Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Generation Gap?

Staying on the cutting edge of parental coolness is hard work, but I’m committed. In fact, I go out of my way to let my kids know how hip I am, and I’m dedicated to bridging the so-called Generation Gap. What is that, anyway?

Sure, there’s a world of difference between my parents’ generation and mine, but Princess and I shop together. Not only that, we borrow clothes from each other. I steal her t-shirts, she steals my gowns, and every once in a while I reflect on how cool it is that we have similar tastes in clothing. True, this shared style of dress has the public relations director of the Washington Association of REALTORS® muttering about how I need to “start dressing like a first lady,” since I am married to the president. Maybe so, but pillbox hats and Chanel suits aren’t for me, and layered skinny tees, Chuck Taylors and faded jeans are. What Generation Gap?

Mr. Wright had some hesitation about allowing our children to set up Myspace accounts online. After all, pedophiles and other predators are out there, just waiting to prey on trusting children. We discussed it and laid down the rules: the kids could have Myspace pages as long as they “friended” me so I could view their lists of friends. “YOU have a Myspace?” my kids cried in disbelief. Yeah, that’s right. I have a Myspace, and I’m so hip that I had one before my kids. I’m moving on to Facebook, and none of my kids have one of those yet, either. What Generation Gap?

I learned the latest hip-hop dance craze at B.B. King’s in Orlando. I enjoy a good punk concert, and even hang out in the mosh pit. The kids load my mp3 player with their favorite songs, and I can sing along with every one. Not one of my kids has ever told me that I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld, and I consider that a great accomplishment. What Generation Gap?

The Dude told me once that I couldn’t possibly understand the younger generation. “I mean, a lot of kids are Emo now!” he reasoned. “Emo?” I challenged. “I was a Goth! I was Emo before Emo was cool.” He was impressed. What Generation Gap?

There is one thing that’s bothering me, though. During a recent trip, I attended a Lionel Richie concert. Like the hip, cutting-edge mom that I am, I crashed the VIP seating area with my husband and friends. People were going crazy for Lionel, pushing and shoving to get closer, and I ended up being manhandled and thrust forward until I was up against the stage, in the front row. Lionel grabbed my hand and smiled at me, winning me the envy of every woman within an arm’s length. Suddenly, without warning, I was lifted from behind and onto the stage. For a moment, I was simply stunned. Then, realizing that I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I danced a little with Lionel and his band before a security guard insisted that I get off the stage. Immediately.

I was so excited to tell my kids that their rebellious mama had rushed the stage at a concert and danced with a famous musician! “Oh, Mom, that’s SO rock and roll!” I imagined them saying. My bubble of exhilaration was rudely and immediately burst when the kids responded with blank looks and one question: “Who is Lionel Richie?”

Just like that, the Generation Gap appeared, and its broadening mouth threatened to swallow me whole.

Disappointed, I called my parents. I started to tell them about how I thought my kids would be excited that I danced onstage with Lionel Richie, and… “You danced onstage with Lionel Richie?” they interrupted. “That is SO rock and roll!”

Doesn’t it just figure?


  1. That is sooo rock 'n roll! And I thought getting shushed and asked to SIT at a Bruce concert was cutting edge!

  2. I was looking for articles on Generation Gap. I came across your post and it had me laughing at the end. So funny! Generation Gap reared its head and opened its mouth wide. :)


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