“Breakfast. Gotta have it! Most important meal of the day, you know,” I say to a younger friend.

“Legit,” he says.

“Legit,” I nod in agreement. As I walk away, I’m thinking, It’s oatmeal. Assuming that “legit” is short for legitimate, then, yes, I guess that oatmeal, breakfast, my choice of breakfast foods … it’s all totally legit.

Legit is one of those catchy, little words people like to use – about everything. What scares me is, I’ve been wondering if I’m too old to use it. It just sounds weird when I say it. In fact, it sounds weird in the same way “rad” or “totally” do, and did when my parents used them.

You know what I mean, right? Parent of generation-current-hipster says, “Your shoes are totally rad,” followed by exaggerated moment of awkward silence.

I am there. I’m the speaker followed by the awkward, almost sickening silence, as the legit word-bubble hangs over my head, uncertain where to go and die. Of course, I had to make my awkward moment just a little more painful by following up another person declaring something officially “legit” by asking, “Yes, but is it too legit to quit?”

True story. In fact, I think you can actually see that word-bubble hanging in the air near the I-69/I-75 interchange. The word-bubble is currently in a coma. There is no recovery from that conversation faux pas.

I guess I should be glad that I figured out the whole “hashtag” thing. That was a painful time for me; although, initially, I came off looking like I may have been in-the-know about something the Millennials in my midst had yet to discover.

That moment of bliss didn’t last, however. Some sneaky, 20-something co-worker began roaring with laughter one day as I announced, “Pound-sign: I hate Mondays.”

“Pound sign? Are you serious right now? It’s hashtag!” my rude, young colleague blurted out, tears of bewildered amusement pouring from her eyes.

In an instant, I was taken back in time, standing in a mall, with my 80s hair a flammable Aquanet masterpiece, having a conversation with my mother. “So, is it totally, like tubular, Leslie?”

I was mortified by her words, wishing I could make myself invisible. “Mom, it’s a padded bra,” I said. “It’s the same size I’ve worn since you got me a bra in fifth grade so I wouldn’t feel ‘left out’ when Jennifer [my sister]started wearing one. Not tubular. Nope. Wearing a Wonder Woman bra when you’re a junior in high school makes me totally want to hurl.”

But you know, as old as these moments I now share with the youngsters in my world may make me feel, remembering that I had my time in the sun making sport of an older generation provides some solace.

It also helps me put the brakes on my “Ugh! These Millennials are driving me nuts!” tirades. I’m able to see that the struggle between generations is eternal – part of the Circle of Life.

The polyester-clad, post-hippy generation before mine was certain that our big-hair-wearing, totally awesome bunch of party animals would bring about the end of days. We didn’t.

I have to trust this bunch of Snap-Chatting, selfie-taking Tweeters will take good care of the hand-basket bound for Hades that gets passed down by every generation.

Just imagine how stressed the group who came before Columbus must have been when they had to pass the torch to him, and that whole band of “the world is round” hooligans. And, you know how that turned out: The Columbus crew had major street cred. They were #legit.


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