Now, I am quite partial to the term “geriatric millennial,” but I have noticed that more and more folks are adopting the more flattering, wisdom-implying nomenclature of “Elder millenial.”
I just turned 40, making me very much an Elder Millenial, and a proud one at that.
I am nostalgic AF since the pandemic, and maybe this nostalgia would’ve washed over me even without society shutting down for a year, I can’t say for sure. I am also house poor but grew up in a culture that taught me that the true path to happiness is buying nice things. So this is what brings me to my new found obsession with REALLY CUTE STICKERS!
Now, as an Elder Millenial with anxiety, I can assure you that I was the type of child who received stickers and then anguished over where to place said stickers, ultimately just collecting unpeeled stickers in a box or album for fear of committing the sticker to the wrong surface.
As part of my recovery program, I now allow myself to place stickers willy nilly! Okay I am lying: I am buying stickers with strict plans on where I plan to apply them, because buying stickers without a predetermined destination would cause me unnecessary stress.
The primary surface to which I am permanently affixing my chosen stickers is my new lap top. My new laptop that my parents had to buy me because, as previously mentioned, I am house poor. Luckily my parents can afford to buy their 40-year-old daughter a laptop when hers unexpectedly breaks because they bought their second home for $138,000 cash in 1985 and have since enjoyed the truest heights of the real estate ladder like many boomers have.
I realized recently that part of my laptop-decorating endeavour is chasing the high of the amazing collages I used to make in high school.
So because I am chronically anxious, house poor, nostalgic, and still craving the satisfaction of both retail therapy and a perfectly assembled and modge-podged collage—and I feel that this is a reality shared by many of my fellow Elder Millenials—I present to you 15 stickers to warm the bottoms of your elder millennial hearts:
1. I Need an Adultier Adult
My mother claims to have never felt like she was not the adult once she became an actual adult. Her youngest sister, who is a late, late Gen Xer, agrees that she cannot believe she’s a grown woman with adult-and-almost adult children and a mortgage (unlike her sister, haha!). I am constantly turning to my friends who I perceive as more “adulty” than me for advice, and I keep finding out that they too are constantly seeking out an adultier adult. Who will my kids turn to?! I still need a great deal of adulting support from my parents, as evidenced by the aforementioned laptop purchase.
2. Feel Your Feelings
I spent far too many years in therapy learning that feelings are not inherently bad or good, that judging our feelings is unhelpful at best and dangerous at worst. I think a lot of us grew up this way: negative emotions like sadness or anger, and the way we expressed them, were parented as “bad behaviours.” And that’s not because our parents sucked, it’s because they were probably raised that way too. So the idea of “feeling your feelings” is one that is still novel to me, but it is extremely helpful and it’s what I am endeavouring to teach my children. This sticker is a cute reminder, and obviously yes, I really like cats.
3. This is Fine
Oh look, another cat! This meme I realize is usually with a cartoon dog, but frankly cats are better. I do feel that my innocence was shattered by Columbine and smashed to smitherenes by 9/11, and I have been some version of this meme since the mid 90s.
5. Work Sucks, I Know
So many song lyrics live rent free in my head where more important information ought to reside. Blink-182 is just one of the iconic bands of my adolescence, and this lyric has just become more relatable with age. You know why work sucks? Because work isn’t enough for any of us to afford a house!!!
6. Now That’s What I Call Anxiety
I am pretty sure I owned the Now 2 CD. I am not going to research this, I am just going to tell you that I am pretty sure it contained the songs Bitch and Sex and Candy. The former was by someone named Meredith and the latter by Marcy Playground. Compilation CDs have no reason to exist anymore … and this sticker reminds me of that and makes me laugh because the fact that it even exists means I am never alone in my anxiety like I thought I was as a kid.
7. No Fear
Right alongside the Converse sneakers, Umbro shorts and Starter jackets of my late elementary school years were the No Fear branded t-shirts. I had a No Fear t-shirt, I remember it being a dark forest green, and I remember choosing the message on the back carefully. Sadly, I cannot remember what the snappy No Fear line was. I do look back and think my sporting a No Fear t-shirt is ironic (in the Alanis way, maybe?) considering I had ALLLLLL the fear.
8. X-Files VHS
Not all millenials were X-Philes, but I am sure you can all relate to taping episodes of TV on a VHS. Do you remember the absolute horror of playing back a VHS recording only to realize it recorded the wrong channel or at the wrong time?! I remember I would call literally everyone I knew (not text …) to ask if they by any chance had recorded whatever episode I had missed, lest I have to wait until summer re-runs. For the record, I had every episode of X-Files seasons 1-6 recorded on VHS, in order and meticulously labelled. And I re-watched them often. A few birthdays ago my brother gifted me the complete series on Apple TV and let’s just say that is a more compact and convenient method of consuming old TV shows.
If this sticker really speaks to you, let me also recommend this book:
9. Antidepressant Cats
Cats are the best. I have this memory from the late 00s, and my husband agrees that this happened as I remember even though it seems so unlikely, where I was having an anxiety attack in bed, and my beloved (now deceased) cat brought me my bottle of tranquilizers in her mouth and dropped them in my lap. It sounds insane, but I swear she did. So this sticker reminds me of that but also reminds me about the open conversation we now have about mental health and needing medication. It was a conversation I wish existed when I was a teenager. (Also, the cats are in what looks like a mason jar, which is apparently a millenial thing … please see the bonus sticker below.)
I mean, this sticker speaks for itself. I am consumed with nostalgia. I have been reading books about the nineties, listening to podcasts, reconnecting with my high school friends to reminisce and reassess our teenaged experiences. Obviously this sticker is also a nod to the first video game console my brother and I ever used … the same brand my kids currently play with the mostly the same characters!
If this sticker really speaks to you, let me also recommend this book:
Is this really an Elder Millenial thing? BECAUSE I PUT EVERYTHING IN MASON JARS AND I LOVE GIFS.
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