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Should I sign up for my AARP card now?

October 28, 2005

At 26, there are not many things that make me feel old because I’m not old. When I saw Care Bears and My Little Ponies make their comeback, I felt nostalgic, but not old. When I realized my ten-year reunion is a year and a half away, I didn’t feel old. When my mom said to me last month, “well dear, you’re pushing 30,” and I had to gently remind her that I’m not “pushing” for another two years, I did not feel old. When I started getting the “Hey grandma! You want a walker?” jokes on my birthday, I did not feel old. But tonight, I definitely felt old.

We hosted a halloween party at the golf course tonight for a bunch of 14 year olds. Before the kids showed up, we all were talking about what it was like when we were 14, the things we were into, etc. and how none of our parents would drop $1500 so we could have a party with 50 of our friends.

One kid came as a grunge rocker, wearing a Nirvana t-shirt I’m sure he borrowed from an older brother…or maybe even found at a thrift store. There were a few pimps, a sumo wrestler, a pirate, a couple of barbie princesses and 12 little girls wearing the same skanky costumes I couldn’t even bring myself to wear last year. These girls didn’t even have breasts yet but there were ass cheeks hanging out all over the place. I couldn’t even believe it.

So the talk immediately shifted back to when we were 14 and how no way in hell our parents would have let us out of the house in that attire. We were in complete disbelief not only at how these kids were dressed, but how they were behaving, and in front of 8 adult chaperones that didn’t seem to find their PDA’s or dirty dancing in the least bit abnormal. That isn’t what made me feel old, that was just a shock and a half. I think we should have included condoms in the goody bags.

What made me feel old is when the DJ threw on the Macarena and all the kids stood on the dance floor staring at each other. Not one kid knew the Macarena. I remember back a mere 10 years ago — which doesn’t seem that long ago — when you were hot stuff if you could do the Macarena, and even hotter if you could do it double time. That is, until the novelty of the Macarena wore off and we’d seen that commercial on MTV too many times. Then it hit me — ten years ago, I was in high school and learning to drive, but these kids hadn’t even started school yet and were just learning to color inside the lines! That is when I felt old.

The DJ threw on the Electric Slide right after that. We had a slight improvement to three whole kids that knew the Electric Slide. We shot him a look and he raised his hand and formed the number three. We shook our heads and ran into the kitchen laughing. I said, “I would die if he plays Vanilla Ice at some point. I bet half these kids have never heard it.”

After that, he played Cotton Eye Joe, and again, the kids were just jamming on the dance floor with no clue that there was an actual dance to go with the song they were hearing. Jess and I ran to the back of the room and started doing the Cotton Eye Joe for old time’s sake, and one of the parents told us that we needed to get out on the floor and teach those kids to dance. I was so embarassed.

I started cleaning up, since it was nearing curfew — 10 pm — ahh, curfew. The “C” word I always hated and have never missed. Jess must have mentioned something to the DJ, because for the last song, I heard the familiar guitar/tamborine beat kick up and “Ice, Ice Baby” started playing. I about lost it laughing, and I went over to the DJ and told him my Vanilla Ice story, which I tell every single time I hear that song:

When I was in 5th grade, my friends asked me if I liked Vanilla Ice, and my response (beware, fellow bloggers, another admission of my total geekdom) was, “you know, I’ve never had it, is it good?” They laughed at me, of course, and told me he was a rapper. One of my friends loaned me her tape (yep, her tape) and I listened to it in my walkman on my hour long bus ride for a month before I began begging my parents for it. They finally caved and bought me my own copy for Christmas and I was so excited. Until the fourth song started playing and my dad said, “what is this crap? I can’t believe I bought this for you!” And he walked over to the tape player, ripped it out of the deck, and broke it in half. So I had to settle for a crappy bootleg copy from a friend.

And then I said to the DJ, “On that day, most of these kids hadn’t even been conceived yet. Damn, I feel really old.” My only fear is that it’s only going to get worse from here.

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