Old Man Jenkins
When I was a kid, I thought my parents were so out of touch with my world. My dad claimed to have walked five miles to school in the snow; he came to America not speaking a word of English. My mom grew up ultra-orthodox, and with a complete lack of knowledge for what was popular or fashionable. She came to America on the Queen Mary and married my dad within the year. I promised myself when I had kids that I would never be like them. I know what you’re thinking: We all become our parents in one way or another, but I was determined never to be out of touch with modern life like they were. I grew up with TV and rock ‘n’ roll, and so, I thought, would my kids. My mom didn’t even own a radio or really know what drugs were.
But now here’s the catch! I find myself saying that same worn out phrase, “Back in my day… we played outside ’til it got dark, rode our bikes to school, read magazines, played records.” (Cue the record scratch noise they’ve also never heard.) What I thought would always be the norm has been ploughed over by technology and the internet. There’s just no way my generation doesn’t look quaint and silly and, dare I say it, out of touch to these darn kids. And I find myself getting irritated by the speed at which what I thought would always remain cool (the ’80s) has not. Also, having to explain to my kids like visitors from another planet who the Beastie Boys (the Clash, the Ramones, etc.) are and why they are still relevant and cool even though you’ve never heard of them and think their names are silly can make me downright angry.