It finally happened. Today, I felt. . . Old.
Okay, I admit it. I joke about it a lot. I mean, I'm not really old. I'm 28, for Bob's sake. Sure, if this were medievel times, I'd be quickly reaching my twilight years. I'd also most likely be strung up for being a heretic. But instead, it's the 21st century. I've got decades to go. And hopefully, no hanging for heresy.
Yet, I joke. Most often, it's when I hear a song from my youth in a commercial. This, of course, being "80s music". But the fact is, I really don't have that deep, emotional connection with 80s music that would truly make me feel old. In fact, the music that I do feel any real connection with will most likely never make its way up Madison Avenue. (Knock on wood.) And I'd be willing to wager that most people are in the same boat. It might not be 80s music, but no matter what the music they listened to, it really doesn't make them feel all that old to hear it in a commercial.
I think what makes us feel old is when we suddenly realize that something that was novel in our youth is suddenly commonplace. Maybe even held in disdain. And that's what happened with me today.
I was at Microcenter, looking for a null modem cable. Now certainly, this act alone can make a person feel a bit antiquated. Null modem cables are slowly becoming things of the past. But this was not what made me suddenly feel 20 years older.
No, it was listening to the stock boys. Or associates. Or whatever the fuck they call the people who run around and attempt to help the customers in this store. As I'm looking for my cable, I hear the one kid talking about some guy who was asking for help, transferring files from a Windows 3.1 machine to Windows XP. This very same guy was, in fact, only a couple of aisles away, still talking to another associate. I could hear him at various times as I walked around the store.
Oddly, the kid was a bit dumbfounded that someone needed help with a 3.1 machine. He surmised to his co-worker that maybe the guy could burn the files to a CD,
\t"but I don't think CD burners worked with 3.1. I think they had a limit. Some kind of 4x limit. Which would make sense, with the FAT-16 filesystem."
Wow, I thought. This kid is a moron. I really ought to turn around and set this kid straight, on several different levels. But then, down came the hammer.
"You don't really hear anyone asking for help like that anymore. I don't think anyone's asked about 3.1 in years. Heck, I must've 6 or 7 when it came out."
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
I feel old.