A Friday Chat About the Next Generation

National Walkout Day. Photo credit: Dannel Molloy, CC BY 2.0.

NICOLE: Happy Friday!

GARLI: I am very ready for this weekend, how about you?

NICOLE: Totally ready! Cedar Rapids is hosting its annual Sapadapaso this weekend, which stands for St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

GARLI: Ha, you knew I was going to ask!

NICOLE: The extra “so” is for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Society. The whole town just calls it the Sapadapaso and I was like WHAT????

GARLI: Oh no. St. Patrick’s Day always seems like there will be a minimum quantity of green vomit around. But hopefully Cedar Rapids is full of mature celebrators.

NICOLE: I remember Green Beer Day in college. Ugh.

GARLI: We are so weird with our holiday celebrations. I mean I’m as guilty as the next person, I enjoy themed food and drink parties. One year my friend made jello Irish car bombs and I think the taste and texture was punishment for how tacky of an idea it was. Really, who named that drink?

NICOLE: I think nobody calls it that anymore. [Ed. note: here’s an article explaining why it’s a super offensive name.]

GARLI: I hope you’re right. I just assumed I haven’t heard anyone say it in a decade because I’m 36.

NICOLE: Yeah, me neither, and I am also 36.

GARLI: We’ll need the Billfold youth to weigh in on this one. Tell Grandma Garli what the kids are doing these days, sweetie.

NICOLE: They’re doing pretty well, as far as I can tell. I was really impressed with the organized demonstrations earlier this week.

GARLI: Dude. So much yes. It makes me look back at high school me and realize I was totally involved. We also did walk out after Columbine. But it didn’t make the news and no one cared? I want to hug every kid that organized a walk out at their school. Except that I hate hugs and they’d be like “ugh why is this old weird lady hugging me.”

You’re my age, maybe you took AP Gov at the same time? All we talked about was cigars and Lewinsky’s blue dress. Which of course in the late ’90s was presented as LOL CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS not like “wow what a gross power imbalance.”

NICOLE: I’m trying to remember what we discussed re: Clinton/Lewinsky. I remember a lot of jokes about what the definition of “is” is. And the conversation that “this is just what men in power do and in the past we didn’t make their private behavior public,” which… well, that opinion did not age well.

GARLI: Oh yeah, 100 percent. Of course that was back when they told us like WOMEN CAN DO ANYTHING AND ALSO WE’VE SOLVED RACISM THANKS TO MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

NICOLE: WE GIRLS CAN BE ANYTHING, RIGHT BARBIE?

GARLI: Totally man. I bought it. Hook line and sinker. Didn’t realize for years it wasn’t the case. But it’s better than it was. And hopefully it keeps moving in that direction. We’ll just be the generation that points out bad shit and keeps fighting the good fight for inclusive workplaces.

NICOLE: And the next generation will take the conversation in directions we can’t even imagine — but can hope for.


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