The Urban dictionary defines old fogey, officially, as ” You are officially an old fogey when you reach 50 years of age.” Yikes!
So, how do you know if others think you are an old fogey? Following are some things to look for.
- How you refer to others. Saying things like “Kids these days” even when the person you are talking about is 40; referring to someone as a “young whippersnapper”; or whining about the “younger generation”, all put the “Old Fogey” mark on your forehead.
- Technology. You dismiss Twitter because “who cares what you had for lunch” but post a picture of a special desert you made on Facebook; you are still using Office 2007; you still use a fax and have your fax number of your resume (which still lists every job you’ve ever had since graduation); your son or granddaughter burned your favourite songs onto 12 Compact Discs; you have a Smart phone but still can’t figure out how to set your voice mail message; and you always to text in complete words and sentences.
- Phrases you use. You frequently say things like: “Back in my day”; “I remember when” (nobody under 30 ever says that); “I just don’t understand young people today”; “When I went to school . . . “; “Don’t they teach these kids to (pick one) write, add, spell; “When I was young . . . pick any of the following: we dressed properly, we showed respect toward our superiors, we knew what hard work really was, we did what we were told.”
- Culture. You knew all the lyrics to every Beatle song but you have never listened to Black Keys, Josh Ritter, Arcade Fire or Gaslight Anthem; you screamed in Psycho and Carrie but can’t much see the point of Zombie flicks; cool guys wore shirts with little alligators on them and definitely not ripped jeans; and you think wearing flip flops to the office should be a firing offense. You would never ever be caught dead wearing yoga pants outside of your house or the gym and find yourself wondering when leggings came back into fashion. You wear bedroom slippers around the house and rubbers outside if it is raining.
- Eating: When you go to a restaurant you want one where there is no loud music (preferably no music at all); family dinners should be sit down affairs with no electronics at the table; you want decent lighting so that you can read the menu; and you believe that chain restaurants are the best bet when you travel because they are consistent and dependable.
- You bring up, in conversation, personal accomplishments, the most recent of which occurred 20 years ago.
- You frequently wonder out loud why there aren’t more shows like Happy Days on T.V. these days, and what kind of sicko you must be if you like Dexter.
- Your most exciting holiday was a cruise in the Mediterranean.
- You begin to read all the pension updates that your HR Department sends out.
- You tell others that if they don’t want a speeding ticket then they should just slow down.
If you are a Gen X or Boomer, you will want to maintain the appearance of being with it, of knowing what is happening. There is a tendency (we all went through this) for the younger generation to wonder just when we are going to die and let somebody with energy take their rightful place as rulers of the universe.
You don’t have to become a pop culture illuminati – just be flexible and look to the future. Remember – “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.“ ~ Jan Glidewell ~
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