Monday, August 25, 2008

it's official: i'm an oldie

Every now and then i'll be navigating through a routine day and something will happen that makes me blurt out "good gawd, this is blogworthy" and i had one of those very moments on the road with Young Matthew this past weekend.

We were speeding up 95 heading to Bangor for the American Folk Festival (when Young Matthew is driving I am pretty sure that, on occasion, we possibly break the sound barrier. it can be a white-knuckles-on-the-dashboard kind of adventure.) We always forget to bring CDs to listen to, so we play the SCAN game on the radio and hope that the Gods of Music randomly shine their grace upon us. Remarkably, even though I'm old enough to be his really hip mother (and when i say hip, i am being hopeful that i've managed to turn my version of Geek into Hipness. doubtful. but hope springs eternal), we have the same taste in music, and this little radio scan game has become an amusing part of our road trips. We seem to always catch the great songs right around the Big Finish (ie. the so-you-think-you-can-stone-me-and-spit-in-my-eye part of Bohemian Rhapsody) and then we both bitch and moan that we missed yet another rockin' tune in its entirety. Sometimes Matt will get to a Jesus station and make a special point of stopping the scan, just to see how long i can tolerate it before i start screaming "IF YOU DON'T CHANGE THIS STATION I AM JUMPING OUT OF THE FRIGGING CAR." What can i say...the trip to Bangor is not especially picturesque and so we have to entertain ourselves.

So we get to the Newport road sign, and I'm just about to call my Bangor Boy to tell him we are within striking distance of Bangor when I hear a DJ say "it's Kenny on your favorite Oldies Station, and here's a real classic". I'm expecting Buddy Holly or some other tune that my mom and dad would play when i was a kid and say oh dahl, this was an oldie-but-goodie. But no. It's Electric Light Orchestra's 'Evil Woman.' um. yeah. This is a song that was popular when i was in junior high school. And a song now being referred to by a nostalgia radio station DJ as a freaking classic. Let's just say my reaction and animated. "this is NOT a classic!!!! i am NOT old enough that my 45s collection can be categorized as OLDIES BUT GOODIES." A statement which i can acknowlege was rich with irony and glaring contradictions. 45s. right.

This was one of those defining moments in unenjoyable rite of passage...similar to the first time i spotted a gray hair on my head. i remember it well. i was 27, driving on Highland Avenue in South Portland, and glanced in the rearview mirror to see a conspicuous white hair pointing straight up to the sky like a dying weed reaching for the sun. Freaked me out so bad that i screamed out loud "NO NO NOOOOO!!!". Kept obsessively looking at it in the rearview mirror and almost killed a pedestrian. Like a fool i thought i could just yank the damn thing out and stop the whole process but those little buggers started reproducing like white rabbits (one pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small, and the ones that mother gives you, don't do anything at all...and if you do not know the song that said lyrics refer to, don't talk to me right now.) i began referring to them as "the white worms of death" (all credit must go to Tom Robbins for that) and around that time i started going for the Annie Lennox look and dyeing my hair platinum blonde. That'll teach 'em. And didn't wave the white (er...gray) flag until about 7 years ago when i finally stopped paying ridiculous amounts of money to cover them up, said fuck it, you win, and let the whole damn bunch of them take up permanent residence on my head.

Yeah. This was just. like. that. Matt found the whole thing utterly amusing which did not make me happy at all. i *wanted* to say "i hope i am close by when this happens to you". But then it occured to me that he would probably have to be visiting me in a Nursing Home for such a coincidence to transpire. Right.

i immediately called Bangor Boy and related the story to him with as much drama and exasperation as the event deserved. He was very sympathetic and told me that just moments ago he had mentioned "Dark Shadows" to a younger friend and discovered she had never heard of that fabulous television show. We comforted one another and promised to try and get adjoining rooms at the Old Folks Home we were surely headed for.

When i got off the phone, i mentioned 'Dark Shadows' to Matt.

His response?

"Was that a band or a song?"

If he wasn't driving, and if i didn't like the boy so much, i could have freaking reached over and smacked the little smart-ass right upside the head.


Dawn on MDI said...

Welcome to my world, darlin'. That shit happens every day when you have a girlfriend 12 years younger. I have resigned myself to old-fart status and embraced my inner curmudgeon. Whereas I used to be a bitch, now I call myself a curmudgeon. It is a marvelous word and it carries with its status a marvelous freedom. Were there kids in the neighborhood, I could now yell at them to get off my lawn.

MRMacrum said...

You are not old, your younger friends are just not very hip to World. My daughter knows who and what "one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small" refers to. I made sure she had the proper musical upbringing by keeping our stereo going full tilt boogie through her formative years. To this day, one of her favorite songs is "Born to be Wild".

To her credit, she keeps me on my toes by turning me onto new music her generation seems to go for. All in all, I think we had it better though.

BTW, I never liked "Dark Shadows". But then it may have been my mental block to any TV show that sold soap during the commercial breks.

Allison said...

First of all, 40 is the new 20. And second of all, you are far from old darling. You're just getting started.

And baby, that's lucky for us.