It is an unspoken rule…one which, if broken will immediately make your child or children cringe…right about at the teenage “no trespassing zone.” You, as a parent are not allowed to be “cool”.
Around the age when my children were at the point of “intentional separation” between the ages of 13 through 20, when they were seeking as much distance between themselves and myself, I made the mistake of saying that I liked the artists’ Beck and Jack Johnson.
My eldest, Isaac made the comment, ” A…you need to stay in your lane dad!” Meaning, don’t you EVER try to like contemporary music.”
Music, as we all know is the social barbed wire fence that separates the “old-fashioned” ideals of parents from those preferred by a younger generation.I remember this demarcation zone.
There was nothing more embarrassing than having my friend Kent Tovey over visiting, and then hearing my mother singing a tune by the Cowsills.
“Indian Lake is a scene you should make with your little ones!” I cringed.
First of all, The Cowsills were a group, like the Carpenters that you NEVER admitted to listening to, (but of course you always DID) in the reclusive conclave of your bedroom…(on low volume for fear someone would know you were listening!)
It was also an incredible embarrassment to hear my dad trying to sing, “Hey Jude.”
Didn’t they know? Could they not have read the rule book about how the previous generation was supposed to rail against these long-haired galoots? They were ruining my protest music! Thank God they didn’t know the words to “Four Dead in Ohio!”For crying out loud, go back to Glenn Miller and Shirley Bassy and Ella Fitzgerald!”
It didn’t just restrict itself to music, however. I tried using the term, “jiggy” as in, “I’m jiggy with that!”, and my daughter Lauren rolled her eyes at me as if to say, “Uh…dad, you aren’t black, or young or…well, you don’t EVER use that word in my presence!… Got it?”
I often felt like Austin Powers trying to prove to his son that he was cool because he knew the “Macarena”.
Your kids don’t WANT you to be “JIGGY” with anything! Go back to Iron Butterfly or some old tired music like Led Zepplin or other “baby boomer archaic groups like, “The Grateful Dead or the worst of all… “The Starland Vocal Band…”Afternoon Delight!” (My mother thought that song was about having her favorite snack with coffee in the afternoon.) When my mother had one of her adult friends over to the house, I was thankful she didn’t ask them if they wanted a little afternoon delight! That would have killed me!
How freaking embarrassing. Humming along with these favorites in the family car while they had a friend riding along with us was sure to lose their friendship!
I recall my son Joe saying once, that the seventies music group “Chicago” reminded him “a little” of “SKA” music. When I mentioned that I liked “ska” he never listened to Chicago again!
This brings me to my point about your children not wanting you to be cool. To them, the idea that there exists some music that bridges the generation gap is both confusing and extremely threatening to their independence.
The only example of being cool, and I mean the ONLY example…is being able to say I was alive and actually saw the Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
This seems acceptable to all generations seeing as the British invasion firmly cemented all generations’ ability to “rock the house” (which is also something you should not say to teenagers in your own home.)
As my children approach their forties, they are now much more accepting of my desire to like “Coldplay”, which; is terribly out of touch these days with the more contemporary singers like Jay-Z, Twenty One Pilots, or Macklemore…(himself a has-been and therefore embarrassing.)
Of course, if you enjoy the idea of distressing contemporary teens, just begin singing a song by …I don’t know…Miley Cyrus… and you will have countless hours of sadistic fun, watching them shrivel up like wet toilet paper and slink down a drain. Getting “jiggy” is strictly out of bounds!