Rocktogenarian

I don’t remember the eighties. And it’s not because I was high on hairspray, squeezed into fluorescent spandex, and roller skating around Pat Benetar shows.

It’s because I was thirteen months old when they ended.

I only (legally) rented my first car a few months ago, and if I lived with my mom I’m still of the age that people wouldn’t raise eyebrows and stinks and whatever else they raise about other people’s business.

I’m young, dammit.

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But the other day, a classmate–

(See! I have “classmates”! Which infers that I am a “student”! And students are inherently YOUNG.

Shut up, starting-over-at-fifty-undergrad! Nobody asked you!)

But my CLASSMATE asked me, after I’d confided in her that my eyes were sore from trying to see the professor’s notes on the board, if I needed bifocals.

She wasn’t being an asshole, either. And she, too, is “young.”

I remember being the age of my students– and I know, having students infers that I’m closer to old than young– and thinking that the seniors were adults. I based that judgement on the fact that they had boobs, cars, cell phones, and rumored sex lives… All necessities to become An Adult.

Note that this was before young people developed iPhones in the womb and pregnant 12-year-olds were still uncommon, at least outside the Midwest.

Okay, maybe I am old.

I have boobs, though. And a car. I even have a cell phone. And if I wanted to I’m sure I could spread some saucy, semi-believable rumors about minxy me. It follows, then, that 11-year-old Me has solved 25-year-old Me’s identity crisis.

I’m freaking old.

It is 9pm and I am currently in bed… On a weeknight, though! (Of spring break) DURING WHICH I HAVE TO COMPLETE A MASSIVE PROJECT THAT I NEED TO BE WELL-RESTED TO FOCUS ON… Because failing at that project could severely jeopardize my career… Because I’m starting a career…

BECAUSE I AM OLD.

Eleven-year-old me would be impressed. She would also demand that I use my oldness to drive us to Taco Bell and then Target, where we’d buy Fruit Roll-Ups, Teen Bop and J4Teen.

And 11-year-old me would eat all those damn Fruit Roll-Ups without a stomachache, while Old Me tells her to turn off 16 And Pregnant and read a god damn book before she’s too old to learn and winds up stupid and then Young Me would surely flip Old Me off and tell Old Me to just eat a Fruit Roll-Up and relax.

Know what’s cool, though? Old Me would still eat a few of those Fruit Roll-Ups, even if it meant some minor heartburn, and Young Me would click off the TV and read a god damn book.

Eventually.

51 thoughts on “Rocktogenarian

  1. Old? Our generation NOT old indeed! Unpleasantly grown up in some cases, but not old. Not yet anyway. I too was a toddler when the ’80s ended, and sometimes I wonder what I’ll sound like as a grandma, especially if things keep changing at this rate.

    “Back in my day, there was no such thing as a 2 second video download for a week’s worth of movies. No sir. You had to go to Blockbuster and rent a video tape. They called it Blockbuster because they tapes were shaped like blocks. If you couldn’t afford Blockbuster, you went to the library and got the old movies and nature shows for free. IF you brought them back on time. And they had to be wound back! If you didn’t wind ’em back, they’d charge you a dollar. Hey, it was money back then! Do you know what a dollar could buy in 1993? A bag of potato chips and a candy bar and you’d still have money left to pay the toll! What’s a toll? Oh, nevermind.”

    1. Omg, Blockbuster….I miss actually RENTING movies.

      Let’s not call ourselves old, per se, let’s call it being an “old soul”. That way we sound more intelligent and can nap more simply because we have lived many lives previously.

  2. “I don’t remember the eighties.”

    You missed some good times, girl. Back then, stirrup pants and a big shirt was the go-to comfy outfit, the only handheld electronics devices were Walkmans that weighed close to a pound, MTV actually played music videos, and Skittles were invented. We’ve been trying to get the damned things out of our teeth ever since.

    I remember when we got the first computers, ever, in our sixth grade class. Green screens and DOS commands. It was the dawning of the Age of Nerds–all nerds can trace their existence back to that moment in time like people trace their lineage back to the Pilgrims. The audiovisual club was never the same; geeks dared to dream.

    To survive high school, you needed eleven shades of eye shadow, flats to match every shade, over-sized sweatshirts with GUESS on them, ripped acid washed jeans rolled up at the ankle (never understood this one), bangle earrings and bracelets, and enough scrunchies to stuff a mattress.

    And don’t get me started on the neon colored tights. (Okay, mine were pink.)

  3. Old is subjective. I am sure that at 16, I would have considered 30 old. Now that I am 38 and like you only have spotty memories of the 80’s given that I was 14 when they ended, old is senior citizen to me. It’s all relative. I wonder if the pace of technology changes skews our perception of time.

  4. If you live long enough, it becomes okay to be immature and irresponsible again. It’s just that the stuff between 11 and 65 takes so long to work through. So get rich, wait, and then it will all be fun again.

  5. I WISH i grew up in the 90s, a lot of the bands and things i love came from there, but I will only know blockbuster through wayne’s world… *slowly walks to the corner and cry about the generation i live in*.

  6. Your thinking whats next , and your bills are due and times are getting harder . You need a vacation and boss is down your back . GIVE WINGS TO YOUR DREAMS BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW

    Recruiter.wingsnetwork.com/JustinS

  7. I remember wanting to be an adult because I thought it would be easier. Now I’m in a constant struggle to stay a kid, so much so that I quit my job. Hopefully my art sells LMAO

  8. Ha ha I came to the realization the other day that I was getting old. It was three in the morning and I was driving home from a friends house. For some reason it hit me that I was an adult. An actual adult who can do what they want. It was an overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t really fond of. But now I have gone back to the mid set that I am 15 years old and its going to stay that way.

  9. I’m 49 and I consider myself as seasoned and prepared and very well done to deal with the times of today which are not as fun and as easy as the 80’s. I love being spontaneous and adventurous. I have computer knowledge but not so savvy and sometimes my grandchildren help me with my cellphone. After living some life, I feel more youthful today than I did when I was a youth, without trying to be youthful. All the hard questions about life have been answered. So I’m equipped with answers for those who come along with questions. The funny thing is I attract young people for whatever the reason and when I tell them how old I am they can’t believe it. I love to get with my sister who is 38 and experience immaturity and restlessness and she thinks I’m the coolest thing since Foster grant sunglasses. I love eating nerds and watching old cartoons. If I could go back in time I would be on the American Bandstand and Soul Train. Today life is different and not as fun for those who didn’t grow up in the 70’s and 80’s. Shit if I had it my way I would be a hippy and travel from city to city in a love bug spreading joy, peace, and happiness. Now my age is really showing. πŸ™‚

  10. I’m missing something. You were born in 1988 ? That makes you 26, according to me. So what is this about ? And what is it that I’m missing ?

  11. Way to go girl. That can mean lots. I’m just starting my 70s and I’ve had a long way to go to get here. I remember the 8os. It was between wife I and wife Il It was my no wife time. I loved the 80s.

  12. Same here @IreneC. Had my children in the 70s and 80s; but at 60 I’m still trying to tell myself that I late-middle aged. Ha! The jokes on me. All you young’uns? As my late mother-in-law used to say while she was in her 80s, “you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

  13. Old?? I haven’t even grown up yet and I’m way way older than you. How about trying the 1970’s?? (Born in late 50’s child in 60’s and teen in the 70’s). Let’s hear it for the 70’s kids!

    Prophet Bob

  14. Aagh! I’ll be 70 next year but I hope to be forever young. Born middle 40’s, children middle 60’s, back to college middle 80’s, built my desk-top computer 2002 from components and published my first book last year, 2013.

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