Preachin’ Millennial Style!

The eldest prince and I had an interesting and, I thought, funny conversation about American culture.

I love listening to my sons insights into the world. Growing up in the 70s and 80s gave me lots to sort out and figure out. Growing up in the 10s is giving my millennials and this old 80s chick different things to figure out. Each age seems to have a specific set of hardships and joys. Here’s what one of my millennial princes was preachin’ about this week. I must admit he has a point…

Societal Petulance (His term not mine)

The prince comes out of his cave to say, “Mom, I’ve been thinking about Societal Petulance.”

I look up from my digital solitaire game to watch him walk down the hall. My curiosity is tickled. “Okay…” I respond motioning him to continue.

He begins (I am paraphrasing from my notes). “American culture has an attitude that teaches ill-tempered behavior is good. People seem to only want to complain. Their favorite conversation topics are to complain.”

Now my son works as wait staff for a local bar and grill. So of course he sees the worst of people. They’re hungry and tired. Maybe they’re angry at their partner or the boss. Who knows? I don’t. I have trouble figuring out my own stuff. But I digress (again). Maybe they are feeling lonely too. You know, looking to connect with friends. You have the whole H.A.L.T. (hungry-angry-lonely-tired) thing going on all day long. So they HALT their butts right at my Prince’s table.

I smile and quip, “Just take driving alone!”

He says “Exactly!” He continues: “They give you the finger for following the traffic laws; They say, ‘Trump is doing his job but I hate him’; They desperately seek attention in the weirdest ways! Like smoking weed and getting drunk and think the lady their hanging on likes that? Really, I don’t think so! Don’t they realize they are only making themselves lonely!”

Psst: This makes mom feel good since he’s showing respect for his lady! {wink} I sit back and enjoy the tirade. I’m thinking he’s working it all up and out like those revival preachers from my Protestant days. Wow I’m listening to some good preachin’ millennial-style!

He continues describing how these adults kick and scream to get what they want. They don’t want their children to act that way but they set the example. {hmm…I’m thinking some of them might be spoiled boomers too…} He describes how people are so used to getting what they want by making a fuss that they don’t know how to be civil or polite.

This makes me sad. I see it exploited in the news. I watch it happen at my favorite stores. I hate hearing it from my millennials. He and I discuss how people should at least follow the basic rules (ahem…can we say the 10 Commandments? Oh yeah it is my blog. So I said it and own it!). Could we old fogeys and middle-aged brats at least act as well as we want our kids to act?

My kids don’t usually embarrass me. So when did we start embarrassing our kids with our behavior? It’s pretty sad when a ten-year old or even a two-year can act better than an…ahem…50-something gentleman or gentlewomen.

Then he makes me laugh with an analogy we used raising our sons. “Mom” he says, “There’s always the big guy in the bar. These guys like to poke the big guy. Then they’re surprised when the big guy hits back and the brawl starts. Then they all go to jail.” He leans in and delivers the punch line with a gleam in his eye, a straight face, and quiet baritone: “Don’t poke the bear.”

I’m laughing so hard tears are leaking from my eyes. This is what I enjoy about the adult millennials in my life. Then as he heads back to his online game with a parting shot:

“I’m gonna start acting like a parent to people who act like a child.”

Who Boy! This is gonna be interesting…

Don’t poke the bear…especially if he’s your wait staff! Love Ya!

Milly {with a twinkle in my eye}

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