Let me start off by saying, I’m sorry Mom, Mom’s friends, and Dad. This instalment of Taste & Tipple isn’t personal.
The Bee’s Knees is a classic gin cocktail with a name that reminds me of the kind of description a boomer would use to characterize a fledgling romance, “Oh, he just thinks you’re the Bee’s Knees, doesn’t he?”
To which the obvious response is, “I mean, sure Barb, maybe if the sight of my bare ankles was enough to get him excited. These days, if there isn’t a risk of a nip slip on the first date or an expanse of bare midriff, he’ll probably think I’m Amish.”
Times have changed.
Why is that boomers so often accuse us millennials of being lazy, entitled, brats who live in their basements but are suddenly silent on the subject when they want to edit a PDF?
Mhmmm, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, we learned a thing or two when we did those 2-4 degrees to bide our time before entering the workforce at the height of a recession. And we had to, because unlike our parents’ generation, who often had their pick of jobs in their desired field upon graduation from high school or university, we were competing for entry-level jobs that required a master’s degree, three years of relevant experience, and a total fluency with the entire Adobe Creative Suite, for a job as a tree planter.
Millennials are the first generation of digital natives. We came of age as dial-up internet came on the scene. We would connect to Encyclopedia Britannica from the living room computer to get sources for our school paper and then lose all connectivity when Mom took a call.
We mastered the art of T9 by age 13 on our microscopic flip phones and got Facebook as soon as we had a college or university email address that qualified us for the exclusive service. As a result, navigating most new technologies, apps, and services is totally intuitive for us.
Boomers were late to the game, having to upskill or reskill to stay relevant in the workplace and muddle through setting up a Facebook account to stay connected with their kids who got tired of sending 10 different emails to share all the photos from the family vacation in Florida. As digital immigrants, our parents’ generation offers no shortage of amusement and frustration for us millennials.
Like the time my friend’s mom posted on her Facebook wall, “Honey, your tax return came in the mail, please let me know if you want me to mail it to you. Love, Mom.” Instead of sending it in a private message. Or when they send a text to ask, “Can you Google for me…?”
When discussing some new cultural phenomenon, trend, or podcast we’d discovered, my ex-boyfriend’s Dad would often ask, “How did you come across that?” To which we would simply reply, “The internet.” Which always got the same response, “But HOW the internet?!”
I have an idea for a game show that is better than that new “Awake” show on Netflix – you know, the one where contestants stay up for 24 hours straight counting quarters and then have to remember their tally in their head and then proceed to participate in a series of tasks that require fine motor skills or focus that often escapes the sleep deprived.
Well, my game show concept is this: a boomer parent and their millennial kid compete in pairs. The boomer is assigned a task that requires a degree of technological savvy, like changing your Facebook cover photo, sending an iMessage with effects, or wirelessly connecting to the scanner. After 90 seconds unassisted, they can call in help from their millennial child. The pair that manages to successfully accomplish the task in under 3 minutes scores points but bonus points are awarded to the pair that maintains the lowest heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol level in the process of completing the task.
Millennials are not often known for our patience – we often communicate in 10 second snippets on Snapchats, TikTok, or Instagram stories – our attention spans are shorter than those of goldfish. But NOTHING evaporates our patience faster than asking us to help our parents figure out a technological crisis that is second-nature to us. It often ends with strained voices and beads of sweat as we say, in clipped tones, “Just give me the phone.”
So, Mom, Mom’s friends, and Dad, I still think you’re the Bee’s Knees, but please let me assign one of my friends as your tech support – their patience will surely be longer than mine.
Bee’s Knees Cocktail
- 2 oz Isle of Harris gin
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- ¾ oz honey syrup
- 3 drops Scrappy's lavender bitters
- 1 brandied cherry, for garnish
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup boiling water
Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into coupe. Garnish with the cherry.
Combine honey and boiling water ina heatproof glass jar. Stir until honey is dissolved. Cool to room temperature before using. Honey syrup will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 weeks.