It occurs to me, as we hurtle towards the end of the decade, that my peers and I have been royally jipped.
The last ten years for folk my age have seen our ascent from awkward, hateful teenagers to awkward, hateful adults, and what has transpired in between – underage drinking, learning to drive, going to university, the reality of crippling debt, first jobs, and for some (gasp) MARRIAGE AND BABIES – will one day form the basis of the tedious stories we impart to our kids and grandchildren, or indeed anyone who will listen.
So, my parents refer to the sixties and seventies with a whimsical glint in their eyes. Old people become nostalgic and preachy when they talk about the forties or fifties. I frequently hear people talking about their drug-addled experiences in the nineties. Good for them.
But what are we going to do?
What off-the-cuff terminology will we use for the decade that bought us Y2K hysteria and the motorised ice-cream cone? ‘The New Millennium’? Sounds a bit too grand really, for a decade that bought us, well… Y2K hysteria and the motorised ice cream cone. Our grandchildren will look up at us with curious, eager eyes, and in wonder, ask ‘Tell us about The New Millennium?’ And we’ll be forced to reply “Well, it was alright. I mean, loads of people died because of poor government, and the economy took quite a nosedive towards the end. Lindsay Lohan provided us with some laughs, though. Oh, and it was then that Granddad got his kit off at that party where everyone was doing blow off South Park DVDs and Aunty Megan fell down an open manhole. Ah, good times.” Glorious, no?
Other suggestions have included ‘The Zeros’, which sounds like a crap Northern indie band and also casts a rather bleak view over the period. You don’t get much more ‘non-entity’ than zero, and while the decade hasn’t flourished in economical, social or political richness, it hasn’t been all bad (Lohan, remember?)
Which leaves ‘the noughties’. This is the one that seems to have been adopted by media darlings and entertainment folk around the country, and indeed my office earlier today housed a debate as to whether the term should be capitalised or not. It’s TRENDY, isn’t it? You know, because it also sounds like ‘naughty’. And herein lies the problem. I can’t help but imagine myself in the position of future generations, listening to a crinkly old woman rambling on about the first time she got drunk, or that thing that happened at that party that no-one ever spoke of again, or that time she met her favourite band after a gig and, well…you know, all set against a backdrop of time that sounds remarkably similar to a term used frequently in Carry On films and liberally in the dining rooms of upper class Englishmen boozed up on port.
Yuck, Grandma. Yuck.