To fully appreciate the impact of this particular experience you would have to know my history with radio.
I come from the Sesame Street generation, one of the first to spend hours and hours in front of the television. Since my mother was convinced only evil could come from the watching of television, my own personal experience was rather limited (Sesame Street, yes, The Waltons, and Little House on the Prairie, pretty much).
Imagine the social damage caused by the fact that, when I got to High School I had never watched even one episode of The Brady Bunch or Gilligan’s Island . . . and I have never (to this day) seen the movie Grease.
(I understand it’s very questionable.)
But I did listen to the radio a lot growing up.
The radio is much less likely to lead one down the path of debauchery than the television, you know.
Anyway, when I was young a very newfangled thing was all the rage: the Walkman. I distinctly remember getting one for a birthday one year—what utter joy! I would lay in bed at night after bedtime, put on my headphones, and dream away to the sounds of Christopher Cross.
What bliss and, if I may say so, what utter coolness! I may not have known who Marsha Brady was, but I KNEW who had called in to dedicated which song to whom, and I also knew all the lyrics to every one of Billy Joel’s songs.
And Blondie, too.
So, having long associated radio listening with my only hope for anything close to coolness on the media front, imagine my shock and horror yesterday when the following happened:
I was driving my almost-teenager (19 more days, to be exact), along with two friends from church, to a youth group activity. The weather was gorgeous, the sunroof was open and the radio was on. I think I was humming to something by Chicago when I heard distinctly from one of Hayden’s friends in the backseat:
“Oh, my mom listens to this station. I think all the moms listen to this station. They play really old songs.”
How could this have happened? When did the shift from “cool radio-savvy young person” to “coolness: EXPIRED” happen? Was I just not paying attention when the shift occurred? And what is this the radio DJ keeps saying about “oldies”? It’s just so wrong.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
After this horrible experience I took some time to reflect. And after much thought and careful analysis of the situation I finally realized what had happened.
See, it must be that “all the moms” were too busy watching The Brady Bunch while growing up to stay up to date with what was cool. Now that we are all adults many of “the moms” have finally found their way to utter coolness, which is WHY, I later explained to Hayden, “all the moms” listen to the same radio station.
Turns out they’re just trying to be cool . . .