Are we old?

Last episode, Bull in a China Shop, got a little serious as I tend to get on my  Women’s History month episodes. I’d like to say I don’t know why that is – but I do. Women’s History Month is not just a celebration of us women and how far we’ve come, but sometimes it can also be a reminder of how far we still have to go. Just the other day I saw that Missouri was trying to pass a law that made termination of an ectopic pregnancy illegal and I just about lost my shit. I don’t know why I’m even surprised still at the pure ridiculousness of these laws republicans are trying to make to take away our bodily autonomy, yet still, when I see headlines like this, I can’t help but to get pissed off, frustrated and sad. 

For those of you that don’t know what an ectopic pregnancy is – which I’m including the lawmakers in Missouri as part of that group – it’s when the fertilized egg implants into the wrong place. It starts growing outside of the main part of the uterus. These pregnancies are considered not viable because it is impossible for this egg to ever become a baby. It will never survive and if not terminated – neither will the mother. Are you starting to see why this law is so ridiculous? 

So to put the law in layman’s terms – the Missouri lawmakers would like to make a pregnancy that is medically impossible to be successful and will never produce a living child illegal, so if a mother has an ectopic pregnancy, her punishment is death. So this law wouldn’t save a fetus or the mother. If you believe the termination of a fertilized egg is murder, then you are making a law that is a double homicide. I just can’t. Seriously. 

Anyway, that is NOT what this episode is about. Today, we are having fun. Today we’re talking about things that happen or phrases that make you feel ancient. Because if we can’t laugh about it, then we’ll just cry about it. 

A Time with no Google

When I saw Tim Hawkins’ TikTok about when there was no Google, I have to say at first it made me nostalgic. Those were such simpler times. When we didn’t know something, we just continued to not know it. Or you just took someone’s word for it if they said they did know the answer because you couldn’t dispute it through some quick research. Can you imagine life today without Google? We literally can get pretty much any answer we are looking for within seconds. Which is why it’s even crazier to me that the lawmakers from Missouri couldn’t even take a minute to Google ectopic pregnancy just to see what it was before they put it in a bill. And I say a minute because I also assume these a-holes are one-finger-typers. You know exactly what I’m talking about don’t you? How did they even know how to spell it? Don’t even get me started back there. 

Kids nowadays will never know what it’s like to just not know something. To just have an unanswered question. Especially on those things you know you know, you just can’t think of at that moment. Those “tip of the tongue” moments. Ugh, I hate those. I do try to force myself to not google though and actually use my brain to remember, even if it takes me a while. But sometimes I lose patience and then I just google. 

So what else makes you feel old? 

Taking my mom’s side 

For me, it’s when I’m at a street festival or an outside concert and I see young teenage girls with barely any clothes on. My first thought is – cover yourself up! How did your parents let you out of the house like that?! This crosses my mind knowing damn well how they did it. They did it the same way I used to – by packing a different shirt in my bag to change into once I left the house. Or by having a flannel or oversized button down over my barely there shirt. 

But now, I find it harder to sympathize with them. Instead I’m seeing my mom’s side – shhh don’t tell her. Maybe it’s that now I see the dangers I didn’t see before. I know how vulnerable these girls really are compared to the darkness that is around them. But maybe with Google, they are more aware than I was at that age. Maybe they can take care of themselves better? Maybe they’ve googled some self-defense moves. At least they have a personal computer on them to call for help. That is really the scary part of our age – we used to dress like that, but also if we needed help we had to find a payphone – my assumption being it would be too late by then! 

The 90’s are back

Another thing that makes me feel old – when I’m watching a TikTok that starts with – here’s to all my older generations, those born after 1996. Now maybe you thought I would say being on Tiktok in itself makes me feel old. You would be wrong. While TikTok started as pretty much teens and under 25yo, there is quite the mix now and my For You is filled with those in my age bracket and older. So for the most part, being on the platform doesn’t make me feel old – just some videos do. So they consider the “older generation” born in the 90’s? Ouch. 

Which brings me to the other piece that makes me feel old – how the 90’s are back on trend. Every generation has gone through this. Our parents watched us walk around in bell bottoms like we invented them and probably rolled their eyes. Well, it’s our turn. The 90’s fashion is back in full force. 

It seems like everywhere I turn, it looks like GenZ raided my high school closet. From big, bulky white sneakers and platform flip flops to mom jeans and crop tops – it’s like watching TGIF all over again. Yes, that’s a 90’s reference – if you know, you know. But I think this trend is ironic as well. Think about it.

