Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Signs that I am getting old

So, yesterday I was downtown buying some long underwear, using freezing weather as a reason to support local business. I found a nice, comfortable pair at a mountaineering store, at a reasonable price. So I then felt a little free to walk into this schmancy downtown boutique, seeing as I hadn't spent my budget and there was a big SALE sign out front.
I soon discovered that the word bargain is a relative term. This store sells perfumey house stuffs, some pretty dresses, and, of all things, furniture. They also sell cotton hoodies printed with butterflies-- sale price, $78, original price, ninety something. For a cotton hoodie! So I gravitated instead, to the sock rack, where I picked up a pair of iridescent merino stockings for less than ten bucks. Such a good bargain seeker, and remember, I am supporting local business.
Now, the entire time I'm looking at the sock rack, there is a song playing on the P.A. I know what it is, but I just can't place it. The singer is a piano-bar style singer, crooning so seductively into here microphone. It reminds me of the Driskill Hotel Bar. You can practically see the big brandy snifter for tips, and her fakebook. The song is so familiar, but it's been transposed into an unfamiliar key, and the tempo is way different, and I just can't place it! So I'm standing in line at the cash register, and I'm kind of spacing out because what is that song? And then finally, one line of the verse sheds light: ...and I'm huuuuuuuungry like theeeeee woooooooolf.
Of course, I instantly spaz out. "Oh, my God!" I shout at the woman in line ahead of me and at the women at the cash register, "It's Duran Duran!"
The woman in line ahead of me takes my shoutiness in stride, saying "I don't know if I would have placed that." She's a little nonplussed by my eagerness to share, but she knows that she'll be out of the store soon and that she can hide from me if she must. But the woman behind the counter looks me directly in the eye. She's young, with sleek black hair and thoughtfully applied eye makeup. She seems to have cultivated a kind of coolness that I suppose one must have in order to exchange a cotton hoodie for close to a hundred dollars. She looks at me and says, "I don't know if I'm familiar with that band's work."
Now, is this a snotty putdown for someone who is only buying socks? Somehow, I doubt it. Something tells me that this is my first experience of a generational divide from the perspective of an elder, that my popular culture references are somehow losing their gleam. I think that this is a woman perhaps too young to remember the head thrills of hearing "Rio" and "A View To a Kill" on the MTV videogram machine. Perhaps she's too young to even remember when there was actual music on MTV.
I left with my socks, which she wrapped in purple crepe paper for some reason. I'm still a little embarassed, but hey, nice socks.


Blogger Jake said...

Bu...bu...but there are so many witty comebacks for a line like that.


January 17, 2007 3:00 PM  
Anonymous isa said...

I've definitely been there! More and more often these days, come to think of it...

January 18, 2007 11:37 AM  
Blogger Bill Norris said...

Hell "A View to a Kill" was a "comeback" single, wasn't it? Released about '85, after the huge hits of Rio in 81 or 82...

January 19, 2007 2:48 AM  
Blogger jennifer said...

you know that you're getting old when they start making the music of your youth into elevator music. *sigh* i have yet to hear guns n' roses in an elevator, but i know the day will come!

January 25, 2007 2:04 PM  

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