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Hip ? No. Mom, 47, lost in MTV world (buffy mention)

Debra J. Dickerson

Sunday 1 October 2006, by Webmaster

In the same way that we middle-ageds go to great lengths to hide our advancing waistlines, thinning hair and increasing forgetfulness, I have been for some time now faking a vibrating cell phone or fumbling conveniently in my purse when pop culture references are made. As deluded as any mom doing the Robot at her daughter’s Sweet Sixteen, I thought myself hip for culting on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I smirked knowingly at the Scoobies’ updated Ridgemont High-slang and indulgently dug the angsty-goth bands that played at Buffy’s fave dance spot, the Bronze.

I didn’t recognize the bands, felt no need to run out and buy their CDs, but hey - I’m black and 47. So I get outta jail free for my willingness to groove to Michelle Branch (whose name I had to snag from the “Buffy” TV credits) and Louis Armstrong, right?

Turns out, not so much. Black may not crack, but it does creak.

TV worries me now, and not just for my preschoolers’ sake. God help me: I see the tube, with its beckoning to “invest” in 52 inches of wardrobe malfunctions and tuition-level monthly fees, as I do the baby-sitter with one too many tattoos. Does she bring a bourgeois family’s much-needed shot in the arm or is that the bulge of a hypodermic needle I spy in her hipster’s low-slung messenger bag?

Mine was a conscious refusal to degrade myself with “Desperate Housewives,” but I was shocked recently to learn that “Nip/Tuck” just began its fourth season. I’d watch “Weeds” or anything with that funky grown-up, Mary-Louise Parker, in it. Except that premium cable is an extravagance, and there ain’t no money tree in the backyard.

Oh dear. That’s what daddy always said. When did I become Grandpa Simpson?

My flickering connection to pop culture saddens, frees and humbles me. Only a gun to my head could have made me watch the recent MTV Video Music Awards, but I’m so unfamiliar with today’s music that I Googled a list of winners twice before I noticed that it was from 2004. I diligently scanned the correctly Googled list, but it may well have been another one of those Onion hoaxes for all I knew. Avenged Sevenfold? Chamillionaire? Ringtone of the year? Best videogame soundtrack?

When you don’t even recognize the categories, it’s time to admit that you’ve been hip-checked. So be it. Confession is such a relief. Hi, I’m Debra, and I haven’t recognized the bands on “SNL” for years now.

Guess it’s just as well that I can’t stay awake long enough to hear them anyway.