Why should millennials have all the fun?
I have recently been feeling decidedly not on trend so I talked with my friend, Martha. Our same age, millennial daughters both live in Big Cities where they always seem to be doing cool-sounding social activities on weeknights with their friends. What could we – two semi-retired but hardly retiring, women do to power up our “with-it” quotient?
Participate in “Barre to the Bar” – where you go from exercise to drinking? Our hips are no longer that flexible.
Join a Kickball team? Knees not so great either.
Trivia Night? Now that’s a possibility. Martha had been to a Trivia Night with her daughter in Chicago, it was fun, she said. We’re smart, we read newspapers, the old-fashioned print kind, we keep up with culture. We can do this. And we could even
force ask our husbands to join us.
Which is how Martha, her husband Rob, my husband JP and I found ourselves last night at a Tuesday Trivia Night in a local brew pub.
When we walked in, I scanned the room, yes, as expected, everyone else was of Millennial age. They didn’t even look up when we walked by them, so busy were they with their craft beers and their iPhones. The four of us settled in a quiet corner and asked for the Trivia Night score sheets. Rounds of questions in three categories.
Our first task (after ordering our own craft beers) was to come up with a team name. I suggested “The Geriatrics” but was overruled. We could be these kids’ parents, not their grandparents, I was told. So we went back to our roots, to the 60’s – when we were growing up, of course none of us ever smoked (or even inhaled) marijuana, but the name “Purple Haze” seemed fitting nonetheless.
Promptly at 8 p.m. the M.C. started. 1st question – recent action movies. Not fans. We were sunk. 2nd question – the name of a Jay Z song. We know he is a rapper, but little else.
Then came a question on sitcoms; Martha correctly guessed the words to the first line of the song Phoebe sang in the intro to “Friends”. In the category of science, JP (who was pre-med before he discovered that blood was involved) knew right away that “Kelvin” was the name of the absolute temperature scale.
We were on a roll.
The six millennials sitting at the next table turned their heads to size us up for the first time. We were competition. YES!
Next round: international governments. We knew the name of the man who was prime minister of Israel in 1974 and again in 1992. An unfair advantage since we were alive in 1974 and the millennials were not – but really… under what rock was the team living that came up with the answer of Yasser Arafat?
“Geography”. The names of the largest lakes on four continents. Hello, Lake Titicaca? (I was a Latin American studies major in college. Finally, that came in handy.)
We were in 5th place at half-time. The table of six millennials, in 4th place, huddled over their beers.
We slipped a bit on another current music question, then rebounded with correct answers to a sports award question (relief pitcher) and to a question about “Taxi” (a TV show that lasted from 1978 to 1983 before most of the young adults in the room were born.) Thank you, Tony Danza.
The tension mounted – we were now in 2nd place among the nine teams, one spot behind guess who, the millennial sextet at the next table. We heard them grumbling as they hunched down in concentration.
Last question – category – the U.S. Economy – and a tough, possibly trick, question.
“In 27 of the 50 states, which state government employee earns the highest salary?”
We put our heads together. Not governors, they don’t make a lot. So think – what is it that 27 states have in common that the other 23 do not?
My husband and Rob jumped at it – “football” – big state school football! – where the head coaches get paid (IMHO) far more than they should.
That was it, we got the final answer right! The six adjacent unhappy millennials did not. “Purple Haze”, the four baby boomers in the corner, WON on their first night out as a Trivia Team.
We cheered for ourselves since no one else did. An odd silence settled over the room. Were they all waiting for us to leave? We paid the bill, gratefully accepted our “one free beer on your next visit” coupons and left the bar.
The four of us stood outside – here it was, a weeknight, already 10 p.m., yet we were still wide awake, alert – and triumphant.
But at what cost?
Perhaps we had intruded onto sacred millennial turf with our lucky, first-time team victory. Rest assured, millennials, we don’t plan to embrace any of your other questionable habits – we will keep our landlines, ignore cross-fit and instagram is so not our thing.
Truce? Can we at least agree that the appeal of Trivia Night cuts across generations?
See you next Tuesday night, millennials. Study up.