I often forget my age. This can be extremely frightening first thing in the morning during that initial glance in the bathroom mirror. Or when I’m filling out a form on-line and the person inside the computer asks for the year I was born. It seems to take longer these days to scroll to the high ‘50s. It used to be that a quick tap on the down arrow would take me there, but now I have to keep my finger on the descending key for a few seconds—or more. And then there are those tell tale little reminders that pop up on a daily basis.
The other day in one of my art classes I put on a Steely Dan CD. While the chorus of “Deacon Blues” drifted through the studio, I noticed one of my students singing along. I mentioned that I was impressed that he knew the song. He explained that it’s one of his grandma’s favorites.
Mmm, I thought, does this mean that I’m old enough to be his grandmother? I shuddered at such a thought. I mean really, that’s ridiculous. And then I did the math. It’d be close, but yes, it could happen.
A few days later another student put on some Creedence that lay beside the relic known as a CD player. “Oh,” I said to the young man, who was humming along to Bad Moon Rising, “good choice.” To which he answered, “My mum likes this song.” At least my playlist had come up a generation.
Not wanting to resemble an antique myself, I ripped the plug to our family iPod station out of the wall and hauled the stylish little gadget to work the following day. Placing it at the front of the classroom, I waved my arm casually toward the sexy piece of technology announcing that it was there for anyone to use. I felt so hip and happening.
The kids were hesitant at first and for a moment I wondered if they were actually craving my Best of Burt Bacharach, Todd Rundgren, or Albert Collins collection. Just when I was about to add some spice to period five by putting on some Stones, one of the girls jumped up, popped her iPhone into the slot and instantly Jack Johnson was crooning through the room. Not quite Mick, but then—who is?
At our recent school prom I asked the DJ if he had any Rolling Stones, he yelled at me with his headphones on, “What?” to which I replied, “Stones, The Roll-ing Stones.” Honestly, I felt like Granny from The Beverly Hillbillies. Did I say granny, as in old enough to be one of my student’s grandmothers?! Oh well, age was instantly forgotten when a few techno-pop-songs later the fab guitar riff of Satisfaction blared out of the speakers.
My son and I, and his date, made a beeline to the dance floor. Even our physics teacher (a man of my generation), along with a large percentage of the school community strutted their stuff. Everyone in the room yelled the words of the chorus. It’s that kind of song—they’re that kind of band. Baby Boomers, X’s, and Y’s, we all love The Stones. “Hey hey hey, that’s what I say…
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