In Which I Offer Definitive Proof Of How Lame I Am

There have been several defining moments in my life that have established beyond all reasonable doubt that I have officially become a grown-up.

The first time this happened to me was when I looked at the Billboard Top 10 and realized that I couldn’t hum even one of the songs if you offered me a million dollars.

And then, about a month ago, a teenager I know was showing me a CD of a band she really likes, and I said, “Oh, I’ve never heard of Oar.”

She looked at the floor for a second – long enough for me to know that I’d made a major gaffe – and I said, “What? Is that not how you say it? Is it not pronounced like the thing you row a boat with?”

She looked at me sort of sheepishly and said, “Um, no ma’am. It’s pronounced Oh-Ay-Are. You, um, just say the letters.”

I’m telling you: it was just like the time my mama called Rick Springfield “Rick Springsteen.” I was 14 and was, like, SOOOOO embarrassed because how could she not know the difference?!? I mean, Rick SPRINGSTEEN? WHAT-EV-ER! Rick Springfield was, like, SO much cooler than Bruce Springsteen. Had she not seen Rick sporting a sleeveless t-shirt in the “Jesse’s Girl” video?

Because he totally ROCKED IT, y’all.

But then, you know, “Oar.”

I said “Oar.”

And suddenly my mama and I are equally out of touch with the pop culture pulse of America.

Anyway, I’ve had several more “Oh my word I’ve become my mama” moments since the unfortunate “Oar Incident,” but I don’t think I’ve ever had a stronger epiphany about the fact that Yes, I Am A Grown-Up than I did yesterday.

Our realtor Leigh just closed on a house that she sold, and the family moved to their new place this past weekend. Yesterday Leigh called me and said, “Hey, you may not be interested, but The H.’s want to know if you want their moving boxes. Some of them you’d have to break down, but there are probably 30 that have never been put together, and you’re welcome to them.”


You would have thought that someone had offered me bags of money.

I was beside myself with happiness.

So yesterday afternoon, I drove right over to The H.’s beautiful new home and loaded my car with box after box after box. I couldn’t help but think that when I was a teenager, I would have been rolling my eyes, all “GAH, Mama – why can’t you, like, BUY boxes?”

But yesterday? As a 30-something grown-up? I was all, “YAY! YAY! FREE BOXES! FREEEEEE BOXES!”

It was like Christmas. A very ironic Christmas.

Only a Christmas with no actual presents.

Just, you know, boxes.

But still.

I wish I’d had an Oar or a Rick Springsteen CD to listen to on the way back home.

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  1. Remember INXS and REM? Remember how are parents pronounced that? No, it’s not REM sleep, mom. I had a grown-up moment the other day- my idol, Charlie’s Angel Cheryl Ladd is now on a commercial about menopause!! I guess Charlie must be, oh… dead. (sounds like a post for me…)

  2. Oh I am so right there with you. It’s become painfully obvious to me lately just how excruciatingly UN-cool I am. And I’m not liking it. Not one bit.

  3. Ladies and Gentlemen:

    Posts like this are the reason I continue to frequent this particular blog.

    Now, if someone would perhaps pass me a new pair of underwear? I seem to have guffawpeed mine…

    Speaking as an almost-but-not-quite-there-yet-fifty-something with the mind of a definitely-way-past-but-still-acting-thirty-five-something, I can SO relate. Only nowadays the lyrics on the CDs are what throw me for a loop…but that’s another post.

  4. I’m right there with ya, sista.

    I am SO un-cool that I don’t even know who the people are on the cover of those gossip mags at the grocery store.

    Some famous person could knock on my door and I’d never know it. Well, I’d someone was knocking, but when I opened the door, I wouldn’t know WHO they were. I’d just assume they wanted to borrow our ladder.

    Yes, mam. Right there with you, oaring my way into oblivion…

  5. One day I had a discussion with my mother over the changing stalls of Fashion Gal about a boy I wanted to ‘go with’. “Go with? where do you want to GO with him?” she said “Your only 14 Addie! You can’t GO anywhere with him!” Sheesh, she was so clueless! :-)

    Sadly, I have now been the recipient of an eye roll or two already!

    We LOVED Inks (INXS) at our house!

  6. yeah, my husband had one of those defining moments a few years back when he referred to Tree63 (Is that the right name?) as Tree23 and was snickered at by a teenager. LOL

    Sheri…who LOVES free moving boxes!

  7. I wouldn’t call you an adult. I would call you a kid because you are like the kid on Christmas morning who loves the boxes more than what will go in them. :)

    Sigh. Yeah. Growing up is hard to do.

  8. It’s probably not really healthy the way I look forward to reading your blog…

    During this very stressful season of life, your words give me a much needed comical break!


  9. hee hee. reminds me of the time i took a 14 year old girl to lunch. of course, with my dated sense of humor, i started singing “eat it! eat it!” (weird al). she looked at me like i had 4 heads.

    i asked her if she had ever heard of weird al or michale jackson and she looked at me like i was crazy again.

    this was ten years ago and i am only 31. oy vey.

    yeah, i am sooo not cool.

  10. Who is OAR? See you aren’t the only one out of the loop. But Jessie’s Girl is still my favorite song! The music today is so trashy anyway-do we really care if we are still in the loop :) I know I don’t although my 16 year old cousins sometimes think I am so LAME! Oh well and I am only 12 years older!

