The following essay was written a few years back, before I actually became old. Now it really makes me laugh . . .
About a month ago I was graduating from high school and then this morning I woke up 30 years later. Don’t you just HATE it when that happens? I used to laugh at all those “you’re old if you remember . . . ” things that used to go around, because well, for the most part they didn’t apply to me. I don’t remember watching “Your Hit Parade” or when Jack Parr ruled late night, and I certainly don’t remember life before TV – such as the list read when I was graduating.
Well now my youngest son is about graduate and there is a new list out now, and I was foolish enough to look at it the other day. Gads. I really am old. Oh the list has all the usual suspects we’ve seen over and over, starting with the phrase: “Today’s High School Graduates are too young to remember . . . ” and includes quaint concepts of antiquity such as “disco”. Disco?? I still have my flared skirt in the closet, thank you. That doesn’t make me old does it? Just because my son was born 10 years after John Travolta danced across that neon floor. (10 years??!) Heck I still considered my vinyl soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever to be one of my newer albums because I still have the sleeve.
Which brings us to CDs. My son was born after the advent of CDs. His understanding of vinyl LPs is that they make wicked good Frisbees and if you wobble them fast they make a funny sound. “You mean they make music?”
Ah, music. Remember music? Remember when singers used to actually sing without any electronic doohickey keeping them key and most of them could actually play an instrument and write songs and everything? Remember? Ok in this respect I do have to give my son credit for looking beyond his own lifetime back to ‘the golden era’ as he calls it (the 1970s) for his music. His song collection is astonishingly close to mine, however I actually remember when most of these bands were in ‘first run’, young, still good looking and, well, breathing. His musical tastes are very wide for a teenager of today. He enjoys the ‘classics’ and reveres the ‘league of dead guys’ Beethoven, Bach. . . and John Lennon. He commented proudly one day (a testament to his open-mindedness) that he shuns modern music, and as proof pointed out his mp3s are all ‘old or long dead’ – Jim Morrison, John Denver . . . ok, I’ll give you dead, but OLD??
The icons of my youth, still fresh in my mind, are now selling wrinkle cream on infomercials. Paul McCartney is approaching that 64th year he wondered about back when I was 4 years old. The Monkees are no longer the young generation and they don’t have much to say anymore.
I lamented to my son how I remember being younger than the pretty people in the posters, and found it startling to realize that I am old enough to be the parents of the current poster children – Orlando Bloom is younger than my oldest son, Hayden Christenson is younger than my second oldest son. If I admire their good looks I feel like a dirty old lady! But my son, bless his heart pointed out that there are still ‘old guys’ out there who are ‘legal’ for me to drool over. “Who?” I asked. “Johnny Depp is wicked old mom. . .he’s like. . 40 something”.
“Yeah, wicked old, and he’s still cool.”
“40 something is wicked old?”
“Well . . . yeah. I mean he was born way back in like 1963 or something.”
I was born in 1961. Pass the bran flakes and get off my lawn.