If you’re a boomer, you’ve probably experienced it—that confused look you get when you refer to something from your distant past and the Gen Y or Millennial you’re talking to stares at you blankly. I was watching Jeopardy the other night and was amazed that Kelly Clarkson did not get a reference to Tiny Tim! Has she never heard ‘Tiptoe through the Tulips’? Really?? Nothing makes you feel older than singing a jingle or theme song from golden days of yore and having today’s youth look at you like you’re a dinosaur—or have lost your mind.
I’m sure you’ve seen the funny videos of kids not knowing how to use a rotary phone. But it does kind of hit you in the gut when something like that happens to you. Here’s another example – recently I was teaching a class of university students and none of them had ever seen or heard of a car phone. Or a bag phone, or a brick phone, or even a flip phone or a slider. The wireless industry did go through some short but interesting phases in the ’90s, for sure. But it’s hard to realize that all of them were before those kids were born — it just doesn’t seem that long ago to me!
I remember my parents playing their favourite Frank Sinatra or Petula Clark LPs for years and years and how my siblings and I made fun of their preference for the old stuff rather than the great new music we were listening to. But now I will put on a Beatles album and jump around the room, rolling around in self-indulgent, nostalgic reverie like a pig in a muddy barnyard. It’s like wrapping yourself in the best blast-from-the-past blanket!
I can recall the lyrics to songs I haven’t heard in years without hesitation; yet trying to learn the lyrics of a new Adele tune takes soooooo much more effort! I find it amazing how sticky our brains were when we were teenagers. And the intensity of our emotions when we were bursting out of puberty and into adulthood—yowzer! How those songs of love and heartache touched our souls. And how eight-track players would just clunk-CLUNK right through the middle of a song . . . thank goodness they were replaced by cassette tapes.
There are lots of us out there who love to go down memory lane with kindred spirits. Gals who know exactly who you are quoting when you say “Yabadabadoo!” I hope all us FlashinDivas will have some fun celebrating our first 45s and favourite characters on Laugh-In or Hollywood Squares—without having to explain what or who we are talking about first! Which brother stole your heart on Here Come the Brides? Or Bonanza? Which Monkee made your heart flip flop? There’s so much for us to share and laugh about!