan dreams about a small patch of earth to live on, not a Victorian mansion, or a McMansion in the middle of the desert. Jan would live happily in a yurt – in the country, somewhere on BLM land because all of the good places are parking lots and Marcia needs the best parking space. Jan would rather eat off the land instead of subsisting on cows, after all, their farts are contributing to global warming and the cows are partially mad for having to hold their farts in. Jan cares about cows, too.
And so, Jan = Gen-X = constipated cows.