Well, I suffered another shock today, of a sort that has become familiar.
I was reading my Washington Post app, and ran across a story that begins this way:
In 1993, I was nominated for homecoming queen at my high school in a conservative Southern California city. It wasn’t meant to be a political act. One of my girlfriends had suggested, “Nominate Trey — he’ll do it,” after the girls had agreed none of them wanted to parade around in a rayon dress from Windsor Fashions while being judged.
I was used to this. While most of my peers spent weekends at football games and rodeos, I slipped into black high heels and Russian Red lipstick and drove to Los Angeles, where I snuck into the clubs with my fake ID and innocent smile. That was just me being me….
It’s written by some guy named Trey, and the subject is the fact that Brad Pitt recently appeared in public in a skirt.
In any case, I’m sure you can see immediately what it is that I found shocking about this story.
Yep, there it is, at the very start of the very first sentence; “In 1993…”
What?!? I thought. You were hanging out with a bunch of high school kids in 1993? You, a grown man who wrote a column appearing in one of America’s leading newspapers, refer to one of those kids as “one of my girlfriends?”
What kind of a perv are you, sir? Are you one of those guys who hangs around, leaning against walls and saying, “Alright alright alright!”
Or rather, “I get older; they say the same age…”
Of course, I’ll admit that I read far more shocking stuff than this — in a temporal sense — every day. Frequently, I’ll hear an apparent grownup referring to some event happening “when I was a little kid,” and the thing he’s referring to happened after (or shortly before) the recent turn of the century — which was what, about a week or two ago?
By contrast, 1993 was more like several months ago, or maybe a year. That was the year I turned 40. In fact, to nail it down further, the day I turned 40 was the day the Battle of Mogadishu happened.
This happens more and more, and I’m finding it more and more disorienting. So cut it out, people. The last think we need — or the last thing I need, anyway — is to hear people talking about events of the Clinton administration as though they happened during Charlemagne’s reign over the Holy Roman Empire.
Get a grip, people — before I lose mine…
I understand. It happens regularly to me as a teacher.
My students are 11-14 years old. They were born during the Obama presidency. I make arcane references to events from the early 2000s, and they’ve no clue…
During the OBAMA presidency…