Opinion: You know you’re old when ...

Further to my previous column about children not understanding what a cassette tape is, here’s a list of “you know you’re getting old when ….” 

(Apologies to our younger readers who may have no idea what I’m talking about. Maybe get mum and dad’s Funk and Wagnalls out of moth balls and do some old fashioned research.)

You know you’re getting old when:

  • Your kids have no idea what Funk and Wagnalls mean. No, it’s not a deletive expletive or something rude. It’s actually a brand name for encyclopedias, dictionaries and thesaursus that people had to thumb through to find the information they needed for a school project or uni assignment.
  • When child stars from your favourite programs are now appearing in current shows as grandparents. A classic example for me was watching Law & Order SVU and up popped Brooke Shields playing a grandmother. Shields starred in the film Blue Lagoon. Surely that movie was made only a few years ago? A quick search (without a Funk and Wagnall) proved I was wrong. That movie was released in 1980 – some 37 years ago – and its star Shields is now aged 52, so her playing a grandmother is more than plausible.
  • When sayings you grew up with, like “self praise is no recommendation”; or “did you get out of the wrong side of the bed?”; or “if you eat your carrots you can see in the dark”, fall on deaf ears and result in a blank look on your adult children’s faces. Then you spend the next 30 minutes explaining what the saying meant. 
  • When your children reckon they know the words to those old songs you love. Case in point, my youngest was listening to Skyhook’s classic Women in Uniform when she started singing “Swimming with Unicorns” and scoffed at me when I corrected her. “I like my version better,” she said to me.
  • When your adult children leave the house at midnight to go clubbing. Wasn’t that the time we would go to bed at their age because the nightclubs were closing soon?
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