Photos by Megan Bayley
When it came to launching this online magazine, as well as the Mean Podcast, I figured I’d casually mention it to a few friends and if they thought it was any good maybe they’d tell some other people.
Such a subdued approach to launching a business is either a statement about my fear of success or about being born into Generation X (probably both).
But what you need to understand is that Gen Xers are cool and we don’t care. We roll our eyes at people who do. We get kudos when we deserve it and we probably don’t and it doesn’t matter anyway. We’re only putting effort into it because we have nothing better to do. Do you like it? Whatever.
This attitude was problematic for me as an administrative assistant at a biotech company in the ’90s. I was promoted internally (from the reception desk) to assist an absent-minded professor type scientist. He needed someone who really gave a shit about which hotel he was staying at, his confirmation numbers, and how much food to order for a meeting hosting executives who might acquire the company. He once looked me sternly and called such minutiae “non trivial.” I just didn’t get it.
I eventually left the admin job (still not sure how I didn’t get fired) to become a freelance journalist, and there began my push and pull between enthusiasm and that blasé attitude. If you don’t act like you give a care about the thing you’re doing as a freelancer, no one’s going to give you money for it unless you’re Kurt Cobain.
Millennials don’t understand this because they don’t even know my generation exists, which is the most Gen X thing ever.
But luckily over the years I’ve become friends with millennial women who keep me in line. Case in point: Late last year over lunch at Salumeria in San Francisco I told Defne Crowe of MADE PR that I was launching my magazine and podcast and, like the excellent public relations professional she is, she immediately asked how I was going to mark the occasion. I had to ask myself, was I going to behave as if all this work might matter in some way? Or would it be like a tree falling in the woods?
And that’s how we ended up with this beautiful dinner at MADE PR headquarters. It was not only gorgeous, but also a pretty good time if I do say so. It felt like an auspicious beginning to this new venture.
Do you like it? Because I really hope you do and I apologize to the rest of my generation for caring so much.
Jokes aside, these generational constructs are arbitrary, and that’s precisely what drove me to create all of this in the first place. If you feel connected to someone, if you’re into the same food, fashion, home design, books, or movies, it doesn’t really matter how far apart your birthdays are—see: Meet the perennials.
And please keep coming back to this site for articles and interviews that I hope will interest and delight you regardless of the year you were born.
Huge, enormous thank yous to the fabulous businesses that helped create this magical evening: MADE PR, BiRite, Megan Bayley Photography, Waters Flowers, Crocker Calligraphy, Ban.do (for the cutest gift bags), Blaq, ShhhSilk, Skylar, Richer Poorer.