+
upworthy
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

A family fights over a baby name.

When it comes to parenting, the second most important decision—after whether to have a child or not—is choosing a name for the kid. Even though we live in times where parents are getting more and more creative about picking a name for their children, those with a more common name have a greater chance of being socially accepted than those without.

According to Psychology Today, grade-school kids with highly unusual names or names with negative associations tend to be “less popular” than those with more “desirable” names. Later in life, people with “unpopular or unattractive” names have more difficulty finding romantic partners.

A 23-year-old mother-to-be wanted to name her son Gaylord and had her family's full, passionate support, but her husband, 24, and his side of the family were firmly against the idea. The woman was looking for validation and posted about the dilemma on Reddit's AITA forum.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

Video shows 80 years of subtle sexism in 2 minutes

Subtle, persistent sexism over a lifetime is like water torture.

via HuffPo

Condescending sexism is persistently cliché.

Subtle, condescending sexist remarks such as "When are you going to have children?" and "You'd be so pretty, if you tried" are heard by women on a daily basis. Like water torture, what's subtle and persistent can become debilitating over a lifetime.

Making things more difficult is the contradicting nature of many sexist clichés that women are subjected to starting in childhood, such as "Is that all you're going to eat?" and "You eat a lot for a girl." Then there are the big-time, nuclear bomb sexist remarks such as "Don't be a slut" and "What were you wearing that night?" that are still shockingly common as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Grandma shows granddaughter shorthand

Grandparents can be a wealth of history and knowledge. But one TikTok user, Reagan Jones, was blown away by her grandmother's ability to write in shorthand, so she did what a lot of people do in this century—uploaded it to TikTok. Not surprisingly, most people who viewed the video had no idea what shorthand was and some thought the whole thing was made up. The reaction to it certainly makes you question if it's more than a lost art, but a forgotten part of history.

Keep ReadingShow less

New baby and a happy dad.


When San Francisco photographer Lisa Robinson was about to have her second child, she was both excited and nervous.

Sure, those are the feelings most moms-to-be experience before giving birth, but Lisa's nerves were tied to something different.

She and her husband already had a 9-year-old son but desperately wanted another baby. They spent years trying to get pregnant again, but after countless failed attempts and two miscarriages, they decided to stop trying.

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.



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



A teacher's message has gone viral after he let his student sleep in class — for the kindest reason.

Teachers spend time preparing lesson plans and trying to engage students in learning. The least a kid can do is stay awake in class, right?

Keep ReadingShow less