Abby Stevenson lies about her age. She’s about to turn 41, like the other members of the BSC, but she’s always felt years younger. She posts her Buzzfeed “How Big of a ‘90s Kid Are You?” quiz results to Facebook, as if to claim her space in the generation below her.
Abby knows that her life has been a series of clichés, from the “Jewish kid with asthma” thing (which she didn’t realize was a stereotype until she was an adult) to the part where she was the wild child and her twin sister Anna was the studious one.
And such a wild child was Miss Abby Stevenson. After living under the thumb of her overprotective mother (another cliché, why is her life so full of these clichés), she launched herself into college like the spray of cheap beer that came pumping out of a keg. She let it shower over her, the whole college experience — Cancun, frat parties, ending up in the emergency room for something besides asthma for once.
One of the reasons Abby aligns so closely with the younger generation is that she ended up leaving college with piles of debt (of both the student loan and credit card variety) and no decent job prospects in sight. When that happened to her, it was considered a failure; but within a few years it was a trending news story.
So that’s when Abby began to think of herself as a Millennial. An early Millennial, before it was cool.
Like the other members of Abby’s assumed generation, she didn’t hit what the generation above her considered the traditional markers of adulthood. She spent the mid-90s working as a waitress, then retail worker, then waitress again, watching hours of Nickelodeon between shifts (which is why she knows the answers to all of those Buzzfeed quizzes). She watched her sister Anna hit all of the milestones: marriage, a home, a job teaching music at a private school for rich kids, becoming a parent to a few rich kids of her own. It’s like Anna grew up and Abby stayed thirteen forever.
Eventually Abby became a bartender, which felt like about as serious a job as she wanted to get — and really, bartending is a serious business. She finally felt like she had escaped her clichés.
She has not, however, escaped her debt. Creditors call, and call often. She can make her voice sound younger than it is on the phone, and play dumb. Or, which she more often does these days, she can simply not pick up the phone. Nobody uses their phone to take calls anyway. Everyone knows that you don’t pick up calls from randos and you don’t listen to voicemail. Abby’s primary method of communication right now is Snapchat.
Abby’s mother wants to loan her money. Abby’s twin sister even volunteered to help her out. Abby will have none of it. “I’m an adult now and I get to decide what that means,” Abby quotes, the anthem of a generation ten years younger than she is. She gets to decide. Not her mom, not the credit card jerks who call her on the phone, not her boss. Nobody but her.
Sometimes you don’t know your people until you find them. Abby never quite felt like she was a part of the BSC; now she knows why. She’s Facebook friends with all the kids she used to babysit. When they see that she completed the “What Rugrats Character Are You?” quiz, they like her posts.