It’s after Labor Day and I see people still wearing white. That’s what happens when you spend too much time people watching at your favorite bistro in San Antonio.
Fashion is not my strong suit. A confession: Our wedding suits came from Stein Mart. I thought I knew two vital fashion-nevers: NEVER wear brown shoes with black trousers and NEVER wear anything white after Labor Day.
Somehow, I never got the memo announcing those fashion-nevers are kaput. That’s a German term Boomers use, by the way, meaning “dead-dead-dead.” And that’s what was revolving around in my brain at that San Antonio bistro as we watched – no lie – a millennial with a scruffy beard and lots of arm tattoos wearing white jeans and brown shoes.
A few hours later, what should pop up on my laptop but the headline “Have Millennials Killed the Dress Code?” The author, writing for something called “Bustle,” boils the whole dress code thing down to this irrefutable fact “…millennials grew up in the era of overnight startup millionaires clad in hoodies and sneakers who proved you don’t have to look like a CEO of yesteryear to build a lucrative business.”
I have trouble picturing Warren Buffet in a hoodie, but I guess the author is talking about other millionaires and billionaires. In the middle of reading how millennials killed the dress code, another item popped up on my laptop, “27 things millennials are blamed for killing.”
How did my browser know I was deep-diving into millennial killing habits? It’s unnerving but I forged ahead anyway and clicked on the story, written by a reporter for the Sacramento Bee of all things. I don’t have enough room to list all 27, but here are some of the more interesting items they’re killing: golf, movies, napkins, soap, marriage, diamonds, casinos, breakfast cereal and face-to-face interaction.
“Is there anything they can’t kill?” asks the writer.
Since there are about as many of them as there are of us – around 72 million each – I think you know the answer. Oh, the article does list one item millennials do like: avocado toast.
Clearly, we Baby Boomers have killed something and, sure enough, I found a blog called “The List” that claims some things are going extinct because of that 55-to-75 age group: The Early Bird Special because Boomers reject the idea of being old; The Housing Market because we’re not downsizing, and millennials can’t buy our homes; and Facebook because, “The List” claims, Boomers are 19 percent more likely to share content and who wants to be a part of something your grandparents find groovy?
After all this Us vs. Them, I thought it was time to find out if We have anything in common with Them. Thank goodness for Google, because I found The Street with a provocative headline, “3 Reasons Baby Boomers and Millennials Are More Alike Than Anyone Wants to Admit.”
And what does Kathryn Tuggle of The Street say we both have in common? She writes that we both want to be heard and respected, we want to make a difference, and both generations see ourselves as rebels.
Come to think of it, wearing white after Labor Day is rebellious.
No white khakis for this guy, however. When I’m not sure what to do, I follow the philosophy I learned growing up in the age of broadcast television: follow that sacred phrase – WWJD – What Would June (Cleaver) Do?