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Feeling Fogey-ish

One of the more unkind pleasures of being young is making fun—gently—of the older generation. Specifically, when I was a kid the teasing focused on the clothes my parents’ generation wore, the music I heard on the oldies radio station (even if I liked it), and the way they generally took care of pets and children. Cereal at 3 weeks! Can you imagine? Walkers for babies! Did you not understand how dangerous those are? What if they “walked” right off the edge of a staircase? And the biggie: You let us ride in the car WITHOUT A CARSEAT OR EVEN A SEAT-BELT! Were you completely mad?

Boy, those old people sure are funny/stupid.

So here’s the thing. I’m 40. Not so old I don’t think. And these are the indignities visited on me within the last year, many in the last three months:

  • Upon looking at a pair of acid wash jeans and cropped sweater, I actually said to the sales clerk: “No way. I wore those the first time they were in style; there is no way I’m dipping into that well again.” She looked a bit confused. I think. Or possibly stunned to discover that someone my age had worn these totally new and cool clothes in the past.
  • New recommendation from the Federal Highway safety division: Infants and young children continue to ride facing backwards until they are two. (We turned Simon at one.)
  • Song heard on WAKY “oldies” radio just this morning: “My Generation.” (And I mean, really? I get that it’s not contemporary, but should The Who really be keeping company with the Shirelles?)
  • Advice given to me at the vet’s when I had to change Percival’s diet and I worried that giving him wet food would rot his teeth. “Oh, we’ve changed our minds about that. Turns out it doesn’t hurt the teeth much after all. Meanwhile, it helps keep cats hydrated. We love for cats to get wet food.”
  • And the deepest cut of all: As of mid July, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has banned the sale of drop-side cribs. Simon’s beloved maple carved sleigh crib was a drop-side. I gave it to dear friends. And while I know mine met all kinds of safety regulations, was of very high quality, and is perfectly fine, the fact remains it would no longer be legal to sell it or to have it in a day-care facility.

Boy old people sure are funny/stupid. I think I’ll go put on my acid wash jeans and shoulder pads now, crank up the oldies, and try to foist my dangerous baby gear on unsuspecting friends. One last question: They do still tell you to put babies to sleep on their backs, right?

2 Responses to “Feeling Fogey-ish”

  1. goldsteinrita says:

    I love it! I love it! I love it! Some days reading your blog is the brightest spot in an otherwise fairly frustrating day. It’s amazing how stupid or silly some things look when we have a couple of decades of information and experience to draw on.

  2. blg says:

    I was in Starbucks the other night, and asked the kid to grind my package of beans. He asked what sort of coffee maker I had (to determine how finely ground the coffee should be).
    When I said, “Electric percolator” he looked at me as though I had two heads. His manager overheard and knew how to set the machine, but the kid persisted, “No really, what is an electric percolator?”
    Because I cannot pass up a teachable moment, I patiently explained that this was a coffee pot that you plugged in – instead of putting on the stove. I don’t think he really had that vision in his head, but knew that the next question might earn him a punch in the nose.

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