So today I overheard my grandparents speaking in Yiddish. Just as they are lost when they hear my cousins and I speak of facebook, bbms and “hooking up,” I too did not understand a word they were saying this morning at the kitchen table. It’s a sad truth that Yiddish is a dying language, soon to be extinct with the last of the “elda caca” (‘old folks’).
Then, my father walked in. I realized that he too held on to a part of a dying generation – the mustache. For as long as I have known him, he’s had that hairy strip across his face – the existence of his upper lip an unsolved mystery. Amongst his friends, several of them carry this facial adornment yet when I think to my age group, young men within their 20s, I can’t think of anyone (English speaking) I know with mustaches. The thought actually sets me off in hysterics – try it – picture any of your guy friends (or sons, nephews etc. if you are a part of the mustache generation) with a mustache. The image is just as ridiculous as it was on Sarah Silverman last night at the Emmys. As less and less men sport a true mustache, natural selection will once again leave only the strongest trends to survive.
Will there be a day when my grandchildren ask “why is grandma’s underwear going up her butt,” or “how come grandma and grandpa only speak through messages on their phones ?” Thongs, cell phones, extinct? It’s hard to imagine now, but we must learn that if we want our legacy to survive, we must push our ways onto the next generation. Luckily, I just recently saw a little girl who was no older than 8 years old, carrying her own cell phone. I’m not sure if she had on a thong, but I do know that if my family had forced my male cousins to have a mustache in middle school, they would not be facing this demise. Here’s hoping our generation does it better.