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“I can’t go out tonight. I am sorry… I know. I am such a grandma,” she says with a sigh. Setting down the phone, the 20-some­thing puts the hot water on and then turns the volume on her laptop up a little louder. 

Female mil­len­nials have dis­covered that it’s trending to be a grandma. The desire to go out for a night on the town dwindles as these women sink deeper into the blankets. Though laughing off sluggish ten­dencies as being geri­atric is the next trending stereo­types, this dis­re­spects the gen­er­ation known for having spunk and energy during some of the world’s darkest times. 

Pin­terest feeds abound with pho­tographs of effort­lessly cozy young women, clad in soft looking pajama bottoms, fluffy socks, and over­sized sweaters. They clasp painted mugs of steaming tea in simply man­i­cured hands. Gazing intro­spec­tively out the window, they sit with their feet tucked up in a loose-knit afghan. 

Young ladies of 2017 readily accept this cozy culture; when asked to go out for a good time, they already sense the warmth leaving their cup of Earl Gray. In an attempt to justify their sluggish ten­dency to remain in the glow of the candles burning on the coffee table, they call them­selves “grandmas” and stay in. 

In 2014, “The New Yorker” pub­lished an article called, “Grandmas Rise up Against Mil­len­nials’ ‘Grandma’ Life Style.” Author Cathy Lewis fea­tures here the opinions of actual grand­mothers: the original gen­er­ation. These women do more than raise a dainty eyebrow at this com­parison of lifestyles.

Many elderly people, according to the article, claim they live dynamic lives, occupied with daily activity. They insist that what young people today refer to as “the grandma-lifestyle” is, in fact, a mockery of their viva­cious reality. 

On a winter day in the early 2000s, an 80-year-old woman from my church tobog­ganed down our neigh­borhood sledding hill. On her belly. My short and sassy grand­mother bales hay with 20-year-old men. To asso­ciate these women’s exis­tence with a merely veg­e­tative lifestyle only exposes our ignorance.

Perhaps the women in the New Yorker article see only the neg­ative side of this movement, however. Pos­sibly, young women today choose to imitate the behavior of this older gen­er­ation whom they admire for living life with so much spunk and pizazz and who can choose to stay a night in with honor. The younger ones aspire to mirror the attitude of those women who will kick your ass into shape in their ortho­pedic shoes only after they finish their tea. 

The danger with any stereotype is the variety within the genre. Pinning laziness on grandmas might not be entirely fair because many of those women are not lazy. Asso­ci­ating the lifestyle of women who lived through The Great Depression and World War II with that of a lazy young adult is neither fair nor accurate. Numerous older women have the energy to to wreak havoc on the road or storm the halls of the nursing home, sneaking sea­soning into their bland vegetables. 

Rec­og­nizing the beauty and grace in the taste of women who have lived for many, many more years than we have-learning from the example of women who earned the right to put their feet up, we should follow in their footsteps. 

Per­chance the tea at Trader Joe’s goes on sale, and the British Baking Show appears on Netflix.  Maybe we enjoy the back­ground of talk radio as we water the suc­cu­lents and cook our turkey bacon.  Maybe we like to write mail in cursive and wave at the postman.  Before we roll all of this into one stereotype and slap the “grandma-label” on it, maybe we can think about our will­ingness to buy into trends. 

The next time somebody com­pli­ments the flowers in the vase on the kitchen table or the color of the rug against the tiles in the kitchen, pause and say, “Thank you. I was inspired by my grandma.”