1. When you want to dress up on a date and look sexy, you wear a cardigan. You have so many cardigans that they could be their own closet — or room — where they would hang out with your collection of slacks, khakis and loafers.
2. You actively look forward to going to bed early and have been known to start getting tired around 11 on a Saturday night, because you’re up past your bedtime. Sometimes this Saturday night entails staying at home to feed your cat and hang out with your house plants.
3. When you try to operate your phone, computer or any form of technology made in the last ten years, you look like Derek Zoolander or an American tourist who thinks the French can understand English if you JUST TALK LOUDLY. The other day I handed my non-functional phone to my friend complaining that it was broken. I asked her to work her “Mormon Magic” on it. She charged it.
4. You don’t often know common slang or rap terms. If a rapper referred to a brody or a Benjamin, you might think that was a friend of his — like Sgt. Brody from Homeland! (That’s my dad’s favorite show.) Story: The other day I was at trivia night with my grandpa (two P.O.P. red flags) and one of the teams was named “Lemon Party,” which I thought was a 30 Rock reference. Of course, it was an internet sex thing. Technology got me again.
5. Your TiVo or Netflix Instant Watch list includes lots of episodes of Antiques Roadshow, NCIS, Murder She Wrote, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, The Good Wife, The Voice, Castle, Bones, The View, Desperate Housewives, Unsolved Mysteries (which Lifetime airs reruns of!) and PBS specials, because dat Nova is “off the chain, yo.” Or something.
6. You want to be Betty White when you grow up.
7. You own more than one type of Snuggie (IMO, the leopard print one is the best), and if it were socially acceptable, you might go out in one. Just take your hair out of the curlers, throw a belt around it, put on your house slippers and you’re set.
8. You always make people’s presents every year for Christmas. You think the homemade stuff is just more meaningful, and who doesn’t need matching bright red knit socks with their name sewn into them? Everyone wants that, even if they don’t know it yet. Also, great for Christmas: baking, which is great for every occasion.
9. You refer to Justin Bieber as “what the kids are listening to these days” and say things like, “When I was a kid, we had real music,” even though your music was probably more or less of the same quality. (90’s and early 2000s kids, remember we have the Baha Men, Lou Bega and Shaggy to answer for. It’s a lot to deal with.) You still don’t understand how LMFAO or Skrillex qualify as music. It just sounds like dying.
10. You need someone to explain 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight to you — because you just don’t understand. It’s not that you hate these things; you’re just still not sure what their deal is. It’s the same feeling you get when you watch wrestling, an overriding feeling of “WHY?” This is the same emotion you have when you remember that Charlie Sheen still exists and has a sitcom. Shouldn’t human evolution have unselected him by now? We’ve evolved past this.
11. You don’t get hip or trendy haircuts, and the first time you saw one of those half-head-shaved things, you wondered if they could only afford half of a haircut — and would have gladly offered to pay for the rest of it. You’re the type of person who wants to look back at old pictures of yourself and not have to see our generation’s equivalent of mullets or rattails, whatever those end up being. You want to look back and know that you and your penny loafers had it together.
12. You talk about “bringing back” out of date phrases and wonder why no one says “gentleman caller” anymore, which would be a very helpful phrase to use when you’re dating someone and don’t know what to call them. Really though, you just want to talk like Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, because OLD TIMEY MOVIE VOICE IS THE SHIT.
Unconvinced? Here are some great slang words and phrases from the 20s that are sadly no longer in use.
Applesauce: expletive akin to ‘‘Horsefeathers!’’
Beat one’s gums: idle chatter
Bull session: male gossip fest
Get a wiggle on: get going
Glad rags: clothing to go out in
Handcuff: engagement ring
Jake: okay, fine or alright
Moll: gangster’s girl
Tomato: an attractive woman
13. You tend to get hungry earlier than you’re supposed to, like at 5 p.m., and cannot possibly wait all the way until 7 to get something in your system. So, you just snack a lot until proper dinner time, when you will undoubtedly not be that hungry.
14. You put “the” in front of things that it doesn’t belong in front of. It started off as a joke (because you swear you know that Facebook doesn’t need a definite article), but then it just kind of stuck.
15. You listen to talk radio and/or NPR like its your job, which is a lot easier since they started putting radio on the interwebs — AKA the one with the email. If you could have any celebrities over for a sleepover, they would probably be Mike Birbiglia, Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris. But not Ira Glass or Terry Gross, because they don’t look like cuddlers.
16. You’re always calling everyone “baby” or “honey” or “sweetie,” taking care of everyone and inquiring about their health — if they’re eating right, getting enough fluids and staying away from whatever Dr. Oz or Oprah say are bad this week. You also have most of Web MD memorized so you always think you’re coming down with something or dying. When people assure you that you aren’t, the answer is something like, “Are you sure? The internet says I’m dying.”
17. Corollary: If you suspect someone hasn’t eaten, you’re always trying to feed them anything and everything in your kitchen, like the mother in My Big Fat Greek Wedding: “Eat something! You want food? Okay, I make lamb.”
18. You practically live on the Food Network and regularly watch at least three cooking shows. How would you live without Ina Garten to show you the way? She’s a Barefoot Life Model. Some people have real porn. You have food.
19. You would watch almost anything with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith or Meryl Streep in it — who you think is like a god or might actually be God. Actually, Meryl is better than God. Does God have three Oscars and a million Golden Globes? I thought not. Confession: When I saw Julie and Julia, It’s Complicated and Hope Springs in the theatres, pulling a Meryl hat trick, my friends and I were the only “young people” in the theatre. (Same goes with About Schmidt and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.) The tickettaker always looks at my stub like, “Are you sure?” Yes, I’m sure.
20. You check weather forecasts whenever someone’s traveling — even in the summer, JUST IN CASE. And then you’ll remind them to watch out, because there’s a two percent chance of flurries three states over.
21. Naps have become something like a sport for you, and if there were a goal medal in adorable, socially accepted lethargy, you would win. Other sports: complaining about the weather, seeing how high you can make the heat go, wrapping yourself in as many blankets as possible at night, making sure to match up ALL of your socks, saving things you won’t need later, kvetching about the price of gasoline (which was SO CHEAP when you were a kid) and yelling at your neighbors to turn the music down. I have this upstairs neighbor that dances around to Kelly Clarkson at SIX IN THE MORNING, and if I could push a button and kill a random person like in that movie, The Box, I pray to Streep it’s her. You’ve been warned, Apt. 1002.
22. You can’t wait to tell children to get off your lawn. You don’t have one right now — because you live in a garden unit or an apartment the size of a kitchen. But someday, you will have a lawn and by Streep, that fertile soil will be respected.
23. You once snuck coffee into a bar. No? Okay, maybe that one was just me.