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Mar 13, 2009

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

When I was in high school, I babysat for the two daughters of a professor who taught at the local private college. He was a nice enough guy, you know, for someone old. During the time I watched his kids, I didn’t have a driver’s license yet, and so needed to be picked up and dropped off by this nice, old guy. I remember that he always, always listened to NPR. I had never heard of NPR, but I thought it was boring, clearly something only old, boring people listened to.

One afternoon, I got home from babysitting and my father asked how the day was. I told him, in a fit of adolescent rage, that I hated driving with that guy because we always listened to the same, dumb, boring talk radio. Something called “NPR”.

My dad paused a moment, then said, “Huh. I didn’t know he was a liberal.”

This meant nothing to self-involved, high school Katie, but I took it as a measure of solidarity and we went about poking fun at this guy for years.

This memory was brought into stark relief last week. We had a brief period of beautiful warm and sunny weather. I was running errands with Colin, bopping around town, enjoying the day with the windows down and the radio up. I had just discovered a new station which plays “my favorite mix”, mostly consisting of popular songs from when I was in high school and college. I was listening and singing along loudly to an old favorite by the Smashing Pumpkins when I pulled into the post office parking lot. I was really enjoying the song, and didn’t notice that I pulled up next to a van with the windows down and a teenager sitting in the passenger seat. I looked over in time to catch the kid laughing at me.

“Nice singing, lady.”

Little brat.

I could feel my blood pressure rising and my face getting red. I was so concerned with defending my radio choice that I said, without any thought whatsoever as to what I was saying:

“I was only listening to that station because it’s Pledge Week on NPR.”

And I picked up my baby and went into the post office, resigned to my fate as an old, boring lady. Then I went next door to the drug store and picked up some hair nets and Polident.

3 Readers rock!:

Anonymous said...

That is so funny! And TRUE! Lord have Mercy, I do that all the time and my daughter, who is 15, doesn't want nothin' to do with the music I enjoy. I like "Rock" from the 70s, and she likes Christian Pop Music and Classical stations that play Sarah Brightman. To tell you the truth - she's got better taste in music.


marymartha said...

LOL Don't forget your arthritis meds and Scholls foot powder...

Tiff said...

HAHA! That is so true.
Teaching high school one gets used to being reminded how old you are.