Crossing my first generational gap
I had a realization the other day that I didn’t think other 25-year-olds received: I don’t really know what’s considered “cool” anymore.
To be clear, I’d been ramping up to this for a little while. I live with my 17-year-old sister and I’m almost completely unfamiliar with what she listens to and watches. When she speaks, it’s still English, but some futuristic dialect we haven’t even invented yet. She sometimes uses emojis more than actual words.
I know this is something everybody experiences. Folks always get older, and their knowledge of what’s “hip” falls away. It’s not so much I’m upset at being out of touch, it’s that it seems like my transition into this state of mind got here quickly. I’m only halfway through my 20s and I already see a division between me and “the kids.”
It feels as though I’ve become a burden on my family. People come over and I feel like I need to hide my “squareness” from them. It’s like there’s a dark cloud hovering over me. My sister will have her friends over, and I hide in my room. I don’t know what they talk about, but I’d imagine it’s something like, “Oh my brother Will? He’s a old man. He doesn’t even know who Fetty Wap it.”
Also, I misspelled “Fetty Wap” the first time I typed it.
There’s a running joke with me in the newsroom that I’m essentially a 70-year-old man. I like liver and onions and say things that occasionally make me seem like an elderly person has possessed my body. But this is far worse than I could have ever imagined. The joke has become reality and I’m left with only one option.
I’m going to just lean into it. The next time my sister walks past my room, I’m going to be listening to Elvis and Roy Orbison singing about pretty women walking down the street. My well-formed hair will gleam as brightly as my black leather jacket. My pants will be uncomfortable tight, and I’ll communicate not by speaking, but by peering overtop my thick-rimmed sunglasses.
Maybe then my sister will tell me more about who the singer Halsey is.
-Will Channell is a reporter for the Journal-Tribune.

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