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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    When I was your age

    Susan Bonicillo
    Susan Bonicillo

    It happened this Saturday at the last men’s basketball home game.

    There I am sitting around waiting for the game to start when the old school sounds of Boyz II Men start to blare from McKale Center’s speaker system. Instantly, my friends and I get that look on our faces; the one that is a mixture of both delighted surprise and comfortable familiarity when one discovers something from his or her past in an unexpected way.

    And while they were singing about Motown Philly being back again, we were brought back to the early ’90s, back to the days when I didn’t know that boy bands weren’t cool (at least according to the impossibly hip kids I meet who only listen to obscure music).

    While reminiscing about all things early ’90s, one of us half-joked that all of the freshmen wouldn’t have a clue who Boyz II Men are.

    The two young faces from the row in front of us turned around and confirmed that opinion. They in fact did not know who Wanya, Shawn, Michael or Nathan are (yes I can name them all and I’m not ashamed). This is a complete and utter travesty.

    I felt old. Not Dead Sea Scrolls ancient by any means, but just old enough to know that I’m not in sync with others anymore.

    When you really think about it, the age difference between the venerable seniors and the sprightly freshman class is all of maybe four years. It’s enough of an age gap, however, to make me feel not as “”with it”” as I thought I was.

    I think we assume that we’re surrounded by people who have a shared experience via the media. I expect that everyone remembers when Kevin and Winnie kissed for the first time. Or the first time we saw Steve Urkel and his red suspenders. Pop culture has replaced the storytellers of old by linking our experiences. But are our experiences linked to those younger than us? It appears not.

    So, it was a wildly jolting feeling when I encountered a young whippersnapper who looked at me funny while I was trying to relate to him just how awesome the show “”Thundercats”” really was. I tried to say that No Doubt was actually a decent ska band at one point in time, and Gwen Stefani did not always have a small band of Japanese women following her everywhere she goes.

    Pop culture is fickle, and I always feel betrayed when it goes out of my hands and into a completely new generation. It’s like when my friends warn me about the girlfriend or boyfriend with the lax moral code who’s sure to break my heart, but I go in anyway. It moves on eventually, and all I’ve got left are memories that I share with younger people who politely try to pass like they know what I’m talking about.

    Nostalgia is just another word for the eventual path to becoming a complete curmudgeon.

    Pretty soon VH1 will be showing the usual smart-ass comedian with a not-so-smart-ass pretty young ingǸnue swapping stories on the inevitable “”Remember the ’90s?”” show.

    The only consolation I have is that my generation got the definitive “”Saved By The Bell”” episodes.

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