I’m Old Uncool and I’ll Never Get Over Macho Grande

airplane_shirleyI was at a hip trendy salon the other day to get my hair blown out before my Thirtyfive-ish birthday dinner.  While talking with the owner and the receptionist, I sarcastically mentioned that I had a plethora of something or other, and the owner Chris said, “Plethora is such a funny word; it always reminds me of…”

Cue me interrupting, as I knew where he was going; “’Three Amigos?’” I interjected, and before he could answer, I continued in my best dirty Mexican accent, “Would you say we have a plethora of piñatas?” “Oh, jes jes, El Guapo, we have a plethora of piñatas.”

Cue crickets.

You, the reader, may in fact have no clue of what I speak, though if you do… you’ll enjoy where this goes. You see, in the good ol’ days this was how “Generation X” conversed with, and sized one another up.  Like many a Gen X’er, quoting movies was my language and my way of knowing whether you were worth my time.  What once had the “Something about Mary” effect for me, now made me feel more like Magda.  You know, Mary’s old, haggard neighbor.  Ugh, the thought of being either of those adjectives gives me agita.  Great, now I’m using terms like agita.  My prophecy is self fulfilling!

Chris: “I’ve never seen ‘The Three Amigos.’ I was thinking it sounded British, like Monty Python and what’s that movie called?  Oh right, ‘The Holy Grail.’”

Wait, is this an opening?  Can I regain my cool here?  Sure I can.  This time in my best Cockney falsetto (cause that’s always cool) “Doctor, is it a boy or a girl?” and in a proper British accent I answered myself, “I think it’s a bit early to start imposing roles on it, don’t you?”

Cue the look of utter bewilderment on the face’s of both Chris and the cute little receptionist who should be in school.

Me:  “You know, ‘The Meaning of Life?’”

Chris:  “No sorry, I’ve only seen the ‘Holy Grail.’  Isn’t that what most people quote anyway?”

Me: “Yeah, probably but that’s so cliché. Quoting the ‘Grail’ is like playing ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on the guitar.”

Chris: “Right?” He said in an attempt to end this awkward conversation with the senile old lady.

But I wasn’t having it.  Nooo, I was determined to relate to him or make an ass of myself trying.  “The key is for the quotes to be a little obscure.  I mean, how else would you know you’re talking to someone on your level of humor and wit?”  I explained.

And then it dawned on me: Holy crap, I’m not only old; I’m the biggest geek EVER!

Before my brain was able to fully process this fact, I continued, queerly trying to relate to someone 15 years my junior.  Well, I know he likes ‘Linkin Park’ and metal bands, so maybe ‘Spinal Tap,’ the best rock mockumentary ever, could redeem me… it redeemed Lenny, you know, of Lenny and Squiggy?

Me:  “You probably love ‘Spinal Tap,’”

Chris:  “I don’t listen to them, but I really like Metallica” he replied, trying to relate by mentioning a group from my era.

What? You think ‘Spinal Tap’ is a band? In some kind of Tourette’s reaction, I began uncontrollably spitting out lines thinking something would surely ring a bell.  It had the same effect as someone talking louder to a person who doesn’t speak English.  “These go to 11.”  “It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” “You can’t dust for vomit.” NOTHING? “Come on…Caddy Shack, Fletch, Airplane, Hot Shots? Anyone, anything…Bueller?”

Chris: (Realizing this conversation would not end until we found common ground) “I liked ‘The Naked Gun.’”

YES, ha ha ha I’ve won!  I’ve broken through.

Me:  “Nice beaver.” “Thanks I just had it stuffed.” Oh, g-d I can’t stop.

Chris: “Yeah, don’t know that particular line.  I have ‘The Naked Gun 33 and a Third.’”

Seeing the defeat on my face, the receptionist awkwardly popped in for the first time, “I think I saw ‘Airplane’ once.”

Me:  “Surely you can’t be serious???”  That was just to make myself chuckle.  I wasn’t expecting the banterish response any Gen X’er, like me would give.

Receptionist:  “No really, but but, I uh, don’t remember if it was 1 or 2,” she answered, letting the perfect opportunity to play along pass her by.

I also noticed that she actually stuttered her words.  Oh crap, I’m scaring her.

Me:  “Nervous?” “First time?” “No, I’ve been nervous lots of times,” I blurted out.

I regained my composure long enough to continue, “Wellllll, was it 1 or 2, they’re totally different?  The original is like, a classic!”

Then I lost my composure and went on without breath “It’s like a big Tylenol with wings.”  “I can make a hat… a broach… a pterodactyl.”  “I take my coffee black, like my men.”  “Oh stewardess, I speak Jive” “That’s funny, he never asks for a second cup at home.”  “A hospital – what is it?”  “It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now!”  “Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?” “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.”  As I was escorted from the salon/spa, whose atmosphere I had completely un-zenned, I did my best Ethel Merman until I passed out!

Yep, I’m an old geek who’s got no game… and I’ll never get over Macho Grande.

Spill, did you ever quote movies to seem cooler?  I won’t tell.  In fact, I may call you up.  Oh, and if so what’s your favorite quote of all time?


15 thoughts on “I’m Old Uncool and I’ll Never Get Over Macho Grande

  1. Andrea

    This was hilarious! I am the same age and can see doing this at Vidal Sassoon on Collins in Miami Beach; so the cautionary tale was… perfect 😉

  2. Cherie

    This was a great article. I can relate totally…I saw all these movies too many times. But it is a lot of fun conversing that way, youth is wasted on the young.

  3. Jennifer

    OMG I had a “God, I’m Old” moment yesterday on a plane. While we were waiting for clearance to land, the twenty-somethings next to me were bantering and I picked up on some of it, realizing they must work in the Ad industry. We were at a mutual gala event the night before. I was going to interject something whitty — until I happened to glance down and saw that I was wearing a bright red scarf with a purple sweater. Ugh! I look like a Red Hat Society lady!!! Why didn’t the fashion police stop me leaving the hotel that morning?! Horror of horrors. It’s an ugly realization to know you orient closer to the Red Hat ladies than with a twenty-something crowd.

  4. Lori (lola)

    So funny! My “I’m so old” moment came when I met my brother’s 26 year old girlfriend while vacationing in your neck of the woods. I lovingly refer to as “woman child” (oh, by the way, did I mention that he’s 40. Yeah, I know…gross) Anyhow, she so desperately wanted to banter. Well, she didn’t say BANTER. Pretty sure she doesn’t know the word, but seriously? What are we going to talk about? Justin Bieber? High School Musical? My brother asked me to “please be nice to her”. My response? “We will get along fine…I’m a mom afterall. Kids LOVE me!” So, rather than think of US as old? I prefer to think that everyone else is just VERY YOUNG.

  5. anna

    My I’m so old moment came when I realized the things I geeked out about as a teen and the music I loved are now considered oldies but goodies or classics.

  6. gummylump

    I used to quote movies and 90’s TV shows all the time but I began realizing that most people I was talking to had no idea what I was talking about. Their nervous giggle gave it away 😉

  7. Josh

    I was teaching a class last week to law students and used the quote”sweep the leg Johnny”(Karate Kid) and got a blank stare. I then used a

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  9. R. Hamm

    Did I used to spit out movie Quotes like I suffered from Rain Man syndrome? I still do.. In fact, I use movie quotes from each movie mentioned and, of course, you can’t forget Blazin Saddles & all of Mel Brooks movies as well as Robert Townsend”s Partners in Crime series on HBO…


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