Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Old Rules No Longer Apply...

It's amazing, really. Past Me always said I wasn't going to be like my mom and dad. Past Me said I was always going to be cool, I was always going to like the things I liked as a kid. Past Me always said I wasn't ever going to turn into one of those bitter old people that shakes his fist and yells at kids to get the Hell off of my lawn. If I couldn't avoid it totally, I would keep it at bay for as long as possible.

Past Me never really realized that I was, in fact, born one of those old people, and that I was never cool to begin with.

I was playing Rainbow Six Vegas 2 the other night, feeling cool to be an adult playing video games (and well, mind you). Old people didn't play video games. I'm knee deep in Tangos, patrolling the outskirts of the Villa, fighting for my life, when I realize I am the last man standing. Being that I joined the hunt a little late, I hadn't racked up too many kills, and I was lurking around an outer door, knowing there were some bogeys just around the corner. I lob a grenade, and it happens to catch the edge of the doorway, bounce backwards, and blow me apart, ending the mission in failure.

"Nice move, pops," some whiny little pimple face grunts, and suddenly, I am staring at the load screen you only see when your session is over. The little ass clown punted me from his session, as if I was some noob who didn't know his ass from his X-Box.

I drew in a deep breath of surprise and then proceeded to issue a litany of profanity directed at the little prig who could no longer hear me.

Little prick.

Then it occurs to me that there are no more adults like when I was a kid. I fully expected at some point to retire my childhood and be forced to like boxing, fishing, and the Wall Street Journal. I figured that all my old memories of movies would be stripped of their color, and television "shows" would suddenly become "programs". I expected that I would develop a taste for blue work shirts and ill fitting dark blue denim jeans. I figured I'd grow fond of those trucker caps with the foam front and the cheesy messages on them. I simply assumed that I would instinctively grow fond of the grass outside my house, and despise the neighborhood kids who happened to let their ball bounce on it. I dreaded the day when I would stop understanding not only video games, but computers, DVD players, and CD changers as well.

Someday, my kids will swear they aren't going to be like their old man. They'll be embarrassed that their dad remembers the days when you couldn't shuffle your iPod playlists within themselves, when you had to wait a week to download new songs for Rock Band, when your computers were so large they couldn't fit in your front pocket. And on the days when they feel like connecting with their dear old dad, they'll invite me to play one of their video games, and shake their heads in pity when I keep having to ask which of the seventeen buttons fires the freeze ray.

And I WILL yell at kids to get the Hell off my lawn, but only because I no longer understand the games they play, and they laugh when I try to understand them.