Pop Culture Reference Fails

So my 40th birthday is around the corner.

Expect a flood of blog posts related to aging.

In general I just don’t feel my age. I feel a lot younger and have convinced myself that I am totally hip and trendy, not aging at all. But, it is increasingly likely for me to make a pop culture reference that is utterly uncool and I am reminded that my frame of mind is about 20-30 years out of date. When this happens between me and my inner voice not so bad. Often though, I am greeted by the dumbfounded looks of medical students and residents who undoubtedly thinking “What on earth is this crazy old surgeon referring to?” So I thought I would share some of my pop culture reference fails that remind me that I am more crazy old and hip trendy….

1) I justify my laminated list by referencing Ross’s list on Friends. They don’t know who Ross is. They have never seen Friends. They have never seen Blue Velvet or any other Isabella Rosselini film. And so, I don’t even bother listing my top 5. (If you must know: Daniel Craig, Kyle Chandler, Jon Hamm, Seth Meyers, David Beckham)

2) Speaking of crushes, I am psyched while reading Mindy Kaling’s ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ (I am obsessed with Mindy Kaling and could write a million blog posts on the wonderful tidbits that she shares in this book–if you haven’t already you must read it) to learn that she too references Pierce Brosnan as a quintessential handsome man, only to be deflated when she cites ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ as the original source of this belief while I still think of him as ‘Remington Steele.’ (Oddly, it turns out there is a whole Youtube music video thing on Remington Steele–there were so many cheesy takes I could hardly choose which link to include).

3) Someone comments that Madonna’s daughter just graduated high school and all I can say is “Wasn’t she ‘Like a Virgin‘ just yesterday?” impressing myself with my wit and easy banter only to hear “Yeah, I heard that song on my oldies Pandora play list.” Yikes, I had it on tape. These guys have never even laid eyes on a cassette tape.

4) I say to an ER resident, “It’s just like that episode on ER where….” Yeah, it goes no where. Clooney to them is a dignified gentleman with salt and pepper hair, not a hot, young pedi ER attending. (I don’t even bother mentioning handyman George from Facts of Life…)

5) In discussing a patient injured while playing a lawn game, I mention the movie ‘Heathers’ as the mention of a lawn game immediately reminded me of the croquet scene in that classic tale of mean girls. “Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?” I said expecting everyone to laugh along with me. Total, complete, impenetrable silence. So then I assigned all of watching that movie for their post-call homework.

Sadly, these and so many other pop culture reference fails reinforce that I am, in fact, no longer in my twenties. Sigh.

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One thought on “Pop Culture Reference Fails

  1. I can’t believe they’ve never seen Friends? I mean, I’m approaching 30 and Friends was the show I used to sneek up to watch as a teen. I was so happy when I was old enough to stay up and watch it. Here in Norway re-runs are still on!

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