IN BETWEEN YOUNG, FOOLISH & OLD, BORIN'

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My friends in marketing say I'm part of Generation X, but I don't know about that.

Yes, I'm a twentysomething, but I don't see myself or my friends in TV or magazine ads. I see people acting young and foolish or old and boring. I like to think that I'm somewhere in between those people.

If I really am supposed to be part of Generation X, maybe some advertisers should get acquainted with me and my friends. So listen up, marketing people.

We are adults.

We are young professionals who recently graduated from college, embarked on our careers and don't have to call our parents on 1-800-CALL-MOM-COLLECT. We still do our fair share of eating at fast-food chains, but on occasion we go to places where we have to leave a tip and a busboy takes away our dishes. Many of us are beyond the college bar scene and can think of better places to have a drink than a crowded, smoky bar.

As money managers, we have grown up since we were teen-agers and don't spend our paychecks as soon as we cash them. Most of us either own homes-or are living in an apartment and saving money to buy one soon. We are intelligent enough to be saving for our retirement now because we know our Baby Boomer parents are going to suck Social Security dry.

Our toys have become bigger investments. We're interested in computers, electronics, home theaters and nice transportation. Contrary to popular belief, many of us can afford to buy more than a subcompact car. Wow us with some features that the 1985 rust buckets we drove in college didn't have. But don't forget that we expect a lot for our money. Please us now and as our incomes grow we will remember that first real new car that made us so happy.

Now that I pay my own mortgage and utility and grocery bills, I'm learning to appreciate just how much the simple things in life cost. I've waited 20-some years to buy what I really want, and now that I'm going to spend my own money on them, they had better be worth the wait.

So remember, marketing and advertising people, we "Generation Xers" are adults. Just like you. And we're waiting to hear what you want us to buy.

Sherri Harrington, 23, lives in Ionia, Mich., and is an engineer for General Motors Corp.

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