Sandwich: flavorsome filling coddled between soft slices of baked grain.
Sandwich Generation: Children who have become parents, while still shouldering the responsibility of being their parents' children.
Chronologically, I qualify for inclusion among the other sandwiches on the shelf. Fortunately, my parents - as well as my children - are in excellent health.
My peers are not all as fortunate.
Some have children with special needs, others have parents who are ailing; and among my friends are those who are dealing with both situations simultaneously.
They are not so much being pressed or squeezed by their responsibilities, but rather are being stretched and pulled apart.
A caretaker's psychological and physical peace is not compressed by the kind of pressure applied by a vice, but rather is thinned by forces straining them in opposite directions.
This generation is not built of layers like a sandwich, but of elastic losing its dimension.
It is the constant changes in direction - work, home, children, parents, schools, hospitals, care facilities, teachers, nurses, doctors - which stress the cohesion of us adult tweens.
My friend just lost his father.
This is where we are now, we Gen-Xers. We've transformed from that group of directionless adolescents caring about no-one, save ourselves. Now, twenty-five years later, we're learning what it is to care for everyone else despite ourselves.
It's an awakening, the transition from attending weddings to attending funerals. Eventually we'll attend weddings again - our children's; and then funerals again - our friends'.
Forty years from now my kids will leave behind the label of "gen-whatever-we-are" and become "gen-whatever-you-need-us-to-be".
To be all those things to all of those other people, they will have to be much more rubber, and much less ham and cheese.