There are some signs of aging you can’t deny: A creaky body, gray hair, wrinkles…
But there are signs that come before then that many people just can’t (or won’t) see. So how do you know when it has happened to you? Take my Neurotic Aging Quiz and find out.
The Top 10 Signs You Have Become Your Parents
1. “That’s Not Real Music” – This one comes in many variations. Sometimes it’s not music, it’s noise. Other times it’s not music because it was made by a formula band made by a corporation. Then there is the non-music made by non-singers who didn’t write their songs and don’t play their instruments.
This one is easy to deny because you can just tell yourself that you have better taste than those who listen to “that stuff”.
Question #1: How many of the bands you listen to have members with grown children? If it’s more than 3, give yourself a point.
2. “They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To” – This one also comes in many variations. Maybe something you “just bought” a couple of years ago broke and you lament how long the previous one lasted. Maybe you want to buy something new and it’s either different or no longer available.
This one is easy to deny because you can tell yourself that crappy build quality and stupid product changes have nothing to do with age.
Question #2: Remember metal Tonka trucks? How about Shrinky Dinks? If so, give yourself another point.
3. “That Kid In Accounting” – Referring to any adult younger than you as a “kid” when you describe them.
Question #3: Not really a question. I know you do it. One point if the person described is old enough to vote, two if they are old enough to have a college degree, three if they have teenagers at home.
4. “I Hate Touchscreens” – After age 22, change is much more difficult. I remember in the late 80s how many people resisted the computer mouse (most of them over the age of 30), but by 1995 everyone was using one. I remember in the late 70s and early 80s how resistant people over 40 were to ANYTHING computerized. (Robot Bank Tellers? Laser codes on groceries? Digital watches? NEVER!)
My advice now is the same as it was then: Ask someone closer to 15 than to 30 to explain it to you, then try to have some patience and an open mind as you actually listen to their answer rather than arguing with it.
Question #4: Have you ever waited in an extra long line at the movies rather than use their touchscreen machine to buy tickets? If you answered “Yes, because they charge extra”, give yourself two points. The second is for worrying about a cost markup equivalent to a pack of gum while paying Box Office Prices.
5. “The iPhone Sucks” – This one is easy to deny, because there are plenty of young people who hate the iPhone.
Question #5: Do you wish cell phones would go back to just making phone calls and nothing else? If so, that’s a point.
6. “Oh, Big Deal!” – When you embarrass your kids, it is SOOOO amusing. They make such a huge deal over every single thing that it’s easy to deny that they probably SHOULD be embarrassed by some of your behavior.
Question #6: Have you ever borrowed your teenager’s clothes and worn them in public? One point if you’re female, three if you’re male.
7. “They’re All The Same!” Political Stereotyping – You believe that all members of one party are bad/stupid/wrong-headed/exactly-the-same and all members of “the opposite” party are good, hardworking, caring, smart people. You consider anything other than Republican or Democrat to be “Third” Party.
This one is easy to deny, because very young people make the same error.
Question #7: Do you think all politicians (with only a few exceptions) are dirty? If yes, give yourself a point. If you think it’s worse than it used to be, give yourself another.
8. The “I’m SO OLD!” Paradox – This one we tend to observe more in our friends than ourselves.
Question #8: Have you ever complained that your friend complained about their body, and then compared your ailments to theirs? That’s another point.
9. The “I’m NOT OLD!” Denial (aka The Mid-Life Crisis). When the first of the Boomers hit this age it no longer became a verboten topic. There are hundreds of books, movies, newspaper articles, magazine stories, and stage plays that cover this topic.
#8 and #9 are two sides of the same coin. Neither one can accept that life consists of anything other than “Young” and “Old”.
Question #9: Do you think that you are “barely” middle-aged? Two points. Three if you consider yourself “Youngish” or have described yourself as “not that old”.
10. “I’m Not As Old As My Parents Were At This Age”. 30 is the new 25. 40 is the new 30. 50 is the new 40. Soon 70 will be the new 55.
Question #10: Are you mature? Two points if yes, two points if no.
Three points if you think Question #10 was referring to age instead of attitude.
OK. Time to score the test. If you read to the end and kept score, not only have you become your parents – you’re also geeky. If you sent someone this link, you have a good attitude about it.