Your 20-something will attempt to talk to you. They will say words and be articulate. Many of them are smart and/or have been to very expensive colleges. However, they will also say many non-words. You’ll want to be prepared.
Sometimes they will say out loud the acronym “l.o.l.”, but they will pronounce it fully as a word that sounds something like “lawl.” In these cases, “lawl” usually means the same thing as the acronym “l.o.l.,” or “laughing out loud.” However, it can also mean “no,” “of course,” “never,” “definitely,” “maybe,” “I like you,” “I hate you,” “don’t touch me there,” “this barista has made me uncomfortable,” and “I’m not sure.”
Speaking of not being sure, I’m still not sure about how to react properly when they #speak #in #hashtags, as some of them are wont. Just try changing the subject. In fact, change the subject to punctuation, specifically to hashtags. No one is going to tell you that they feel “kind of ## about ##.”
You will need to feed your 20-something. They will likely have a fraught relationship with certain food items. Buy a lot of Nutella. Don’t give them any coconut water after midnight. Or I mean go ahead, just know that I warned you. FYI, You should know that “Rockstar” is a drink that sounds like a band and “Neutral Milk Hotel” is a band that sounds like a drink. Additionally, Snapchats and Vines sound like delicious snacks, but they are not edible — yet.
The financial acumen of 20-somethings will range from expertly buying and selling small islands to “wait, then what do I put on THIS line of the check?” You need to account for all of these scenarios. Be mentally lithe. It is important to remember 20-somethings do not appreciate being generalized. However, it is also important to remember some of them do appreciate being generals/supreme commanders — I’m looking at you Kim Jong-Un. Hay!
The bad news: Your 20-something will not remember/have existed in the 1980s. The good news: you can tell them the plot line from episodes of Family Ties as if they happened to you! However, that is a pretty risky gambit as they will eventually figure out you that you are not Alex P. Keaton, and people don’t really recover from that kind of disappointment. While they will not remember the 1980s, they will remember I LOVE THE ’80s, the TV show on VH1 during the early ’00s. So if you truly need to communicate about the ’80s, feel free to use this backchannel.
Your 20-something was born with the Internet coursing through its blood. They are connected to it via their telepathic-heartminds like Elliot and ET, which is another reference they are not likely to get, so you should probably watch some new goddamn movies. Like all superpowers, whether or not they chose to utilize their Internet-savant birthright was up to them. If they did, you’re going to have to start learning to use the Internet in ways you never dreamed. A few Internet-related tips: Never drink ANYTHING from a Tumblr. It’s pronounced “listicle,” and it’s a mystical list that contains all the information you will ever need on a given subject. Never agree to go catfishing and if you do, never eat what you catch.
You should make sure to give your 20-something plenty of fresh air and exercise. “Fresh Air” is an NPR program that your 20-something will LOVE if they were educated by members of the East Coast Elite, a liberal cabal and travel soccer team. When it comes to exercise don’t be fooled, Kombucha and 5-Hour Energy may sound like exercise classes, but they are, in fact, edible substances — though they should not be. The very best way to encourage 20-somethings to exercise is to call their cell phone. Being unaccustomed to phone calls, they will interpret this as danger/an act of aggression/their phone crying and they will flee in a swift run. Don’t forget to text them later to say everything is okay. Just type “lol.”
The world of your 20-something is a new and amazing place, but it can also be frightening and overwhelming for them. In the world of your 20-something Grimes and Skrillex are things, sort of. Regardless of their official categorization, and despite your incredulity, both of those aforementioned things definitely exist in the world of your 20-something. Top sheets and alarm clocks do not.
Don’t bring any of this up right now though, because your 20-something is in the midst of a romantic/identity/existential crisis. The very best way to figure out how long their crisis will last is to take their age then multiply it by 10, subtract 4, divide it by their student loan debt, add Weird Twitter, and wait to see what color your paper turns. If it is any color at all, this crisis will last until they are 30.
Don’t worry, during these crises they will be able function, some to a much higher extent than you could ever achieve. They’re in their 20s, not incapacitated. The best thing you can do during these crises is to just put on an episode of Archer and reassure them that it will all go away when they’re no longer 20-somethings. Don’t tell them you’re lying.