If you follow Twitter at all, you may have noticed that a trending hashtag right now is #GenX. It’s because this is our moment, our time to shine and lead with all the skills we acquired as a generation of latchkey kids. We spent every day after school home alone and all summer too. That’s right. Eleven long weeks of sitting at home, doing nothing. We were raised to self-quarantine and we can do it better and easier than anyone around. We are the professionals, everyone else step aside.

Hell, those of us who are OGXers who came up in the late ’70s and beginning of the ’80s had 6 TV channels, no cable TV, no VCRs… nothing but a heck of a lot of time on our hands and a couple of very specific instructions—

Don’t leave the house

Don’t use the stove and burn everything down

Don’t start any trouble

Don’t forget to defrost the roast

All over Facebook right now people are posting schedules for their kids that look something like—

9:00am—Reading picture version of War and Peace

9:06am—Learn the pythagorean theorem

9:42am—Art masterpiece instruction via internet

Just. Stop.

If we wanted art instruction we sat down and watched a half-hour of Bob Ross on PBS while he made happy trees and tiny birds. Nobody actually tried to do it though, we just watched. As for schedules, that was unheard of.  Moms had no time or desire to try to educate or entertain us all day long and even if they left a list of things for us to do, we would completely ignore it.

We were bored and no one gave one single shit. “You are only bored if you are boring” was their way of telling us “Sucks to be you. Figure it out.”

So we did. We dug holes to the center of the earth in the yard, learned to shuffle cards and build card houses and watched a lot of soap operas after The Price is Right was over. We would spend one whole day making up a game board, complete with cards cut out of paper and a long set of rules just so that the next day we would be able to play it. If all else failed, we would rearrange our bedrooms out of the sheer desire for something to be different. The fact that quarantining now includes Netflix, cable TV with 300 channels and the internet is ridiculous. We can do this for the next 12 years and never run out of things to occupy our time. And gaming together from separate houses? Why the hell would you ever need to leave?

We fed ourselves too and we are here to assure you that no matter what kind of ridiculous shenanigans go on in your grocery store, you can live just fine on dry cereal, bologna, spaghetti-o’s, pop-tarts and frozen pizza rolls. Give it a try. You might be surprised how much you enjoy it and there is zero chance they will be sold out because they are neither organic nor gluten-free.

So we are here for you, Boomers, Millennials, and GenZ. We will show you how it’s done. From a distance though, because we are reading right now and are maybe going to play some Atari later, after we eat a can Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Maybe we will just show you tomorrow. We are free then too.





Melissa Coble is a mom living in Phoenix, Arizona just trying to survive the teenage years with a lot of laughs, an occasional rant, and copious amounts of wine. You can find her counting the days until her nest is empty on her blog An Unfit Parent and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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