Boy, do I have great news!
I am NOT old!
What a relief.
I discovered this fabulous fact yesterday, when I took two young German friends into Boston for a day of sightseeing. We took a lovely boat tour of the Charles River, where the sweet young tour guide recounted Boston’s history through the eyes of someone two decades old.
She hadn’t heard of the famous song “Dirty Water,” the old Boston anthem. She didn’t know anything about the Blizzard of ’78.
I felt about 100 years old. My wrinkles were suddenly more wrinkly. My hair was whiter, my shoulders more stooped. My life wasn’t even history. It was pre-history.
Just call me Dino the dinosaur.
Then the young ‘uns and I headed into Harvard Square. I bit my tongue, hard, to stop myself from saying things like, “Back in the day, this place was really cool.”
We wandered through Harvard Yard (“I remember the time……”) and into the Coop (“We used to come here to…..”). We passed the local Starbucks (“This used to be our favorite bar.”) and the old gourmet grocery (“Our Russian tea was over here….”)
I was still Dino. With every step, I felt my teeth getting looser and my joints getting stiffer. I glanced at a store window on one point and was surprised that the reflection looking back at me wasn’t Granny Clampett.
Then it happened.
The kids told me they wanted to go into “Urban Outfitters,” a trendy store I’d heard of but never before entered. We crossed the street and went inside.
And I saw this:
An entire wall full of albums. Albums!!!!
Of course, they weren’t labeled as “albums.” Instead, the sign said, “Vintage Vinyl.”
I burst out laughing, my old lady wheezy voice filled with amazement. Albums are back! ALBUMS! Remember when we were told that CD’s were going to make albums completely obsolete? Well, I do! Now they’re back. They’re hip, they’re cool, they’re freakin’ vintage and they sell for 28 bucks a pop.
Right beside the Vintage Vinyl was a display of….wait for it……
Like, pink and pale blue record players.In big clunky cases. Exactly, precisely, completely the same as the ones we used at our slumber parties in 1966.
The mystery lyrics of “Louie, Louie” suddenly filled my head, and stood up a bit straighter.
The kids headed off to shop for clothes, wall hangings and rugs while I wandered around the place. I was the only one in view with a head of white hair, but suddenly I was feeling just a bit more spry.
I made my way past coffee cups shaped like butt cheeks, planters shaped like bald heads, a random collection of little clay baseball caps and Hello Kitty phone cases.
And I came across a table loaded with Polaroid cameras. Like the one my Dad used to pull out at our elementary school birthday parties.
I am not kidding. Polaroid cameras.
And it comes with actual FILM. You have to buy FILM.
There were lots of people buying them, too.
‘Cuz they’re, you know, “vintage.”
I was feeling better and better. When the stylish young folks glanced my way now, I wasn’t worried that I looked like a brontosaurus. Oh, no. Now I stood up straight, highlighting my hopelessly out of date white jeans and smoothing the waves in my silver hair.
“Sheesh,” I thought to myself. “Everyone in here is so modern. Poor things. How unhip can you get.”
I smiled graciously as the youngsters moved around me to stand in line for their vintage goods.
On the way out the door, I passed a display of macrame plant hangers.
Exactly like the ones we had in college, in our dorms and on the porches of our first apartments. Can’t you just see the cigarette butts and the chipped coffee cups on the three legged coffee table standing under it?