1. We won’t understand technology. Our parents aren’t afraid of technology — they’re on Facebook, they’ve got cellphones — yet somehow they still use Internet Explorer 6. They still think “opening a tab” means drinking diet soda. Frankly, though, I think I’m going to throw in the towel before they did. Admit it, you’re already losing enthusiasm for your bi-yearly cellphone replacement, and the thought of another new social network makes you cringe. Imagine when we’re our parents’ age. “You mean you’re not on Dreamster? Don’t you want to share your recurring nightmares with everyone? … What do you mean ‘that is your nightmare?’”
2. We’ll be boring. Unless your parents were the inspiration for the “after” scenes in Pfizer commercials, they’re probably just like mine in that they spend a lot less time frolicking than they do watching NCIS: LA. Our parents’ parents are just as bad, spending their days reading any half-priced book where the author’s name takes up more than half the cover. We’ll probably while away our golden years playing video games like GoldenEye 5D online. Our kids will tell us we’re really boring — and that no one says “online” anymore — before hoverboarding off to the discotheque. (Discotheques make a retro comeback in my imagination of the future.)
3. We won’t talk about our childhood. Our parents grew up in a time before computers, before cable television, before ranch dressing! Yet oddly they don’t often wax poetic about the good ol’ days of Gerald Ford and inexpensive asbestos insulation. My theory is this: our 20-something parents talked as relentlessly about the 60s as we do the 90s. If that is the case, I don’t blame them for never wanting to think about their youth again.
4. We’ll become terribly uncool. Our parents probably tried to seem cool when we were growing up. When we were born, maybe they were cool. A little. But now that their kids are out of the house and retirement is looming, they just don’t give a fuck anymore. Sandals and socks? Done. Dinner at the Olive Garden? Every Friday. And why not? Trying to be cool is lame. Or so we’ll tell ourselves, once we step into our first pair of UGGs.
5. We’ll pass on no knowledge of our ancestors. Our closest link to our ancestors is our parents, so you’d expect them to have knowledge of our family history to pass on. They don’t. They barely know what their own parents did for a living, much less what their grandparents and beyond did. I, for one, won’t make the same mistake. My dad works in an office, and, um, one of my grandparents was in the war. World War II, I’m pretty sure. … Ah, whatever. There’s a website that knows all that stuff, right?
6. We’ll be reluctant to leave the house. Our parents go the movies once a year, and they saw Tom Petty in concert that one time, but otherwise, good luck getting them to go anywhere. (Except Florida. Never let your parents see Florida.) I get it, though. What is there to do outside the house besides stuff? We’ve done stuff. Stuff sucks.
7. We’ll treat our grown children like little kids. Never mind the fact that our parents have no idea where we are most of the year, the day we come home is the day they treat us like kids again. But we don’t actually want to be treated like adults — we don’t want to help with the dishes, then engage in polite conversation before turning in. We want to come home late, eat everything in the cupboard, then dig through the basement for those fireworks we’re pretty sure we stashed down there. We want to relive the good times, and one day, that’ll include the days we used to oppress our insubordinate children.
8. We’ll think our children have it easy. We do have it pretty good compared to our parents — I mean, HDTV, the internet, tacos that are Doritos. Our kids are going to have it even better, though, which is going to make us insensitive to their seemingly insignificant struggles. We’ll try to understand them by reading their melodramatic, narcissistic ramblings on that website they’re always talking about, but then we’ll get bored. So instead, we’ll unironically wrap up in a Snuggie and watch Conan until we fall asleep. At 8:30.