When You Know You’re Behind the Times

“Yeah, Dad, I really don’t get it.”

My youngest daughter was whining about wanting help with her homework, and I said, “In a minute.”

I was cooking.

The nine-year-old kept asking for help from the kitchen table, and after a while I said, “You sound like a broken record.”

She stopped moaning and looked over at me blankly.

I asked her, “You know what a broken record is, right?”


“Ask your brother.”

Her older brother, who is 12, shrugged his shoulders, and returned to watching YouTube on his Kindle.

That left the 14-year-old, an excelling high school student.

She pondered the phrase and then said, “It must be, a … Well, I guess it has to do with sports. You know, a record … yeah, breaking a record, as in: ‘I’ve broken a record.’”

I decided not to explain the meaning of “broken record,” and vowed instead to update my expressions when speaking with this generation of kids who’ve never spun an album on a record player, or heard music skip.

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