1992 was the year Bill Clinton ran for President and I graduated High School.
I tell incredulous teenagers now about not having an iPhone or Snapchat and they just stare at me, blinking slowly. I can remember card catalogs at libraries, mimeographed homework, using pay phones when you were ready to get picked up at the mall. I actually do remember playing all day with my friends outside and riding my bike a few miles to school, sans protective head gear. I'm not exaggerating any of that.
Yet here I am at 41 years old: texting at stoplights, on-line shopping, oversharing on Facebook, and listening to library books that I download from an app.
My graduating class should be studied in a lab for our adaptability and endurance.
But my generation seems to be undefined. Broadly, we are part of Generation X. Specifically, those of us born in 1972-1976 went to high school together and that is still how I identify people around my age: Would you have been a Senior when I was in 9th grade? Or were you in 9th grade when I was Senior? Ether way we wouldn't have had much in common back then and probably don't now.
----Friends premiered in 1994. They were all definitely in college when I was in High School but remain relatable archetypes of twentysomething transitions even today.
Sex and the City ran from 1998--2004. I was 24--30 in that time period. Those women were at least ten years older than me. They would have had their first jobs out of college when I was just starting High School. Although I didn't exactly relate to their thirtysomething lifestyles I watched the show like a manual for how to be a woman.
I had neither the bank account, shoes, nor dating pool that they inhabited but it was the first time I had seen sex and relationships spoken about in an honest way and I tried my best to emulate them.
Girls premiered in 2012 when I was 37. Another brilliant show depicting young women in their twenties, living in the same area of Brooklyn I once did, making the same tragic choices I had. Yet, I was well past that by 37.
Married, in a transitioning career, and contemplating motherhood. Much more in-line with Carrie or Charlotte, than Hannah or Marnie, but really just sort of somewhere in between them. A generation unrepresented by HBO. In the 7 years between those two shows I felt more connected to a flawed man from the 1960's, a Chemistry Teacher turned Drug Lord, and black youth from Baltimore.
----I've only got a handful of friends from high school left. We all live in different cities so our relationships exist for the most part on Facebook. Our 20th High School Reunion (four years ago) was just skipped over, no one bothered to hold one or I didn't get the Evite.
The High School President of our class was probably too busy producing multiple Broadway Plays and gifted children to arrange it. I think the Vice President of our year is now the Artistic Director at Alvin Ailey, or works for AT&T. I can't verify either, but we went to the High School of the Arts so many of us have "made it" and many of us have made something else entirely of our adulthood.
Either way, we're all apparently too busy to meet up in a hotel ballroom.
The Class of 1992 is 40-42 years old now. We're at that apex, where wine and people reach the crest of our lived experiences. We are "middle aged" by standard definition. We owe it to ourselves and all the seventies neglect, eighties excess and nineties plaid that we lived through to be heard from.
If the child prodigy who used to accompany me on Memory is only now getting his second Tony Award, I think a relevant TV show is still within reach.