How Not to Act Old: Nostalgia Edition

Reminiscing about Woodstock? You may as well be recalling Prohibition.

By Pamela Redmond Satran • Guest Writer
Photograph: iStockPhoto

So, you were at Woodstock? Ate mushrooms with Kesey, chanted with Ram Dass, wrote poetry naked with Ginsberg? I’m sure that was all mind-blowingly groovy, but I have news for you, Grandpa (and Grandma): reminiscing about the sixties now is like recalling Prohibition was when we were young. Cue wavering
voice: “Let me tell you, sonny, we got up to some crazy shenanigans in those speakeasies.”

For those of you who are mathematically challenged, it’s been forty whole years since 1969. As further illustration of how long ago that all was, check out these words coined in 1929, forty years before 1969, from the Online Etymology Dictionary: beep, jeepers, deep six. But terms brought to you by 1969 don’t sound much more modern: doo-wop, singles bar, and ego trip.

The point: the sixties are ancient history and not of great interest to anyone who wasn’t actually there. So too the seventies: we really don’t need to know who did what to whom that night you went to Plato’s Retreat (ewwww, you did?) or what you snorted with whom at Studio 54. Even the eighties, which I basically missed thanks to the joys of parenthood, are getting kind of antique.

Young people are allowed to have nostalgia for the decades and icons of their childhoods: early Madonna and late Kurt Cobain, leg warmers and flannel shirts. You can reminisce about where you were in Y2K.

From How Not to Act Old: 185 Ways to Pass for Phat, Sick, Hot, Dope, Awesome, or at Least Not Totally Lame by Pamela Redmond Satran. Copyright 2009 by Pamela Redmond Satran. Published by Harper Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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Check out Satran’s hilarious book, How Not to Act Old.

Pam’s How Not to Act Old blog

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First Published Wed, 2009-11-18 11:14

Find this story at:

http://www.more.com/entertainment/humor/how-not-act-old-nostalgia-edition