I am young. Sometimes I just have to type those words out to convince myself that its true. I’m only 26, but last weekend I was watching Saturday Night Live and this new boy band, One Direction, was the musical guest. The moment they hit the stage I was overwhelmed with the realization that I am getting old.
The fact of the matter is that I have a child; therefore I surrendered my youth to the next generation years ago. My body waved the white flag the moment I realized cocoa butter does not cure stretch marks. I am to forever wear my badges of courage all over my thighs and hips. That never bothered me but something about seeing these teenagers sing in unison lit a light bulb in my head: It’s over.
I grew up listening to the teen sensations New Kids on The Block, N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys (or BSB to those in the know). In fact, buried deep down in the depths of my friends’ basement is a cassette tape of our karaoke version of the hit single: “I Want It That Way”. Those days are long gone though, and we’re left with our laminated ticket stubs from the NKOTBSB reunion concert. So far, no boy band has stepped up to take their places until now. Sure we have the Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber, but there hasn’t been a group of boys harmonizing while simultaneously expressing their puppy love with hand gestures like us 90’s kids know and love. Now with the birth of the British sensations, One Direction, the next generation has a boy band that’s all their own. And their hit-single “What Makes You Beautiful” is about a young, insecure girl who isn’t aware of her own beauty.... swoon.
The saddest part about this Saturday wasn’t the fact that I was at home watching TV; it was the fact that these kids didn’t affect me at all. I didn’t have one urge to put up a poster in my room. Sure I thought they were cute but in an “I want to pinch your cheeks and put you in my pocket” cute. They just looked like tiny babies whose skin is still pure and isn’t hardened by long battles with teen acne. It was the realization that I am no longer a screaming fan with t-shirts that read “Future Mrs. Timberlake” that made me feel so old.
Now I’m a crossroads. I have to give something up that I held dear to the next generation. As I look at my precious baby girl I realize it’s her time to put up posters. In only a few years time maybe I’ll buy her tickets to go see One Direction. I’m sure by that time the band will have broken up and my daughter will roll her eyes at me because I don’t know who’s popular. Thankfully, at least for now, I may be old but at least I’m not out of touch.