20 Signs Your Pop Culture References Are Probably Falling Flat

4 years ago

A lifetime ago I worked for a madman (all of the sexism and alcohol of Mad Men but without Jon Hamm) in an office with an eclectic cast of characters.

One of these characters was named Rita Mae. Rita Mae wore big Jersey hair, spoke with a high-pitched New York accent, and on occasion, walked around the office with one hand on her hip and the other positioned as though she was carrying a tray. At least once a day Rita would walk up to us, imaginary tray held high, and ask, in that high-pitched New York accent, “Cigars, cigarettes, Tiperillos?”

None of us knew what the hell she was talking about.

It was 1994 and the office was rife with 20 somethings who knew everything about nothing, and while we knew Rita Mae was referring to something from her generation, we hadn’t a clue what, and she, in turn, had no clue we were clueless.

Fast forward 20 years, and I have become Rita Mae.


Original Image from Makelessnoise via Flickr


I’m a dozen years younger than she was at the time, and now kids can Google anything they don’t understand, but still, when I say something about answering machines, Wite -Out, or Mr. Drummond, the glazed looks I get from the 20-somethings in the office make me realize that I now have more in common with Rita Mae than I do with them.

 Wanna know if you’re one of us now and not one of them? Here are 20 signs:

  1. You’ve told someone age 16 or older that you remember them when they were “just a baby.”
  2. You’ve started a sentence with “Back when I was a kid…”
  3. You spot a mouthy teen and think, “If I’d ever said that to my mother…”
  4. You’ve said, or thought, “That’s not real music.” In all fairness, a lot of 20-somethings say this just so they can impress themselves. The difference is, we mean it.
  5. You’ve referred to Twitter as “the Twitter," Facebook as “the Facebook," or added “the” in front of any social media site – even if you only called it that when “it first came out.”
  6. You’ve recently used the words "cassette tape," "VHS," or "answering machine" in a sentence because you were about to use one of them. That you still own. In your home.
  7. You remember sliding around the back seat of cars, unencumbered by seat belts.
  8. You remember Wite-Out and it had nothing to do with the weather in the northeast.
  9. Growing up, your version of Instagram was taking a Polaroid picture, shaking it, then showing it to your friends.
  10. You remember when Madonna’s decision to keep her baby, while instructing her papa not to preach, was the height of scandal.
  11. You owned a VIC-20 or Commodore 64.
  12. You remember when every sitcom had a “very special episode.”
  13. You’re older than the Internet…
  14. and cell phones…
  15. and the DEA.
  16. Beepers were a thing.
  17. Your kids raid your closet for vintage clothes.
  18. You’re disturbed to learn that some guy you think is really cute was born the year you graduated from high school.
  19. You remember Neil Patrick Harris when he was Doogie Howser, M.D.
  20. Some part of your body popped, snapped, or cracked when you sat down to read this post.
  21. *Bonus – you get the pop culture reference in this photo .

Electric AvenueImage: Frabz.com

Have I missed anything? Add your own signs in the comment section, or head on over to theWomen at Forty Facebook page, hit like and add them there. And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you’ll never miss another post!

 Women at Forty Life. Love. Reality. In your fortieth year and beyond.

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