Friday, June 5, 2009

Notes on Being the Opposite of Young


Listen. It's not that I'm old, ancient, hunched and hobbling, but something about me is changing. Every day I am becoming more distracted by what the truly young people are doing. But it's more than distracted; it's confused.

Last night I couldn't sleep, so I was up watching That 70s Show on The N--the network for teens!--which shows commercials for all these fantastic shows I really wished I was young enough to watch--shows about high school skanks and tough surfer girls and teenagers who get knocked up and boys who kiss boys. It's enough to make me wish I was a teenager again. The network makes me think fondly back to the days when I loved Saved by the Bell and Blossom and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

But the problem with The N, even though it does play marathons of That 70s Show, which soothes me almost as much as M*A*S*H--I think it has something to do with my undying love for Hyde--is that it plays the same commercials over and over and over, and there's only so many times a girl can watch the same clips of the best Degrassi moments. So last night I had to surf the channels, and what's around The N on my cable lineup is MTV Hits and MTV Jams, and I kept going back and forth between them.

I was horrified. HORRIFIED. When I turned on MTV Jams, this song was playing:

DO THE RICKY BOBBY? THE RICKY BOBBY?! Would someone please, please, please tell me why a rap artist got it in his head that it was a great idea to try to spark the next dance step by invoking a Will Ferrell character?

The whole thing is a train wreck. I kept blinking, thinking I was imagining the whole thing. But no.

Is this how people were feeling back when I was younger, back when we were learning how to do Da Dip, the Tootsee Roll, maybe even the Macarena? Maybe so, but even those songs--while gloriously ridiculous in their own special 1990s way--have some sort of merit. There's actual instruction going on there. I am learning how to do the dance. And it's a dance that consists of more than just "doing the Ricky Bobby" and "posing for the frame."

And if I wasn't horrified enough, the next time I turned back to MTV Jams, this video was playing:

That's right. The STANKY LEGG. This video is showing me how to do the STANKY LEGG.

First of all, I don't even know what a legg is. I know what a leg is, but the closest thing to a legg in my world is Leggs, which is a brand of stockings. And for some reason, I'm betting they don't want to be associated this video. And beyond that, why should I want to learn a dance that requires me to have a body part that is stanky?

Can we all just stop? Seriously. Can we just stop and let these men do their business?

Of course, it's not just my sudden revulsion at the videos that make it into rotation on MTV. It's also my body.

My hip has started clicking. If I bend too quick, if I twist wrong, if I hop into a jog, there's a little toc! that emanates from my hip--and the first time I heard it, I refused to believe it. I remembered that sound. My ninth grade English teacher's hip made that same noise, and every time she walked by that's all you could hear: toc! toc! toc!

I used to think, Jesus. That woman is falling apart.

Now I toc! too. And everytime I do, I roll my eyes up to the ceiling and wonder when the hell I turned into Miss Keefe.

Now I'm just hoping I don't inherit her love for sitting on top of the front row desks, her knees not quite pressed together enough to keep her lady business in check under her skirt.


Chatty Cathy said...

Ok, this is so weird. Do you have any idea what kind of crush I have on Hyde? Seems like we have the same taste in famous guys. haha I also find That 70's Show and M*A*S*H soothing. I do believe I've seen every episode of both series and I never tire of them.

Anne said...

Jess, dear, my hip has been popping for years. Even when I was in high school. Let's just pretend this isn't an 'older age' thing!

Jason said...

Just a thought, but what if "toc" and the inability to press one's knees together are related?

You'll be the most popular teacher ever.