page contents

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Generation?

I recently read a book called The Chaperone (L. Moriarty) in which a 15-year-old girl is escorted by her thirty-six year old neighbor to NYC while she auditions for a dance troupe. While I was completely captivated by this historical novel that takes place in the 1920’s, there was a particular theme that struck me as I read. Actually, there were many themes, but since I spent an intimate weekend with my fifteen year-old, I couldn't help but philosophize about the theme that preoccupied me the most. It's something that tends to marginalize the young and the old. I believe it's simply called the "generation gap."

In the novel, Cora initially attempts to teach Louise Brooks (who eventually becomes a true-life Hollywood star) lessons on propriety in an era where prohibition is tempting the fates of the cool, young flappers. As the young Louise disregards the tightly-wound, but well-intentioned chaperone, I felt Cora’s pain. I, too, see my daughter’s mocking expression when I don the always fashionable black turtleneck or a sensible pair of clogs.

I wished my Alex could recognize that I was young. Once. And not completely dorky. Well, maybe a little dorky. But I really had a spunky sense of style. I mean, when I wore the neon pink mesh gloves with my Tina Turner concert t-shirt over my Izod polo, I was RAD! And the other thing? In addition to my law school plans, I intended on becoming a rock star...maybe someone who rivaled Lita Ford. Yeah, I was that cool, despite my lack of showmanship and actual talent. (But hear this my daughter: I still wouldn't have worn skin-tight skull jeans on an outing with my parents. I'm just saying.)

So once my life followed the glamorous path to banking and I found myself living the life I dreamed, with a lovely family, I became puzzled by the fact that an actual generation gap existed between me and my kids. I mean, when I became a mother, somehow, I didn't expect to...age. (As a matter of fact, I read about some old fathers in the newspaper today who became first-time parents of twins. I was amused at these codgers, until I realized they were just a few years older than me.)

I pondered the point-in-time in which the "generational divide" began to really make its presence known. I decided it was when Alex turned three. It's when she really began to have a dissenting opinion on just about I dressed her, how I fixed her hair, how I prepared her food. And she's been going strong on those dissenting opinions ever since. But that's okay. I'm getting used to it. Well, that's not really true. But every once in awhile we agree on things. Important things. Like how much we love our dog.

And I can't help but love her. She's irresistibly clever.

And for another book review....Killing Kennedy.