I don’t know when it happened, exactly. At some point in my childhood, my father went from listening to 70’s soft rock (don’t judge) to Elvis Presley and polka. And got horribly stuck there. Forever.
I didn’t realize until much later his 70’s soft rock was actually the current thing to be listening to at that time. He was actually still in touch with popular culture (because, hey, I was like, 10 in 1976) until…
I became him.
Oh, it happened slowly. One day I noticed all this talk of Justin Bieber, and I had not heard a thing about him (to be fair, I listen mostly to adult alternative, so…).
I had to Google him. GOOGLE him. An advantage my parents never had, sure, but still. I had a fleeting feeling of concern about being out of touch with the latest thing (which, up until that point, had never really happened before) but I thought, “Well, he’s bubblegum music. No wonder I didn’t know him”.
Except, up until that point, I had ALWAYS known about the latest and greatest in the bubblegum pop world. Hated it, mocked it, but KNEW ABOUT IT.
That little nagging finger of “You’re getting old” poked at me. I ignored it.
Then I started noticing that on the entertainment pages on CNN I only recognized the actors/actresses over the age of, oh, about 27. I have no freaking clue who these new people are, with the exception of the big Hollywood names that everyone knows. Literally, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AND WHAT DID THEY ACT IN????
It got worse and worse. I watch TV. I watch movies. I found myself wondering if I was losing my mind or if pop culture was really passing me by. I had the horrible experience of listening to the “oldies” station…and realizing it was music from my years in high school.
Then I stopped going to the movies. Oh, I LOVE a lot of the current movies and a lot of the comic based ones, even though I was never a comic book person. Frankly, two of the three movies everyone is raging about just don’t appeal to me, but I’d go see two of the three anyway. And then I realized that’s because most of my friends are a good ten years younger than me. Thank Gan for that, or I’d be acting like I was sixty-seven by now. They at least keep me in the loop. And what I’ve seen isn’t bad. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying if my younger friends hadn’t pointed it out, I’d have missed it. Completely. And now I’m going “Well…maaaayyybbbeee I’ll see it…” Yeah.
This worries me. I don’t feel old, but I think I’ve discovered that after a certain age, while we’re all interested in new things, we start taking more comfort in things we know. The fact that I have unlimited access to knowledge does not change this.
Quite frankly, I really want to know who this Groot person is and why I should care.