  11. Never heard of OAR. Why, YES, I AM old and out of the loop.

    I’m 43 and it still kills me for someone to call me “ma’am”. That’s for OLD people, you know? What really kills me is an acquaintance of mine who is 3 years OLDER than me who makes it a point to call me “ma’am”…for some reason that really burns me!

    Remember when Prince changed his name to that symbol thingy? I never knew what to call him, so I just kept calling him Prince. I’m sure he lost a lot of money and sleep over it.

  12. At bunco last March as the hostess distributed the loot from our winnings, I realized we were SO out of it as we gushed about the gifts- Easter dish towels!!! We were actually ooohing and aaahing over these beautiful dish towels and thanking the host for saving us the burden of purchasing our own seasonal kitchen accessories!

    Totally uncool!

  13. I would list all the reasons that I am now officially uncool, but really there isn’t enough room in the comments section.

    I will say that this post made my day, much like the free moving boxes made yours.

  14. I laughed so hard I left Starbucks coffee droplets on my computer screen!

  15. Yeah, I felt like I scored big time when I discovered the book boxes for the taking in the B&N dumpster. I only dove for a couple – most were right on top. Moving makes a person desperate!

    But I don’t know – my little boys are still more into the boxes things come in rather than the contents…I’ve considered wrapping empty boxes for Christmas and birthdays to save money and cut to the chase of what they really want to play with. So maybe this empty box thing just means you are in touch with your inner child. Make one into a boat or a playhouse before you start packing, or poke it several hundred times with a stick, or pretend you are a turtle with a box shell on your back…it’ll make you feel young again.

  16. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog everyday. Your entries always make me laugh out loud (and then I get odd stares from all of my cube neighbors). It’s great! :)

  17. It’s the word free that would have had me going! And if my girl would roll her eyes at me for my FREE boxes and suggest buying them, well I would gladly oblige her in not letting her have my FREE boxes for moving and letting her purchase hers for her stuff to her heart’s content! Who am I to stand in her way of being independant and spending her money the way she wants. (in this case anyway). :v)

  18. I have had so many of those moments recently…….

    Just make sure to hold onto that Christmas feeling when you finally do get to move and you have to unpack all those boxes! :)

  19. Believe it or not my dh took me to a Rick Springfield concert last year and it…was…AWESOME! Rick still looks great and can still sing pretty good.

    We had such a great time, we are going again next year when he is in the area. :o)

  20. I am so there with you on the FREE boxes……and I’m ancient…..Love what His Singer had to say, too…..humming old James Taylor& Carole King songs as I approach that closer to fifty mark. And all my life my MOTHER was fifty, not me. When did this happen????

  21. Does anyone remember when Rick was Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital? And John Stamos was Blackie? I can relate to your lamentations. I work in a youth ministry, which I plan to post about soon. My staff is in their 20s,and the kids, of course, are kids. And then i have teenagers myself. I feel like Methuselah.

  22. Sarah is generally the one to tell me I’m mispronouncing everything, but you only miss cool if you ever were, and I wasn’t. When you reach a certain age it becomes cool to be uncool and I’m definitely at that age now, so I guess maybe I am, after all, cool – or un. Whichever.

  23. I had posters of Dr. Noah Drake (Rick) and Blackie(John Stamos) on my wall. One of the two has aged so gorgeously, the other, umm, not so much. Seen ER lately???If so, you know which one I’m talking about.

  24. You always make me smile (when I’m not laughing out loud). However, I totally understand the box thing. I can remember begging grocery store clerks for boxes when we were moving. Why do they destroy them the minute they empty them?
    Great post- as always.

  25. I’m all about freebies!!

    But hey, didn’t you know that “uncool” is the new “cool”?? Sorta like “40” is the new “30”…

    Blessings, Karla

  26. I’m diggin’ that the teenager called you “ma’am”. Yep. I get that, too.

    But, not long ago a clerk made my day. I stopped in the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine (for cooking…really) and the guy asked for my I.D. I obliged and the proceeded to sweep up and dust for him. It’s what I do.

  27. A friend referred me to your blog, and here, in my final days of packing-moving craziness, I take a break to check it out. (I drive to a new city on Saturday.)

    I can totally relate to the box excitement. I found a post online for free boxes in my city. I drove out to pick them up with my three little boys. Man, I was excited! Boxes galore… and packing paper!

    As for the uncoolness of growing up, well, I never really was cool and certainly never in the loop. It’s not such an adjustment. But there are man-I’m-turning-into-my-mom moments, for sure.

    Now I’m going to look up who Rick Springfield is.

  28. Hey–you’ve come full circle. Toddlers don’t really care about the presents that are in the boxes either. The boxes will do just fine.

  29. Life is funny when you’re the Mom, huh??

  30. I have completely blown my “hour before everyone is awake so-called-productive time” because I’ve sat here LAUGHING.

    SUCH a better way to start my day!

    Thank you, BooMama, for ministering grace to a slightly-tired, trying not to be stressed-out Mama in Montana.

    BTW — I knew I had become the “grown-up” when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was WAY older than a) the pilot of a plane I was flying on; b) the doctor in the E.R. I was visiting.

    I couldn’t believe it–I thought, “So we’re the grown-ups now? These kids look like they’re in high school. Man, I’m getting old.”

    :) !!

    Again–THANK YOU.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Tara Barthel