This is not an essay about Gen X nostalgia. That’s already been done, by the New York Times and others. I will admit I dove into the New York Times piece with unexpected relish, though. I was born in 1972, right in the middle of the 1966–1980 demographic, so I guess that makes me kind of prime Gen X, and suddenly seeing photos of nineties icons everywhere felt oddly validating. I had already been wallowing in nineties nostalgia for a good year or two, listening to Sarah McLaughlin and Fiona Apple on repeat, when that piece came out. …


A few weeks after you die, you get a bill from your dead dentist. It’s not really from her, of course — she had died the previous summer and a new dentist had taken over the practice — but her name is there on the envelope and inside on the bill. It feels like a bit of a joke. Like the dentist — who, with her lilting Caribbean accent, had always been amused by you with your own accent and your overwhelming fear of dentistry — couldn’t help but poke fun at you one last time. I hadn’t found out…

Leah Kalinosky

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