Each generation tends to be more progressive than the last – thank goodness for that. So as progressive as us Millennials think we are, GenZ has us beat for sure. As an elder Millennial, I see what offends people in 2022 and I think back to when I grew up and it can be hard to reconcile. Now, you need to be so careful how you refer to others and very cafe when applying stereotypes. But the 90’s? The 90’s were like the decade of stereotypes.

This is especially true when it came to media and entertainment. Saved by the Bell, Clueless, Mean Girls, Boy Meets World – all are stories based on high school cliques and stereotypes. The nerds, jocks, cool kids, goth you name it. We were so quick to put labels on people. And now, god forbid you even assume a pronoun, let alone a label. 

Or music – 90’s music may be some of the most inappropriate music of my generation. Just pure offensive. Want some examples? How about “I’m an Indian Outlaw” by Tim McGraw where in the chorus he says “You can find me in my wigwam, I’ll be beating my tom-tom”. Today? Cultural Appropriation. Or how about “Rape me” by Nirvana. I don’t think I have to explain why that wouldn’t fly today. Or just the overtly sexual lyrics that teen girls were singing in songs like “Sex and Candy” by Marcy’s Playground, “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails, “Pony” by Genuine” or pretty much any song from Salt-N-Peppa which in 7th grade I was singing every word to “Shoop” – super inappropriate for a 12-year-old girl. Just interesting in my opinion. 

Tacos and Tequila

Last story of feeling old for today – I was at a friend’s birthday party last month. We were at this taco and tequila place in the West Loop that has an ice shot feature. If you order a shot of tequila, for an extra dollar you can get a shot glass made from ice. Finish your shot and then throw the ice shot glass at a wall trying to hit this bell. No prize, just fun. Well, this ice shot situation was the main attraction for GenZ party buses that Saturday. As each party bus made their stop, we would watch twenty college-aged or recent grads take their turn at the bell. More than one had a theme everyone was dressed in. 

One of the themes was a bachelorette party where all the bride’s friends’ shirts had “Bride’s Slut” printed on their chest. As a 39year old bride that had my bachelorette party recently – I can tell you that there is no way in hell I would ask my friends to wear shirts that have Slut printed on them. Nor would they, I am assuming. Considering half of them were mothers, and one of them was my actual mom, I don’t see this going over well. Can you imagine my mom or my friends who have multiple children wearing Slut across their chest? Lol I mean, it would be funny – I just don’t see it. 

One in particular was more over the top 90’s gear – which included those bell bottoms that I used to wear in high school with the different patches of denim all sewn together. Do you remember those? OMG, I thought I was so cool in those. They were button down too – do you remember when button down jeans were such a thing? But how annoying were they?! You are out and about and you have to go to the bathroom, there’s a line for the women’s stalls and by the time it’s your turn it’s a borderline emergency and you have these damn buttons to undo! I don’t miss that! 

Anyway, in general, being at the table next to the ice shot wall with seven other almost-40 year olds really made me feel old. It was like watching a video of our former selves. Not to say some of our table didn’t partake – listen, we still love a good challenge, but the guys that tried it from our table weren’t trying to prove their masculinity by attempting to throw the shot glass through the wall with unnecessary force. But as I was watching the increasingly drunken younger crowd including the table next to us where a girl was giving a “strip club quality” lap dance to a guy, this time I wasn’t nostalgic watching them.

I had no problem being the older, more responsible table in that room. Did I feel old? Yeah, a little -but I also felt like I had grown up past that. Like old in a good way. Mature. In this case – I was happy to be in the older crowd. And even happier when we left and went to a wine bar which was much more our speed. 

Nostalgic, or yearning for a simpler time? 

As we get older, we start having more and more of those moments when we feel the twinge of age in our stomachs. It could be something small like hearing our favorite jams from high school on the “classics” radio station or it can be bigger like our friends having their own teenagers – eek! But while sometimes it may not feel good, other times, it makes me thankful.

Because the truth is, while being young has its perks like living off of pizza and mac and cheese and still having rock hard abs, or having rock hard abs at all, it also was a time that was so confusing and filled with insecurities. While we thought we knew so much, we didn’t, did we? We didn’t understand the world. And listen, maybe this is partially because we had no google to help us along the way, but there’s a reason why we can all look back and say if I knew what I knew now, I would have done this or said this or you fill in the blank.

It’s because we may be older, but we have learned a few things along the way – thank goodness for that! So next time you feel old, think of it as a badge. You made it through some shit. You’ve learned and hopefully you’ve grown. Maybe you don’t really want to go back there. Maybe what you really miss is just a time that felt simpler and less complicated.

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