I ran across the definition of Old Fogy the other day and realized that I was now a charter member of the club. How could this have happened? There I was, only yesterday, in my 30s-activist, rabble rouser, defender of unpopular causes. And now, at 80? If I hear one more 13 year old telling me how I have ruined the planet and destroyed her future, I will do something that has serious legal consequences.
The definition of an old fogey is “a derogatory term often used to refer to older or elderly people who are no longer act in current socially-acceptable ways or who are not aware of what is hip but instead who are out of touch with contemporary thought and activities. The term can also be used to describe a younger person to imply that they are acting old and no fun.”
While I have not yet taken to yelling at kids to “stay off the damn lawn”, it is clear that I have taken to behaving in a currently socially unacceptable way without one bit of remorse.
I’m hopeless at hip, and while I am not so far gone as to think that hip is something that either aches or needs to be replaced, my musical tastes are firmly rooted in the 60’s (I wonder if Michael ever did get that blasted boat docked); believe that Mash was the last television show worth watching; couldn’t identify any modern movie stars that came onto the radar after George Clooney; and was grateful to be able to watch All in the Family before the Politically Correct nonsense became de rigeur.
I don’t understand folks who never read a newspaper or listen to news other than Entertainment Tonight. I have never watched an episode of Friends (so tuning into the latest reunion seemed pointless) or The Simpsons. And where on earth did they find that scrawny little runt to play James Bond? Ian Flemming must be spinning in his grave.
When I was teaching adults, it was not unusual to find blank looks and puzzlement when I used some phrases or references that clearly predated their age or education. Now I find myself in that same predicament. Not only do they seem to have a vocabulary that is incomprehensible, but they talk so damn fast I don’t know what they are saying, let alone understand it. Context is not a lot of help either. I keep seeing the word “bae” in print, as in “He’s my bae.”
To be honest, it was surprising to realize that I was now a member of the Old Fogy Consortium. I always considered myself as one of the people marketers defined as early adopters. I was early in for such things as Lasik eye therapy, and any new technology, although I will admit now that I was slow to buy a fax machine. I figured that it cost $4.05 to send a fax to Toronto. “It doesn’t cost that much” protested a friend. “Sure it does” I replied. “5 cents for the fax and $4.00 for the follow up phone call to see if it arrived.” And who, I ask you, uses a fax machine today? Old Fogies, that’s who.
Most young adults think their parents are Old Fogies. They see us set in our ways and unwilling to change. Have supper at 7:30? Don’t be ridiculous!. We’ll eat at 5. We have always eaten at 5. Air conditioning? Whadda ya need air conditioning for? Just open a window.
But it seems to me that in order to truly be an Old Fogy you also have to be cranky.
How do you know if you may be turning into an Old Fogy?
1. Everything invented after 1970 annoys the hell out of you.
2. You listen to CBC radio
3. While listening to CBC you find yourself shouting “That’s stupid”.
4. There are some topics your kids will no longer discuss with you.
5. You wonder when singing was replaced by screaming in songs.
6. You wonder why all action movies are shot in the dark.
7. You can’t work the programmable thermostat and simply put on a sweater when you get cold.
8. You clip coupons and then redeem them at the busiest time at the grocery store.
9. You constantly complain about the government but keep voting for the same party.
10. You know you’re not getting old. It’s just that people are talking too softly, print size in books has been reduced, and you’re not napping, just resting your eyes.
by Pat Pitsel