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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Knitting with the Enemy

Let me make one thing clear. I don’t knit. I wish I did, but I don’t. This blog isn’t about knitting, anyway. It’s about a gap way bigger than my thigh gap, which—if you’re wondering—is the term assigned to describe the space between a woman’s thighs. In my case, it’s nonexistent. I don’t have time to talk about non-existent things (Generation Xers don’t, as a rule), so instead I'm going to conquer something that exists with a vengeance. The generation gap.
   I called the blog Knitting with the Enemy because it occurred to me that I spend a lot of time conversing with older people, primarily women. And we’re different. Back in the day, I thought it was because they were old and I was young. Being no longer young, I’ve realized that age had nothing at all to do with the antagonism expressed between women of different generations.
    Case in point: My mother, who is nearing 80 years of age had an altercation with a woman in her nineties at the senior center, where my mother is apparently considered to be “one of those flighty young whippersnappers” who’ve ruined the world. Who of us haven’t been victims of this mindset?
     Take the movie Sleeping With the Enemy (See? I got around to explaining the blog title. If at first you don't succeed, yadda yadda) The film stars Julia Roberts and some mean-looking guy and is about a woman who seems to have everything—a beautiful home, money, lovely clothes, handsome husband—until we find out that the husband is a bastard dictator who also beats her. (Like I said, mean.) Sure, we’re horrified when Julia’s screen husband demands that she line up the towels just so and alphabetize the canned goods. We gasp up phlegm when he slaps her around because the toilet paper roll is a millimeter off-center or the lamb is under-cooked, the chutney ruined.
     As I recall, women of my generation were clutching their theater seats to keep from running up to pummel the male lead while screaming “You’re lucky to be getting a hot meal, you ingrate!” But there was another group of women whose eyes were darting about in the darkness. Although ashamed to admit it, they’d allied themselves straightaway with OCD man and remained pretty firmly on his side, perhaps until he planted that first blow. While no one likes to see Julia’s pretty face get messed up, thoughts like: I love a well-kept house, or she should have dinner on the table for her husband were floating around that theater, believe you me (Is that a thing? What does that even mean? Believe you me.) I could feel the vibes ricocheting off the screen.
     If Martha Stewart saw that movie, she was probably wondering the whole time why the film was even called “Sleeping with the Enemy.” He’s only looking out for her best interest, thought Martha, as the empire she built by pointing out the inadequacies of others flitted through her mind’s eye. What’s wrong with that?
     Yeah, it took a stint in jail to mellow her out. Let’s not let it get to that point, folks. Three words. Get off Pinterest.
     If you’ll agree to do that, I’ll refrain from making fun of the thirty-somethings walking around, shopping with their I-phones held in front of them like old guys once held the TV Guide crossword puzzle in days of yore. I’ll be super-supportive of the parents who are picking out their dinner wine as their toddlers teeter on the verge of death, doing the hokey-pokey in the seat of the grocery cart. (“Oh, look! Skylar can turn herself around! How cute is that? I’ll send you a picture”) In fact, I’ll carry around a pile of concussion awareness sheets, like the ones they hand out at the pediatrician, and slip one of them to parents, quiet as a Mickey. No judgment intended, just safety. I’ll join Lean in and try to read about a support network of working women without allowing my envy to short out the Internet. (Hey, I didn’t have that when I was working, you young whippersnappers. Ingrates!)
     It all boils down to jealousy really, and we should rebel against that type of thing so we can all knit peacefully together someday. Except I don’t knit.    
     And if it’s important to teens that there be a little gap of space between their legs, I’ll try to understand. Maybe that’ll keep them from being obsessed about other things that might be going on down there (but I doubt it). What am I saying? Down with thigh gaps! There are better gaps to think about, more important gaps. Gaps in teeth, resume gaps, pick a gap!


     Flabby thighs aside, we Gen-Xers have got you all sooo beat in terms of cool demographic monikers. And that includes you, Baby Boomers (Although Baby Boomers sounds way better than Spawn of Men and Women Who Responded to their Fear and Uncertainty in the Face of Death By Having Extraordinary Amounts of Sex……Or does it?)