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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

Kampus Production/Canva

How often do you change your sheets?

If you were to ask a random group of people, "How often do you wash your sheets?" you'd likely get drastically different answers. There are the "Every single Sunday without fail" folks, the "Who on Earth washes their sheets weekly?!?" people and everyone in between.

According to a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by Mattress Advisor, the average time between sheet changings or washings in the U.S. is 24 days—or every 3 1/2 weeks, approximately. The same survey revealed that 35 days is the average interval at which unwashed sheets are "gross."

Some of you are cringing at those stats while others are thinking, "That sounds about right." But how often should you wash your sheets, according to experts?

Hint: It's a lot more frequent than 24 days.

While there is no definitive number of days or weeks, most experts recommend swapping out used sheets for clean ones every week or two.

Dermatologist Alok Vij, MD told Cleveland Clinic that people should wash their sheets at least every two weeks, but probably more often if you have pets, live in a hot climate, sweat a lot, are recovering from illness, have allergies or asthma or if you sleep naked.

We shed dead skin all the time, and friction helps those dead skin cells slough off, so imagine what's happening every time you roll over and your skin rubs on the sheets. It's normal to sweat in your sleep, too, so that's also getting on your sheets. And then there's dander and dust mites and dirt that we carry around on us just from living in the world, all combining to make for pretty dirty sheets in a fairly short period of time, even if they look "clean."

Maybe if you shower before bed and always wear clean pajamas you could get by with a two-week sheet swap cycle, but weekly sheet cleaning seems to be the general consensus among the experts. The New York Times consulted five books about laundry and cleaning habits, and once a week was what they all recommend.

Sorry, once-a-monthers. You may want to step up your sheet game a bit.

What about the rest of your bedding? Blankets and comforters and whatnot?

Sleep.com recommends washing your duvet cover once a week, but this depends on whether you use a top sheet. Somewhere between the Gen X and Millennial eras, young folks stopped being about the top sheet life, just using their duvet with no top sheet. If that's you, wash that baby once a week. If you do use a top sheet, you can go a couple weeks longer on the duvet cover.

For blankets and comforters and duvet inserts, Sleep.com says every 3 months. And for decorative blankets and quilts that you don't really use, once a year washing will suffice.

What about pillows? Pillowcases should go in with the weekly sheet washing, but pillows themselves should be washed every 3 to 6 months. Washing pillows can be a pain, and if you don't do it right, you can end up with a lumpy pillow, but it's a good idea because between your sweat, saliva and skin cells, pillows can start harboring bacteria.

Finally, how about the mattress itself? Home influencers on TikTok can often be seen stripping their beds, sprinkling their mattress with baking soda, brushing it into the mattress fibers and then vacuuming it all out. Architectural Digest says the longer you leave baking soda on the mattress, the better—at least a few hours, but preferably overnight. Some people add a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda for some extra yummy smell.

If that all sounds like way too much work, maybe just start with the sheets. Pick a day of the week and make it your sheet washing day. You might find that climbing into a clean, fresh set of sheets more often is a nice way to feel pampered without a whole lot of effort.

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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Representative image from Canva

Because who can keep up with which laundry settings is for which item, anyway?

Once upon a time, our only option for getting clothes clean was to get out a bucket of soapy water and start scrubbing. Nowadays, we use fancy machines that not only do the labor for us, but give us free reign to choose between endless water temperature, wash duration, and spin speed combinations.

Of course, here’s where the paradox of choice comes in. Suddenly you’re second guessing whether that lace item needs to use the “delicates” cycle, or the “hand wash” one, or what exactly merits a “permanent press” cycle. And now, you’re wishing for that bygone bucket just to take away the mental rigamarole.

Well, you’re in luck. Turns out there’s only one setting you actually need. At least according to one laundry expert.
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Parents are debating over whether to give children "adult" or "baby" names.

The names we choose to give our children can significantly impact their lives. Multiple studies from across the globe have found that a person’s name can influence their employment, social and economic outcomes.

