+
Pop Culture

16 of the Gen X time capsules that make zero sense to any other generation

Who remembers Columbia House collect notices?

gen x, gen x trends

The car DJ is a sacred job.

Let’s hear it for the lost generation—the slackers and middle children who brought us apathy personified and grunge music. Sure, Gen Xers might not be as loud as the boomers, millennials or even the Gen Zers of this world, but that’s only because, if we’re honest, they’re too busy taking care of things themselves to have time to complain.

And you know, for being the forgotten generation, the world can’t seem to stop talking about it. From Gen X pop culture classics re-emerging into the mainstream, to making headline-worthy spikes in wealth over the past couple of years, this group is (finally) in the spotlight.

Recently u/Ruffffian asked the Reddit community to share what they consider to be “THE most Gen X” thing. As a certified millennial, I have absolutely no idea what half of them are (seriously, what is a “Garbage Pail Kid” and why are they terrifying?). But I guess that’s why only you latchkey kids can proudly claim them.


Much of what people shared harkens back to an experience, rather than an actual object. But one thing’s for sure—only Gen Xers can fully understand, let alone appreciate, this list. Dare I say, no other generation has this flavor combination of edgy and wholesome.

1. “Columbia House collect notices.

– @additional-Olive-405

Not gonna lie, I had to look up what this meant. Fellow millennials, think old Netflix, but for music. There, translated.

2. "Never getting mentioned in the news. It always goes from gen z to millennials to boomers.”

– @My_eternals

3. “Video arcade. Before Gen-X, graphics weren’t good enough, and after Gen-X, you’d play the games on your own home console. No other generation claimed them like we did.”

via GIPHY

– @Masonsknob

4. “Parachute pants..the noise was deafening in the halls between classes!!”

– @GboyFlex

5. “Claiming shotgun in the car so you had access to the binder and could play DJ for the night.”

via GIPHY

– @TikTokTinMan

So like … no Spotify playlist? Such dark times.

6. "Sun-In for hair. Feathered bangs. Blue eyeliner. Love's Baby Soft. Jellies."

– @star-67

7. “Hair crimper, riding bikes with no helmets, buying smokes for my dad at the shop. Putting baby oil on and sunbaking (cause we were literally baking ourselves haha) doing whatever I wanted for one to two hours after school by myself cause parents were still working. Being allowed to roam the streets until almost dark.”

via GIPHY

– @Master-Cricket9906

8. “I said-a hip, hop, the hippie, the hippie To the hip hip hop-a you don't stop the rock it to the bang-bang boogie, say up jump the boogie To the rhythm of the boogie, the beat…

– @labretirementhome

9. “Being the last unreachable generation. There were hours where no one knew where we were and our parents had zero way to contact us.

– @Nakedreader_ga

10. “Calling your out-of-town friend collect from a payphone to another payphone to avoid long distance charges.“

via GIPHY

– @Advancedbullshit (who "successfully did this with a boyfriend too")

11. "Always having a pencil in the car for cassettes."

– @sillyputtygizmo

12. "Being the last generation to have to walk across the room to change the TV channel. Being able to fix the TV by pounding on it the right way. Getting the brown box for the TV and there only being three stations."

– @ok_micologist_5569

13. "Watching MTV's Headbangers Ball on Saturday morning, ready to record on the VHS when my favorite bands came on."

via GIPHY

– @hyenaatemyface

14. "What defined Gen X growing up was living under the constant threat of nuclear war. If you wonder why Gen X is defined as 'whatever,' it's because we believed that at some point in our future, we'd end up living, or dying, in a nuclear winter."

– @ruatrollorruserious

15. "Beepers. It felt so important to have one, even cooler if you paid extra for the voicemail service."

– @nousername56789

And finally...

16. "Being old enough to remember (and appreciate) life before the internet and cellphones but being young enough to transition into that world without a hitch."

– @TikTokTinMan

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less