Attention Millenials, Please Don’t Feed Generation X

Cloudy With a Chance of Entitlement

Complaining about Millenials is like complaining about the weather, you can’t change either.  All you can do is accept what’s in front of you and move upwards and onwards. Living in the West End of Toronto I’m bombarded by Millenials.  I’ve chosen to study them, and what an interesting lot the Toronto Millenials are.

I’ve chosen to study them, and what an interesting lot the Toronto Millenials are. They share rather than own,  question rather than accept and comment rather than complain.  Well, most of them.

In recent months I’ve found myself letting go of my traditional Generation X thinking. Why bother to hold onto a belief that I’m a lost generation.  And so what if I am?  Cliche as it sounds, not all that wander are lost. Although life without Google Maps – HORROR.

This new perception on life could take me places. Perhaps I’ll find myself at a startup software company lacking in leadership but abundant in vegan and gluten-free snacks. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow to find my calling is to be a professional dog park photographer, although doubtful with my lack of Instagram followers for Dog Park Soup. And there it is again, my uncertain Generation X outlook.  Sigh.

Perchance, should follow Sadie’s lead?

Everything Cold but the Conversation

Sadie and I met on a frigid November afternoon.  I commented on an eclectic cowl she was burying her nose in, a cowl she knitted the previous Saturday evening while watching a Netflix documentary about how to find happiness.  A knitter and Netflix documentary watcher – cool.

Sadie is the proud owner of Renegade, a German Shepard mix.  Sadie Rescued Renegade from the mean streets of the Bloor West Village (those lines at Buddha Pie can get rowdy).  Renegade was collarless, full of ticks and nothing but skin and bones.  It’s believed that he once belonged to a homeless person.

I’m sure most of us would have made a call to the pound, but not Sadie.  Sadie finds beauty in the strangest of places.  Including her means of income.

In between, her visits to the Trinity Bellwoods Dog Bowl Sadie is probing each and every thrift shop from Etobicoke to Markham.  Rescuing Renegade inspired her to start rescuing stray pieces of vintage china.  After two years’ of treasure hunting, Sadie has the most sought-after collection of shabby chic wedding china.  Yes, she rents out her collection to the anti-cookie-cutter brides of Toronto.

Question the Knowledge, Rise Against the Machine

What I love most about Sadie, discussing recent events and politics.  You see, Sadie is the best kind of Millenial, she’s a Hipster Millenial.  For those of you not sure what I mean by Hipster, allow me to provide a snapshot.  The average Toronto Hipster lives in Parkdale, has a wardrobe sourced from vintage shops, eats Vegan, drinks craft beer and almost always has something pierced and tattooed.

Back to politics and world events, I play a game with Sadie, a somewhat cruel game I like to call Bate the Barber.  Again, let me explain.  I have a bi-weekly appointment for a high fade at Town Barber.  My barber is a hipster; we have nothing in common – but damn can he cut hair.  To keep the conversation moving, I throw out questions and statements I know will get him stirred up and ranting.

  • “Tell me why you don’t think Selena Gomez isn’t an artist?”
  • “Isn’t big box retail part of the fabric of any healthy society?”
  • “Are you watching the latest season of Big Brother?”
  • “I think I’m voting Conservative.”

The enjoyment I’ve found playing this game has spilled over from the barber shop and into the streets and parks of Toronto.  Sadie has turned out to be one of my favourites to play Bate the Barber with.

Our last dog park encounter was a classic.  I arrived, Starbucks in hand.  But not any ordinary Starbucks beverage, a Lady GaGa Cups of Kindness Starbucks ($0.25 from the purchase went to the Born This Way Foundation)  Sadie, of course, had her usual blended smoothie, some hemp concoction housed in a Mason Jar with a hand-blown glass straw.

When I expressed to her how I’d done my part for making the world a better place via my iced Starbucks, she launched into a tirade. From the repressed coffee bean farmers to the underpaid baristas to the landfills created by the white cups. She went on…and on…and on, and I let her.

Besides the entertainment value, I find Millenials, especially the Hipster Millenial offers a rare opportunity to practice listening skills.  It’s interesting, you can find groups, courses, and books to train you to speak, but not a pamphlet to teach one to sharpen listening skills.

As I listen I see how different a perspective Sadie has on life and how different we are. Throughout all our differences there’s always that one thing pulling us back together, our dogs.

Peace out.




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