There are moments in life that crystalize for you that you are no longer as young as you used to be; that you're no longer the hip, young generation. In fact, you're one of those respectable folks that teenagers would think are grown-up or even, God forbid, old.
Usually these moments are brought on by things like an aching back after a night dancing like a fool at a club too young for you, listening to the DJ and not knowing who the hell recorded half of the song sor why on earth they became so popular, and then the hangover that never now seems to last for the entire week afterwards.
Today, however, Hubby and I had one of those moments in the most bizzaro way. We were at a Starbucks and it involved Richard Gere.
Well, let me explain. Richard Gere wasn't actually there. (Shame, I know.)
We were at a Starbucks in a Target to be exact. We were there doing very adult things like purchasing formula and yet another Congratulations card for a friend who just had a baby. Truth be told we go out after work with Daisy just to get out of the house. We both have about a ninety minute time-limit on how much time we can spend watching her walk in circles around the living room, picking up and walking with the same toys. We're impatient and we hate to do housework on work nights, so we go out somewhere, anywhere, just to avoid all those mundane, responsibility-type things. (Yes, this is why my house does not look like a model home. I'm over it.)
But I digress...
So, we're ordering our mochas and lattes, when the pimply-faced boy at the cash register stopped and asks us if we know who "Richard Gereis" is. He said it exactly like that: Gere-is.
"Do you know who Richard Gereis is?"
It stopped Hubby and I in our tracks, not sure how to respond. Was this some kind of competition, I wondered, where, if we could get the right answer, we got a free latte? You know, sometimes they have those "Question of the Day" chalk boards with a different piece of a trivia for customers to guess? I actually looked for the chalk board but couldn't find one.
"Gereis?" Hubby repeated, being sure to get this "is" part in, for clarification. Of course, we had immediately jumped to he of Pretty Woman fame but, at the same time, were both wondering together, yet without collaboration, if there was some new alternative rock-band or extreme snowboarder who had come onto the scene under our radar and didn't want to appear "out of touch" by admitting our ignorance. So, we hedged our bets. Well, Hubby did, I stayed silent for the same reasons he sought clarification: I didn't want to look stupid.
"Yeah, you know, he's an actor. What movies has he been in?" the Pimplehead asked us. Again, we both looked at one another a bit puzzled.
"Do you mean Richard Gere?" Hubby said now, more confident in putting himself on that limb because the guy had at least verified that the mysterious Mr. Gereis was a movie actor.
"Um, yeah, I guess. Do you know of any movies he's been in?"
I still thought that this was some kind of quiz for a free latte, so I dove in with gusto. "An Officer and a Gentleman!" I almost yelled, determined to save my $3.50. Pimplehead looked at us with a blank expression. I realized with growing horror that he had no idea what I was talking about. "Pretty Woman??" we both offered-up, less enthusiastically.
It took him a moment but he finally seemed to have a flash of recognition. "Oh yeah, I think I remember the guy in that," he said.
You think you remember "the guy"??? Seriously? I was so stunned that it took a while for my old, slow brain to realize that, not only did this kid not know who Richard Gere/Gereis is but that iconic movies that were indelibly inked into my teenage psyche, didn't even exist for him. It was almost as though he was inquiring about some long-gone movie star from the silent era and, worse still, he thought that Hubby and I looked suitably old enough to know who the ancient Mr. Gereis is (or, presumably from pimplehead's perspective, potentially even "was!")
So, there it was. No free latte prize. In fact, the reward for our knowledge was somewhat unwelcome: a sinking feeling that we were old, unhip, and outdated; the realization that someone we considered to be "contemporary" is actually now so virtually irrelevant in popular culture that the "younger generation" (gulp) have no idea who he is.
If you're wondering why he was asking, by the way, it was because a customer before us (presumably someone of a similar age) told the female barista that she had eyes like Richard Gere (which she didn't.)
And why "Gereis"? The only conclusion I can reach is that the customer in question asked the girl if she knew who "Richard Gere is" and she, in all her youthful ignorance, had heard "Richard Gereis".
Sigh... Wasn't Pretty Woman like, just a couple of years ago or something?
Turns out, not so much. Pretty Woman was released a wopping 20 years ago, which explains why pimplehead missed it - he was probably just getting out of diapers. In fact, if I am off on his age by a few years, it's possible that he hadn't even yet been conceived. Worse still, An Officer and a Gentleman, is now celebrating the (gulp) 28th year of it's release.
Hubby and I are somewhat shell-shocked, although we did joke on the way home that it was probably just as well we didn't ask the kid if he'd ever heard the story about the gerbil...
2/3/10 - edited to add
Hubby bought a burger at Carl’s Jr today and the chick working the register commented that his picture on his debit card didn’t look like him. He said “I know, I’m getting old”, and she laughed. Then he said “a young kid asked me who Richard Gere was yesterday”, and she said “who’s Richard Gere?”.