I’m old. There’s just no denying it anymore. Three things happened in one day to slap this fact right into my face.
First, my daughter comes home yesterday singing “School’s out for summer!” She starts to repeat this refrain, and I join in with her. She goes quiet and looks at me with surprise. “How did you know the words?”
It is hard to explain that these lyrics are far older than she is. That once, a long, long, long, time ago, Mommy used to chant these Alice Cooper lyrics while tossing her Adidas bag in the air. She had this bewildered look on her face, one that says she couldn’t possible imagine me having ever been young enough to engage in such antics. So, I didn’t mention it. And I also didn’t mention that our favourite chant was actually Pink Floyd’s “We don’t need no education.”
Next, we had the sad news that Farrah Fawcett had passed away. On the television, someone is quoted saying she was an “angel on earth.” “What do they mean she was an angel?” asks daughter.
Ah, Charlie’s Angels. How does one even begin to explain how fabulous the Angels were? One favourite pastime in my elementary school years was to play-act the Angels and coat our lips up with white-opal gloss. By a bit of luck, I was the only one with blonde hair, so I was always given the coveted part of “Jill” (Farrah’s character). The others would fight over the two remaining brunette roles because no one ever wanted to be poor brainy Sabrina (actor Kate Jackson).
I really wanted to emulate Farrah’s hair … you know, that awesome 80s middle part with front sides flipped back. But I was a ballet girl and we ballet girls missed out that “feathered” look because we wouldn’t dare risk the scorn of our ballet mistress by having our hair fall out of our bun and into our face.
I sure did try though. I would take my trusty curling iron and at top heat desperately try to curl back the sides of my un-layered ballet hair into that famous Farrah flip. But by the time I got off the school bus, the sides would have inevitably fallen down straight again.
It wasn’t long before a new girl started at our school with blonde and – gasp! – perfectly feathered hair. She quickly replaced me in our Charlie’s Angels gang and I became her fawning sidekick throughout junior high school.
And now? My daughter wouldn’t even know what a “curling iron” is! All she’s ever heard about it a “flat iron.”
The third and most devasting hit was hearing that Michael Jackson was dead. Oh Michael, how we adored you. My very first L.P. record was Thriller. It was released in 1982 when I was in grade 6. I would treat this album with such care, delicately pulling out the record so as not to scratch it. While it played (on a giant, oversized player housed in a wooden cabinet), I would open the album covers and lay on my stomach on my parent’s living room carpet and follow-along to each song, working to memorize each, word for word. Remember doing that? That words for songs were printed on jacket covers? That music didn’t come downloaded from a computer website? My daughter just doesn’t get this concept at all.
Last night, after hearing about Michael Jackson, I started doing the moonwalk around my bathroom while brushing my teeth. My husband looked at me — his eyes sparkled with immediate recognition, and a touch of admiration. I grinned cheekily back at him. Sure, I may be old now. But so is he and we’re in it, happily, together.