The Maiden came home from school the other day with a bag full of dragons.
Drawings of dragons, that is. They were elaborate and interesting and artistically pretty good, and I told her so. But apparently that was not what she wanted to hear.
“These dragons, Mommy? Don’t you think they’re totally upgraded?”
Me: “Totally what?”
Maiden, shaking her head: “Oh, Mommy. It’s just, like, a thing.”
It’s happened. I said it wasn’t going to happen. I believed it wasn’t going to happen. I snickered at my parents because it had happened to them, but I would be immune.
Then she pulls this “upgraded” thing and upgrades the rug–or downgrades, maybe–right out from under my feet.
I always planned to be the cool mom, hip to the slang the kids were using. Totally with it. Do kids still say “with it”? I don’t know. I’m not cool anymore.
I tried to salvage my dignity. “Yeah,” I muttered, hoping to sound cool. I just sounded tired. “Totally upgraded.”
The moment the words crossed my lips, I knew it was a mistake. They tasted of vinegar. They tasted of compromise. They tasted of clueless parent who has no idea what’s, like, totally upgraded these days.
Geeze, it’s a stupid expression.
It’s going to take me some time to crack the code of pre-tween technoslang. What does “totally upgraded” even mean? It’s illogical. “Upgraded” means it has all these bells and whistles and apps and functionalities that are so complicated and confusing that by the time you get them figured out, it’s time for another upgrade. That doesn’t sound cool to me.
Then again, I’m clearly no longer cool myself.
How do you even make a “slanguage” out of wireless technology? Since when are kids talking in terms of flat little boxes of wires and circuits that create expenses for mom and dad? If something cool is totally upgraded, is the opposite “Wow, this class is a big crack in my iPad screen?” Maybe it is. I could be onto something here.
What happened to the rad stuff we used to say in the ’80s and ’90s? Has it gone the way of “Good golly!” and “Jumping Jupiter!”? This is so totally, like, bogus. Something needs to change.
Back in the day, we had grand dreams. We wanted to ride the big waves and throw back our hair and look awesome and be Californian. At least our language did. We were relaxed. We were cool.
Now we’re not.
I feel out of the loop. I hate being out of the loop. Can you take classes in this stuff? Shouldn’t it be part of continuing professional education for parents–something to help us keep abreast of the latest developments in the dumb expressions kids use?
Now that would be, like, totally upgraded.