Last night, I was watching my 50th episode of Law & Order this week, and I realized the bank commercial airing in the middle of each references a Taylor Swift song I have never heard. Between that experience, and needing a book on tape while I exercise, I think I’m middle-aged. Don’t get me wrong, I’m only 34. But, I plan on living to 60 or so. I’m over the hill. People everywhere are realizing that they too are now old. Thankfully, a whole Reddit thread devoted to the subject of aging can make us feel better.
Another reason I know I’m getting old is that I’m getting most of my pop culture information from Jeopardy! answers or when I’m cheating on a crossword puzzle. What’s funny, though, is that I liked both of those things in my teens and twenties. Now, however, I lean in and never miss a day. The good people on r/AskMen wanted to know when others realized they were old, and many people had answers.
Here are the best responses to the question: “What was the first time an interaction with someone younger than you made you think, “I’m getting old”?:
1. Those classic cartoons that aired after I was in college.
“Most recently, when someone talks about a cartoon they loved as a child. Such a Avatar.” –Tropical_Geek1
2. You mean Just Dance?
“They had no idea what Dance Dance Revolution was.” –YO_I_SHOT_TUPAC
3. Kids these days.
“Young intern at work had no idea what a 3.5″ floppy was when we found some as we were looking for some equipment…he was like ‘this is a weird looking coaster.'” –rudebish
4. Sir, no thank you.
“I was called sir by a high schooler when I was in college, as a student.” –TheMockingBrd
5. Concerts are over for you, old man.
“I spent two decades playing in bar bands on the weekends. I went to a bar (pre-covid) and was annoyed at how loud the band was playing, I got a beer spilled on me, another drunk kept trying to tell me a racist joke but could barely talk and was super pissed I had no desire to hear it. I left after an hour. That’s the day I realized youth passed me by.” –TastyDeerMeat
6. For being nice or for being old?
“I work at a start up biotech company. We sometimes joke about acting like a family. They’ve started calling me ‘Uncle’ at work.” –Treefrogprince
7. How was it ever possible?
“I don’t recall the first one, but trying to explain to a 20-something coworker how we handled our social lives before cellphones were a thing was a big one.” –Current_Poster
8. The 80s, 90s, and today.
“When a kid said Green Day was classic rock. In his defense, the local classic rock radio station has started playing Green Day (and Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers), but to me, that just confirms that I’m old.” –smackaroni-n-cheese
9. Have we come so far?
“Last night I went to a nightclub thats been run monthly-ish by my friends for 21 years. I’ve gone to many of those club nights, right from about the third one ever.
As I was dancing to some tunes, I realised the couple dancing next to me hadn’t been born yet when I had danced to that same song.” –Mahhrat
10. Keep it down, please.
“Young kid lives next to me and is always working on his car. He does various annoying things that I probably did when I was younger or worse like play his music loud when he’s washing his car or use the loudest air compressor. The other day he changed his oil and left a big oil pool stain on the asphalt in front of our houses. It looks like shit and depending on where someone parks on the street, they could step in it if they walked around their car. I marched over there with my scrub brush in hand, knocked on his door, gave him the brush and told him he had 24 hours to clean it up. Went back home and felt like the old fart I use to accuse my dad of being.” –chingaloooo
11. What is paper?
“I was on-site at my employer and some of us went to lunch. I have an atlas in my car. I’m used to needing a backup because technology isn’t reliable. I’ve been plenty of places without cell service. A younger coworker got in the car and asked what my atlas was. She couldn’t stop laughing at the idea of having a book of maps.” –notabeekeeper
12. Who’s Beck?
“I was at work, the day after the 2015 Grammys. My coworkers were talking about Kanye talking shit to reporters about Beck winning an award that Beyoncé was also up for. They were all puzzling over who that Beck guy was. I was horrified.” –rapiertwit
13. Princess who?
“As a Brit, a colleague of mine said she wasn’t alive for Princess Diana’s death. Could feel the grey hairs appear when she said it.” –scorpiohank91
14. The landline.
“Someone not knowing what a wall mount rotary phone is.” –notasulga
15. You’ve always been here.
“I was talking to a co-worker’s son who is 8, and I made a comment about Minecraft because I know he likes it, and he said “Oh that’s right, you like Minecraft, too. So you used to play when you were little?” And I had to explain to him that it was created when I was an adult.” –radiolady93
16. The end as we know it.
“I was talking about Y2K to a bunch of younger co-workers and they asked me if I was describing the plot of a movie. I’m 35.” –StillMeasurement3
17. Are movies relevant anymore?
“I repeated a very famous quote from Caddyshack and my much younger sister in law had absolutely no idea what I’d just said.” –PoorSleeper57
18. My aunt uses Hotmail.
“When i put an @hotmail account on a job application and the kid was in tears laughing.” –me50e
19. What a what is?
“A little while back my friend’s kid asked me what a VCR is.” –GandalfThePotato
20. She still looks younger than I do.
“I was talking about birthdays and film stars with a few 17-19 year olds I worked with. Told them I share a birthday with Cameron Diaz and they all said ‘who?'” –hellsangel101
21. That’s for the olds.
“I asked a younger cousin if his workplace has a Facebook group they use to switch shifts and stay updated on stuff at work, etc. He looked at me like I had two heads. I guess teenagers don’t use Facebook all that much, lol.” –OutrageousMix5145
h/t Reddit: r/AskMen