Believe me: I would love nothing more than to give today’s young people the benefit of the doubt. I understand that each generation of kids is derided by previous generations as lazy, soft and entitled. However, I cannot help but conclude, given the wealth of evidence available, that this new group, “millennials,” truly are an irresponsible lot. Millennials are killing the institution of marriage, the 40 hour work week, and the housing market. And as if that weren’t bad enough, they are absolutely ruining the paint job on my John Deere riding mower.

Previous generations, even the shiftless, disaffected “slackers” of Generation X, have managed to use my John Deere S240 Lawn Tractor while leaving the paint job the same way they found it. Not so with today’s twenty-somethings, who on multiple occasions have returned my mower to the shed with mysterious nicks and scratches. Perhaps the financial situations of millennials would improve if they stopped spending so much money on coffee and concentrated more on making sure that they’re not scraping the side of my mower against trees when they’re making sharp turns.

The Greatest Generation lived through the Great Depression, then defeated the Nazis. They came home from the war and built successful businesses that contributed to the economic boom of the 1950’s. And, perhaps most impressively, on multiple occasions they returned my riding mower with a fresh coat of paint, indicating that if they did scratch the paint at all, they were thoughtful enough to rectify their error. Not so with today’s young people, who rub themselves against my riding mower during passionate bouts of polyamorous sex with people who are not their main partner, then ignore the fading and degradation of the paint job that results.

Frankly, I’m getting sick of the excuses millennials make. Bad job market? Boo hoo! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps! The original settlers of the 18th and 19th centuries battled harsh conditions and had to build their own homesteads without the resources that people have today, yet they still found time to hose off my riding mower if they drove it through an especially dusty or muddy area. In that regard, the “gig economy” is no excuse for millennials not to do the same, especially when one of their drunk Uber customers urinates all over it.

I hope this piece hasn’t come off as an anti-millennial screed. Instead, consider it tough love, for I believe in millennials. I believe that, instead of simply complaining about their misfortunes, they have the power to overcome them and succeed in returning my John Deere riding mower to its proper place in my shed without scraping it against a pole in the process. It’s up to them, and their ability to remember to store the mower in the shed instead of leaving it out in the rain, to make good on that faith.

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