Unfortunately, humans make snap judgments about one another, and having an unusual name can lead people to make unflattering assumptions. “We’re hardwired to try to figure out in a heartbeat whether or not we want to trust somebody, whether we want to run from somebody,” Northwestern University researcher David Figlio said, according to Live Science.

However, an increasing number of parents are giving their children non-traditional names to help them stand out. “Parents are trying to be original, almost branding their kids in an era where names are viewed on the same level as Twitter handles or a website URL,” writer Sabrina Rogers-Anderson said.

Ruby, a mother on TikTok, took a hard stance on parents giving their children names that sound childish in a post that’s received over 11 million views. Ruby says she named her kids as “adults, not babies” hoping they would never “outgrow” their names.

@rubyyvillarreal

TikTok · R U B Y V I L L A R R E A L

“The whole concept when I was trying to look for a name and choose a name for her is I did not want her to outgrow her name,” she said in the viral video. “I wanted the name to fit her as a baby, as a toddler, as a child, and into adulthood. So, it's like I really am happy with what I ended up with naming her and it just fits her so well.”

She captioned the video, “love having nicknames as they are younger and it doesn’t mean they will prefer it over their name as they get older. Just gives them options.”

People in the comments responded with modern names they think that kids will outgrow.

"My name is Koazy and I’m here for a job interview," Stalker joked. "Hello sir, I am Bluey Mason Garrison! I was called in for a job interview last Tuesday," Pastel Purr added.

"I can’t imagine knowing [a] 30-year-old named Emma or Posie," Mikey wrote.

However, a lot of people commented that names that seem like they’ll be outgrown will sound fine in the future when those names are popular with the new generation. “Kids grow up with their generation having their own names on trend. They will be normal adult names when they are grown,” Kerry wrote.

“Names grow with the generation,” Lauren added. “The name Dennis sounded like a baby name once too. Names grow up just like generations.”

@rubyyvillarreal

Replying to @19eighty_5 my kids name and the process 😬 #babynames #nicknames #babytok #adultnames #momsoftiktok #momlife #momtok #pregnancytiktok #toddlersoftiktok #babyname #babyfever

In a follow-up video, Ruby shared the names she gave her children. Her girl is named Karla Esmerelda and her boy is called Deluca.

“I just really liked how simple, how bold, and strong that the name by itself just really kind of is. Doing some research names with the letter K tend to be like very bold and powerful names, so I really wanted it with a K and not with a C,” she said.

She named her son Deluca, after a doctor on “Grey’s Anatomy.” She said she chose the name because there was nothing to connect it to, and it sounded “nice.”


This article originally appeared on 4.26.23

via @5kids5catssomedogstoo/TikTok

Lynalice Bandy shares what her home looks like after working six 10-hour days and getting no help from her husband.

A viral TikTok video highlights an extreme version of inequality that many wives and mothers in heterosexual relationships face. However, the mom in this story hit her limit and won’t deal with it anymore.

Lynalice Bandy, who goes by @5kids5catssomedogstoo on TikTok, posted a video that showed her home looking like a disaster after she worked six 10-hour days straight while her husband did nothing to help.

Her time-lapse video shows every room in the house completely trashed, with toys, food and laundry scattered everywhere. "Shampoo on the carpets in the girls' room, nail polish all over Nugget covers, hair, and carpet. Scissors were used to cut hair, the down comforter, the mattress cover, and two Nugget covers," wrote the mom.

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Pop Culture

Gen Zer's teary video after going around town with a stack of resumes gets wave of support

Gen Z often gets a bad rap in the workforce. But job hunting is difficult right now, regardless of your age.

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People couldn't help but feel for a young woman who broke down in tears after going around town with a stack of resumes.

It can be easy to write-off younger generations as entitled, lazy and unwilling to work hard, without taking into account the very real challenges being faced.

Just like their “whiny millennial” predecessors, Gen Zers often find themselves in this predicament—unable to land a job, much less one that reflects their personal values, all while being labeled as“difficult” for wanting something better.

But the truth is, even hard-working people are struggling right now. That goes for people who are employed (many of whom are living paycheck-to-paycheck, despite having well-paying jobs) and those looking for employment.
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