Wednesday, February 16, 2011

History Repeats Itself, But the Kids are None the Wiser

So. Lovely Girl comes home from school the other day, talking a blue streak before the front door even closes behind her. It's a whole stream-of-consciousness thing, starting with homeroom and moving through the entire rest of her day. In fact, she doesn't appear to be breathing in between sentences. 

She stomps toward the kitchen, shedding her backpack, lunchbag, and coat as she makes her way down the hall, ranting the whole time. The longer she rants, the faster she talks. The faster she talks, the more I begin to think that I am quite possibly witnessing a very impressive stint of circular breathing. 

I am secretly impressed by this spectacle. 

When she finally does takes a breath, it is only to launch into a much louder and more exasperated diatribe, during which I catch the word "boys," and then this: 

Lovely Girl: I mean, they have their own language!"
Me: Who does?
Lovely Girl: This group of boys at school.
Me: Oh. Their own language?
Lovely Girl: Yeah. [rolling her eyesThey made it up. They say things like, "Ex-squeeze me."
Me (snickering): Um, no. They didn't.
Lovely Girl: Um, yes. They did.
Me: I mean, no, they didn't make that up. That's from Wayne's World. Back in the 90's. 
Lovely Girl (cringing): What?

I opened my laptop and pulled up YouTube, and found the Wayne's World Aerosmith episode (classic!), and a few other clips. I watched Lovely Girl as she watched the clips. Her face was equal parts horrified (that her friends were totally copying stuff from her parents' generation...and liked it) and entertained ('cause, you know, Wayne's World is funny).

- - -

So, that was fun, but I figured that was the end of that. Until a day or so later. I'm driving Lovely Girl to school in the morning, when she goes into another rant. About boys. Again. But this time, there's no stream-of-consciousness, no circular breathing, no stomping. Just confusion:

Lovely Girl: They wear these things.
Me: Things?
Lovely Girl: Well, they're not shorts. More like swim trunks.
Me: Swim trunks? In January?
Lovely Girl: Well, yeah. They have these crazy designs and stuff, and they come to, like, their knees, so I guess they're not technically shorts.
Me (in my head): Oh, no.
Me (out loud): JAMS??
Lovely Girl: Jams?
Me (laughing): JAMS! Those are from the 80's, kiddo. And before that, they wore them in the 60's.

Lovely Girl doesn't answer. But a wee bit of horrification begins to creep across her face. Again.

- - -

So. History repeats itself. Sometimes several generations over. I can respect that. But when the new generation claims invention of something a past generation already came up with, well, all I can say is:

"Ex-squeeze me? A baking powder?"