Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I Can See the Meteor Coming......

 Recently overhearing--oh, okay, eavesdropping on-- a conversation between my son, Charlie and one of his friends, I heard him solemnly refer to something as "sick."
Oh, no. One of his friends is sick or has done something sick or there is some plague at school or he is referring to the recent news story that 15,000 prostitutes are traveling to Dallas in case their services are required during Super Bowl....what could it be? It must be bad! 
Well, it appears that "sick" is now some sort of a compliment.
There's more. "That shortstop is nasty," means not that he is a fresh little bastard who is rude to his fans. It means that he is very skilled on the baseball diamond.
I had only recently (last Thursday) come to accept that "bad" is really "good." That took years and I still resent it.  But, now, it appears that another very basic word, a virtual building block of our vocabulary, has been turned on its ear. Brace yourselves, people over forty:  down is now up.
If Seth asks if I want to grab breakfast out on a Saturday morning and it strikes me as a good idea, my response might be "Sure, I'm up for that!" If the same question is asked of Charlie, his response is, "Yeah, I'm down."
Huh? That makes absolutely no sense. If I protest, trying to maintain my idiomatic equilibrium, my sons look at me pityingly, happy to discuss between themselves what a poor dope mom has become. Maybe they're right. Or, maybe I will spit into their sandwiches...right under the tomato.
Change applies to a lot more than language: The daughter of a friend, who has a lovely but large tattoo of a tiger on her neck, recently went on a job interview. Her mother had worried that the tattoo was in a place that couldn't be covered, fearing it might affect her chances of getting hired. It turns out that the interviewer had more tattoos than the interviewee...and she got the job. It's a whole new world, her mother and I agreed...pleased, because this is a good change but also aware that the winds of change are ruffling our Dorothy Hamill "wedge" haircuts.
I think I now understand how a dinosaur must have felt when she looked up and saw the meteor about to land on her head.
I am also beginning to understand why my mother must have politely retched when dorms went co-ed, men started growing their hair and Mick Jagger pranced across the stage of the Ed Sullivan show with a filled Christmas stocking stuffed into his pants: slightly lost and a little betrayed. And, I am neither down, nor up, for any of this.
"Get with it, Mom" I'd sneer through a curtain of hair as I twirled my pseudo love beads in her direction. She'd flip up the collar of her floral snap coat to ward off my generational scorn. Who would ever have thought that the now, ironically, passe term of "generation gap" could ever apply to people as cool as my generation? Well, it does, and that, my friends, is sick. The real kind.
The wedge.


  1. I am so lucky. Our son only has 2 tattoos. One is on the top of his foot, the other is on his butt, literally. I rarely seen one and never see the other, thankfully.

  2. Wait, wait, wait...15,000 hookers are coming to Dallas??!? Yessss!!

    Don't worry Susan, I'm 27 and even I can't keep up with the "kids" of today. Not only their language, but their choice of clothing. I think those "skinny jeans" on guys is ridiculous! Much less on some women. Skinny jeans are not magical jeans. They don't MAKE you skinny...FYI. :)

  3. lmao i can't keep up with the lingo. when i go ahead and use one of these "new" words in a sentence around the young folk - and saying it as poorly as possible...they point and laugh at me.
    i apparently am so uncool. but i am ok with that!

  4. Ditto here Susan and Bee...My son turns and says, "What did you just say?". What? Why do the young get their own language and how come I can't play?? But, I will always be the one who got my son addicted to the word, DUDE! I have always used it even though I had no right, but I used it so much, it became mine, all mine. :-)

  5. Yes, Cat. But that number doesn't include just hookers, it counts pimps, too. Insane. You'd think any big city wouldn't need to import that sort of think to sweel their ranks but I guess the Superbowl is truly super....

  6. And, Michele...apparently it doesn't matter wehre they are, it's all okay in this brave new world.

  7. Bee, you will never be "uncool" to us...and Maria, I secretly love the word "dude" but am too scared to use it. Thanks for reading, everybody!!!!

  8. I still say cool and stoked. And dude. A lot. I've tried sweet and sick and wicked and killer, and I sound like an ass. There really is an age cutoff with some words.

    And yes, tattoos actually sometimes give you an edge, an in. People LOVE to ask about them. It's pretty cool.

  9. I got a tattoo 6 months ago - menopause makes you brave! It almost makes up for the fact I am so uncool in all other areas of my life :) We have heard reports of more terrible snowstorms in the US - are you housebound again?

  10. haha! i have my 2 year old niece completely trained. i ask her "what is auntie bee"? and she says...COOL!

  11. Alicia, I am stoked that you read today's post...and I love yout tats!

  12. What is your tattoo, Janet? I was tempted for my 50th but chickenend out.

    Not quite housebound but there was to be no driving today becasue of icy roads...more expected on Saturday.

  13. A cat - I told you I was NOT cool - I got it at 52 - you still have time xxx