Hey, thanks for squeezing me in. But before you begin strategically rearranging my graying spots to mask my bald spots, can we first change the music? I asked the girl up front for some classic rock, but this is Soundgarden.

This mistake keeps happening. Yesterday I was in a waiting room where a radio station announced itself as “the home for classic rock.” Know what they played? “Losing My Religion”! I audibly groaned. But then, once done vocalizing the process of rising from a chair, I sighed about the music too. I’ve been getting my annual colonoscopy at that place for years, but I’m seriously reconsidering.

I’m also reconsidering going to a concert tonight. I’d performed a sensible cost/benefit analysis and rationalized the choice to see a show on a school night to both myself and the random cashiers with whom I suddenly feel preternaturally compelled to chat up. But when I conveniently printed my tickets, I noticed they’re calling it a “Classic Rock Tour.” Why the heck would they mislabel a concert headlined by the Spin Doctors, Everclear, and the surviving members from three other grunge bands? Also, why does it have to start so late?!

Back in my day, we knew what classic rock was. It’s Fleetwood Mac. It’s Zeppelin. It’s the music my father—may he rest in peace—listened to when he was young. It’s fun because it’s old and sort of unrelatable. But listen to this ’90s song playing now: Gwen’s talking about screening her phone calls. Like on an answering machine. Those old farts didn’t even have answering machines in the classic rock days. So how, pray tell, could this be classic rock?! And why, I ask you, does it need to be so loud?

But it’s not just music. The other day on the Hulu, I caught a movie where Alicia Silverstone played a mother. Alicia freaking Silverstone! That’s who they’re now calling a mom. Sad that “woke” Hollywood is so asleep in its treatment of young women.

I blame these kids today for all this confusion. They wear their Nirvana tees, but how many even remember where they were when Kurt died? I asked my twenty-six-year-old that very question, and she replied, "Literally not here for it, dad.” She always says that when she can’t give a good answer.

But I get it, because younger people like my daughter and me and Alicia are famously angsty. I’m constantly raging against the machine because, for Pete’s sake, do they have to make those things so complicated? And I still fight the power because I’ll be damned if they’re gonna foist that critical race pronouns crap into my kid’s schools! I’m tortured. I’m misunderstood. I’m on a statin.

And I’m also starting to tighten up in my knees, so if you could just let me stretch real fast, then—ahhh, yeah, that’s the spot.

What were we talking about? Oh, right. If the music of my teen years was classic rock, would I have an earring? Would I drive a red Dodge Viper? Would a mistress in her twenties be so into me that she lets me leave a toothbrush and a credit card at her apartment? I think not.

But what I do know is that my flannel shirts still fit me well enough to tuck down deep behind my braided belt, and my Doc Martens are just as stylish as they are good for my plantar fasciitis. Proof positive that this Blind Melon song isn’t classic rock. Classic rock is music that feels like it’s twenty years old, not songs that are actually over thirty.

Anyway, please remember to trim my ear hair.