Celebrating the Unpopular Arts
The First Time Someone Made Me Feel Old

The First Time Someone Made Me Feel Old

No real reason that this story sprang to mind, but let me tell you about the first time someone made me feel old, particularly in regards to pop culture.

It was towards the end of 2006.  Apparently the Nintendo Wii was either coming out for the first time or was coming out with a new edition.  I don’t know, I’m not a gamer.

nintendo wii old
This thing, I guess

I was at work, chatting with a co-worker, and she happened to mention that she was hyped for the Wii.  She was about 18, so was born probably about 1988, and I was 27 at that point.

She talked up how cool the Wii was going to be, or whatever, and I decided to make a self-deprecating joke.

I said something like, “I don’t know about the Wii.  Pretty much anything video games that’s beyond Atari is too advanced for me.”

super mario old
This is more than I can handle….

She looks at me.


Scrunches up her face.


“What’s Atari?”

And old man that I was, I had to go have a lie down.

Atari old
This thing! It’s this!

Amazon links at the clickys if you want to contribute to this old man’s retirement fund….


  1. Le Messor

    I never know if situations like that reflect more on me than on the person I’m talking to.

    Like when I was talking to a guy and mentioned Queen. And Bohemian Rhapsody; and he had no idea what either of those things were. (Then, a couple of weeks later, I found him singing ‘Will not let you go!’… he actually knew the song, but not by artist or title.)

    I felt old when I figured out there are adults alive today who were born in the 90s. :/

    1. frasersherman

      I think the first time the sense of aging really hit me was while reading a book on TV’s Avengers and realizing I was now old enough to date Emma Peel. She’d even be the younger woman. As I’d started crushing on her when I was around seven, that was a shock.

      1. Le Messor

        That reminds me in a nobody-felt-old kind of way of lining up for a premiere of The Avengers; a guy came up to the guys in line behind me and asked them what we were all lining up for. Then he asked if it was about spies.

        The guys didn’t know what he was talking about, but I explained it. 😉

        1. frasersherman

          I went on a date to Cruise’s first Mission Impossible film with someone way younger than me. She’d never seen the show, knew nothing about it so the opening scenes with the actual IMF sting left her completely confused.

  2. Jeff Nettleton

    For me, it was in the 90s, when I first started seeing 80s music compilations and heard either “Tainted Love” or “I’ll Melt With You,” in a Burger King ad (probably the latter). It became worse and worse, at Barnes & Noble, as we got a new crop of kids in and I would make a reference and get blank stares. When the movie SWAT came out, with Samuel L Jackson and Colin Farrell, I remarked “I used to love that tv show!” A younger co-worker, “It was a tv show?” “Yeah, the most violent one on tv, in the 70s.” “I wasn’t born yet.”

    By the end of my time working for B&N, I was logging in the personal data of new hires who were born after I started working for the company.

    1. frasersherman

      Heck at my last job I had a coworker in her twenties whose mother was younger than me.
      There’s a great line from one Boondocks comic strip where Huey makes a joke referencing an early Mike Tyson fight. Gets a blank look. “Well, old people with really good memories think I’m hilarious!”

  3. This is a daily occurrence for me now. “Dated reference!” is a common refrain at my house.

    The first time it happened to me was in 1979, believe it or not. I was only 21. The guy on the radio was talking about the 10th anniversary of Woodstock, and the 17-year-old new hire I was training in the art department looked at me and asked “what’s Woodstock?” She thought they were talking about the little yellow bird in the Peanuts comic strip, but that didn’t make any sense with what he DJ was saying.

    I yelled to the old rock musician (he was about 30!) in the back room, “Hey Harry! Sherri doesn’t know what Woodstock was!” He came in screaming. It was a thing of beauty.

  4. maxwellchris

    We had a pong console in our house a good while before we even got a 2600, and we were one of the first in our neighborhood to get the 2600. Both machines saw just as much use by the “grown-ups” as they did by us kids. These days, I work with some people who are too young to remember the NES, for Q-Bert’s sake.

    1. frasersherman

      For a classic moment of God I’m Old, there was my teenage nephew’s comment in the 1990s, when he was a big Voyager fan: “I’ve heard Next Gen was good, but it was before my time.”

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