Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

Mind the Generation Gap

Glove, Stallion, Stallion’s younger brother, and I are at dinner. Glove, Stallion, and I went to high school together. That was ten years ago. Stallion’s younger brother, on the other hand, just finished college. The age difference between us is seven years, but I’m struck by the fact that Stallion’s younger brother is no longer the little fifth-grader I remember.

Anyway, we get our dinner, and Stallion starts narrating a story about one of his friends. We all laugh at the antics, and as Stallion finishes, his brother exclaims: “He’s so emo!”

Glove, a high school history teacher, looks at Stallion. “You don’t know what ’emo’ means, do you?” I don’t, either, but I resist the temptation to look it up on my phone. It doesn’t matter; Glove enlightens us in words that we can understand.

“He’s a different generation from us,” Glove concludes, pointing at Stallion’s brother.

“No, that can’t be,” responds Stallion. “What’s the cut off?”

I offer my theory. “I think it’s just when you can’t understand the cultural references.”

“I made a Seinfeld reference last week, and all I got were blank stares, except from this one kid. But they all know about the Jersey Shore.” It takes me a few seconds to realize that Glove’s not talking about the destination that’s a half hour away but a television show.

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