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Over 2 once-filled glasses of much needed margaritas, an old friend and I started weighing the pros and cons of having older friends. Being mellow and chameleon-like creatures, she and I are able to comfortably fit the mold of whatever group, scenario and environment we find ourselves in. Having found ourselves constantly in the company of those who are older than us, it’s quite the feat to deal with the ongoing ageism that runs rampant in such relationships.

Exceptions: Such weird mechanisms we use to discriminate, and yet we barely realize it. When someone labels us as an objection to a general groups’ stereotype, it’s usually meant to be tinged with good intent but ends up taking root as a back-handed compliment. “You’re the only person in their 20’s I can stand.” Oh. How does one even respond to such a comment? This is not a rhetorical question, please leave an answer in the comments section for my friend and I, for this is a comment we hear at least once every time we’re in the presence of older friends.

Every generation watches the next one come up with disappointment, hesitation, dread coupled in hope and good-intentions. The negatives stem from the initial reaction that those who are older respond to what they deem as the failures of their successors. Plainly, Millennials are known to be a spoiled, rotten bunch. Before our accomplishments and capabilities are acknowledged, all of our mistakes and missteps are presented. From the “exceptional” statement, it’s quite facile to assume that many believe we are to be the generation who is burning everything that has been gained just because we can.

Knowing what I know, and who I know, it’s hard not to become offended by these thoughts. On the contrary of the ruling preconceived notions of my generation, we accept and welcome the tutelage and friendship of those who have come before us. We know we have much to learn and to experience. What we do not welcome is the belittling and condescending nature in which advice is packaged to us. And what we will not accept is being painted with the same brush stroke that our class has been colored with due to the inflation of media and miscommunication between groups. After analyzing all the times I’ve heard this comment and those similar to it, I’m not even sure I can call those who use it friends.

What about you dear readers? Has there been a time you’ve been offended at someone trying to label as you as an exception?

 

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