Some recent morning.
L: slept like shit
L: couldn’t fall asleep
L: then couldn’t stay asleep
L: then woke up early
L: going back to sleep now
A: whoa, that’s a lot of sleep talk
A: is this when i get to make fun of u?
A: for being older than i am
A: and over-talking about sleep
A: u there?
Later that morning.
A: look who’s finally up
A: guess what?
A: i woke up early and no one cares
L: wait, you’re quoting the progressive commercial, right?
L: bc those are hilarious
A: yep, obsessed with them
L: i love the one when the guy teaches them how to pronounce quinoa
A: i love the one when he tells them the waiter doesn’t need to know their names
A: and the one when he tells them they don’t need a sign to remind them to live laugh and love
L: haha ‘them’
L: as if we’re not them
A: we’re not them
A: we’re not even close to them
A: wait, are we them?
So, just in case you’re not well-versed with the Progressive Insurance commercials, here’s the 4-1-1. Progressive’s marketing team created a character, Dr. Rick, who teaches his ‘students’ how to prevent becoming their parents or, if they’ve already morphed, how to undo the damage. And he has this way of explaining things that are equal parts patronizing and endearing.
On the surface, it appears that we’re laughing at ‘them.’ Because, c’mon, we’re not ‘them.’ We don’t call TV shows programs. We don’t put our phones on speaker while walking through stores. We don’t print out directions. We don’t read every billboard out loud. So, while we squarely don’t fall into the category of people who don’t know what a hashtag is, why do these commercials continue to make us laugh out loud? Every. Single. Time.
Maybe we do relate.
Just a little.
Case in point.
Conversation in the car last week between Angie and her son, Will.
W: can we turn off 80s on 8 now?
W: and put on some real music?
A: ok, fine
A: so who are we going to listen to?
A: oh, lil uzi
A: i know him
W: it’s just uzi
W: there’s no lil
A: wait, what?
A: i finally got the memo that your favorite singers have a lil in front of their names
A: now it’s not lil? it’s nothing?
W: please stop
Later that day.
A: are we old?
A: i mean i know we’re not actually old
A: but i feel old today
A: and out of touch
A: do u?
L: of course i do
L: i feel like i creak every day
L: and i can’t believe we’re talking about this
L: but truth is
L: my neck hurts every morning
L: and my right foot hurts too
A: i walk around with reading glasses attached to the top of my head
A: and i might have tweaked my lower back when i coughed yesterday
A: so i sleep with a heating pad now
A: don’t tell anyone
So here we are. Suddenly. Without much warning. Feeling old-ish and out of touch, right in front of our very own eyeballs. We creak, we can’t sleep, we have weird ailments, yet we are desperately trying to remain hip and cool.
But why are we noticing this all right now?
Have we really aged ten years in the past ten months?
When did all of our daily activities start to look and feel like a Dr. Rick lesson?
Later that night.
A: i have another cramp in my calf
A: so i’m using my new calf stretcher thing which has taken up permanent residence in the living room
A: and i was shamed by a millennial making tik tok videos to change my side part to a middle part
L: I have a new canker sore
L: maybe two
A: oh and my back still hurts
A: from when i coughed
A: and i can’t believe it, but we’re them
A: officially them
A: omg are you going to make me go to a dr. rick seminar?
L: already signed us up