Last month I turned 44. And something terrible happened. Something I really wasn’t expecting. I started feeling old. And out of touch. And confused by what was happening in the world around us.
How did this happen?
Up until recently, I had really still felt pretty young-ish and “in the know.” I’ve done my best to keep up with the tech and slang and the memes and such.
I am a Gen-Xer. We were the cool kids after the Boomers, OK?
Our childhoods were spent free of devices, but then our teenage and early adult years were made easier by them. (C-ya card catalog, wouldn’t wanna be ya!) Can’t you hear that glorious Internet dialing up right now? And now too? And yes, it’s still dialing now too ….
We wore Doc Martens and lots of flannel and watched Winona Ryder in movies and discussed which grunge band was the biggest sellout. (If I remember correctly it was Pearl Jam.) The ’90s never seemed that long ago to me for some reason. It still seemed like a really modern time to come of age.
But then suddenly it didn’t. (I mean, it is three decades ago now.)
The 1995 Ford Mustang is now considered a classic car, and Kurt Cobain, who I did a glowing speech on in my high school public speaking class (I believe the word “genius” was used quite a bit), would have turned 54 this year.
Robert Smith, the lead singer of The Cure, one of the first “cool CDs” I received from Columbia House (and probably never paid for) is now 62. He would have to use the age-defying makeup I buy now if he wanted to still wear it. You want a foundation and powder that is “airier” or whipped, Bob, so it doesn’t “settle” into your wrinkles. At least that is what they tell me. It still looks like it brings a suitcase to me.
Maybe some of the reason I am feeling this way is my body has officially started falling apart. The aforementioned wrinkles are part of it, not to mention the oh-so-sexy beginning of night sweats I have begun having that have nothing to do with Nathaniel Rateliff’s band.
Everything is not alright!
And just last night, my husband and I had one of the oldest of old person conversations we have had to date in our marriage discussing how low our supply of Tums looked and how one of us “definitely” needed to pick some up today.
Yep. It looks like we are “definitely” only a few years away from talking about adding stool softeners and Corn Huskers Lotion to our shopping list. I’ll probably feel the need to explain myself to our home spy/shopping device.
“Hey Alexa, please add Preparation H to our shopping list. But, also please know I used to go to Lollapalooza and Frank saw the Grateful Dead about 10 times, and just know we were once cool.”
Alexa will answer back in her best if-a-Karen-were-a-Robot voice, “I have added hem-orr-hoidal cream to your list. And this is what I found on the web for midlife crisis … Does that answer your question?”
Burn in Hell, Alexa. It’s only a matter of time before something younger, hotter and hipper replaces you, too.
Anyway, in addition to problems with acid reflux and having zero idea who Megan Thee Stallion or Dua Lipa were when I flipped on the Grammys the other night, I have just also started not even wanting to know about new things. And certainly, this is the gateway into wearing sensible shoes all the time and telling your kids about people they don’t know who just died.
But I can’t help it. All this new-fangled technology is so confusing! Dagnabbit!
Just when I thought I was kind of understanding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, now I have to learn about NFTs, where you can buy (with lots and lots of money) a digital copy of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet or William Shatner trading cards (one of which is an X-ray of his teeth).
Or highlights from sporting events that you can already find all over the internet but for some reason you now own. A LeBron James “moment” recently sold for $200,000. How does one own this? Y’all are making my head hurt. I just don’t get it, Sonny. Get off my lawn!
And social media. God, I hate all of it. It’s so depressing. There’s Facebook where you can watch your parents squabbling with their friends or even your friends over politics and/or non-stop stalking said friends or your friends (and then telling you about it). Or Instagram where you can watch your peers take better vacations or eat fancier food than you, making you feel sad and inferior … and hungry for sea bass on a bed of succotash.
And of course, the most miserable one of them all, the chamber of hate and anger that is Twitter, where you can sit around with popcorn — literally or GIF-erally — and watch those who are “trending” sometimes get celebrated … but more often than not, absolutely eviscerated. Why do people enjoy engaging in that nonsense or even just watching it? It’s just so icky and gross. Gag me with a spoon. I just don’t get it.
I know the kids are all about the TikTok, but I just can’t wade into yet another social media cesspool. I’m hanging on by a thread right now as it is. And I am sure there is probably something new that is about to replace that, too.
I just can’t keep up. I’m throwing in my towel with an MTV logo on it.
Just throw me a shawl and some house slippers. And get off my lawn!
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