Things that make baby boomers feel old

Feeling old has got nothing to do with your age. I remember feeling old the first time I chose sleep

Feeling old has got nothing to do with your age. I remember feeling old the first time I chose sleep over a New Year’s Eve party and, trust me, that was many, many New Year’s parties ago.

But every now and then something happens that makes me feel old. And it’s usually something only baby boomers can understand.

So here is a (non exhaustive) list of things that make me feel old. I’d love it if you share your own, or tell me which you also feel.

  • Hearing every musician, actor or sportsperson you loved envied and admired referred to as a “veteran”, “stalwart” or “icon”.
  • Knowing why computers use the “qwerty” keyboard. (You do know, right? Because on those old things we used called typewriters, the most common letters had to be placed our to prevent the arms getting tangled together when we were rapidly touch typing with perfect posture.)
  • Catching yourself being extra careful when dialing a phone number because you remember the agony of getting halfway through calling someone on a rotary phone and having to start over again – and that’s when phone numbers only had five digits.
  • The fact that the Dismissal of the Whitlam government was 40 years ago – 40 years!
  • Flicking through photo albums full of treasured photo that are mostly blurry or include the backs of heads and loved ones with closed eyes. But you’re not getting rid of them, goodness no, they’re the only photos you have of that time.
  • Knowing that I have 5000 photos on my computer, 1100 on my phone and absolutely no idea what to do with them. Oh, and I’ll still keep the blurry ones because I just can’t let go of the idea that photos are expensive and should be treasured.
  • Even though there are services available and I’ve been told about them, I intrinsically believe that TV shows happen at set times of the day.
  • Finding myself searching the internet for different, groovier terms for “grandma.
  • Without knowing how it happened, suddenly having a staggering collection of lovely scarves that have been breeding in my wardrobe.
  • Same goes for hand cream. Where do they all come from?
  • Being shocked at young people talking loudly about their sex life while walking down the street ­and wondering, when did I become such a prude?
  • Having a waiter assume it’s my birthday because I’m out to dinner with my daughter at a fancy restaurant.
  • Saying goodbye to stilettos and hello to pumps, after realizing that all the shoes in the fun shops are totally unsuitable and unstable and I’d quickly end up in an undignified pile on the floor if I even tried one on.
  • Embracing big girls’ bloomers.
  • Walking into a shop and having to walk straight back out again because the doof-doof music makes me think my brain is leaking out my ears.
  • Recognising a look of impatience on a salesperson’s face as I fish out my wallet and knowing she’s thinking “Is she ever going to find the 20 cents?”
  • Being asked “Do you fall over often, dear?” after a one-time mishap involving a plastic bag and a slippery street. It was one time! It would have happened to anyone!

Do you ever have those brief moments when you feel old? What sets you off and what do you do about it?