feeling old.

Eighteen years ago today, Germany was reunified.  I was in the Bundeswehr at the time, in the middle of my NCO course in Bremen. 

There are kids out there who will be able to vote in this election…kids who were born on that day, kids who have never known a world without an East Germany or a Soviet Union.

But you know what really makes me feel old?  Looking at the datasheet of the Playmate of the Month, noticing her birth date, and being able to remember exactly what kind of car I was driving that year. 

(Not that I buy Playboy or anything…it’s not the boobies that Robin would find objectionable, but the money spent on the subscription.  I mean, in the age of the Intertubes, is there anyone out there who pays money for pictures of naked people?)

Ah, history.  Who knew we’d become a part of it sooner or later?


19 thoughts on “feeling old.

  1. Stingray says:

    You’re not missing a thing. We had a subscription for a while, and the last time they had a model who looked like she wouldn’t be better served by a sandwich rather than a hot date, it was Dita Von Teese. Not to mention that their editorial section ran quite a lengthy piece on how Al Franken isn’t liberal enough. Yeah, that one was sort of a subtle hint.

  2. crankylitprof says:

    Well, I suppose, “My wife would object to the price of the subscription” is a better excuse than, “I only buy it for the articles!”


    And really — are fake boobs that attractive? Fake, unattainable boobs?

  3. Marko says:


    I’m actually not a fan of the Playboy ideal–the Pam Anderson Derivative Look doesn’t do a thing for me.

    And no, the pneumatic look isn’t attractive.

  4. farmist says:

    And no, the pneumatic look isn’t attractive.

    PERFECT description!

  5. LabRat says:

    Cranky- hey, when we had our subscription I DID read it for the articles. Right up until they decided that their audience, in addition to being attracted to women, must also be flamingly liberal… because, you see, conservatives don’t like sex.

  6. Chang says:

    Man, when I encountered the first playmate who was younger than me I was crushed. And I think I was only older than her by months. Now it’s by frigging decades. Sigh…

    Now I look only at pin-ups from the 50’s because they are WAY older than Daddy!

  7. LL says:

    Has it really been that long?!? Crap. I was in Heidelberg watching it on AFN when it happened.

    I still have a bottle of Soviet champagne I bought at the O Club that same year. It has USSR on the bottom of the bottle. I bet there are an @ssload of kids who don’t even know what USSR stands for anymore….

  8. Andrew says:

    Old? Shuddupwillya?
    When the Joe’s in my section hear my first deployment was in ’83 they look at me like I have shit coming out of my ears. About when Kim Basinger and Tanya Roberts were in Playboy.

  9. crankylitprof says:

    Was Kim Basinger still sane then?

    It’s funny — the reunification of Germany doesn’t seem that long ago to me, but it might as well be ancient history to my students (most of whom were born in 1980, or were only one).

    Occasionally, I miss the old Cold War world I grew up in. At least shit made some sort of fucked-up sense.

  10. MarkHB says:

    Yes, well. This is called “time”. I almost defenestrated my pal Doug for referring to himself as “middle aged” – he’s 33 for gossakes! 33! Middle age starts somewhere after 45 last time I looked, with “old” kicking off maybe, what, 20 years after that? YOU ARE YOUNG. LIVE WITH IT.

    Reason H. Science, we’re all trying to age ourselves too fast these days.

  11. T.Stahl says:

    The sad thing is:
    2008 – 1989 + 1945 = 1964

    Remember West-Germany in the mid-sixties, Wirtschaftswunder and such?

    Why the hell am I still paying solidarity-tax for ex-East-Germany?

    Of course that was a rhethorical question. I know the reason why. It’s the same reason why there’s still a tax on sparkling wine though the emperor and his navy it was supposed to fund is no more.

  12. BobG says:

    Hell, I remember when they built the wall.

  13. DirtCrashr says:

    In the summer of ’76 after graduation and returning from India I hitchiked around Europe, went through the land-gauntlet to Berlin, and while there through Checkpoint Charlie. I didn’t understand the politics of “Die Mauer Muss Weg – KPD/ML” written in red on the free side. I’m guessing now that they wanted to proceed with unification on their *own* terms…

  14. mts says:

    At least back then, we weren’t afraid to name the enemy, and know who was on which side. Plus, the Olympics were a heck of a lot more interesting to watch. It *was* the cold war between the West and East, fought on the field of play instead of battle.

    I really like the accumulation of experience from being older. I can think back and trace where things led. I was stationed in your old country, and remember all the Trabi’s on the highways as the DDR was crumbling, with Easterners coming over in them as far as they would drive, then chucking them, and getting their stipend to start anew.

    What surprised me was the reaction in Bavaria. Instead of joy and happiness that a part of their nation was liberated from the Reds, and can now be part of Germany again, there was a mood of “pissed” from a lot of people who I both knew, and ran into, and Easterners were seen as little more than white trash. Maybe I caught the wrong people, and maybe that was a local thing. I don’t know.

  15. “kids who have never known a world without an East Germany or a Soviet Union.”

    you meant “with” an e.g. or s.u. of course…

    but what really made me feel my years was when tam, at age forty! lamented being unable to vote for the man who fastforwarded the breaking down of the soviet union and that wall…because she was only 12 freakin’ years old at the time!

    seems like only yesterday…and i wish it was.


  16. jimbob86 says:

    “…….kids who have never known a world (with) East Germany……”

    ……need to read Col. Cooper’s To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth….. The chapter entitled “The Line”.

    “Silence, Desolation. This is Mordor, the Prison of the World. ……… All aware people in the West know about the The Line- or let us hope so. But knowing is not the same as feeling it. To look upon it is a dreadful experience, but dreadful experiences are necessary if we are to know what is dreadful.
    There is an Evil Empire. It can seen. It can be felt. It can be known. ”

    Today, it can not be seen….. these kids today cannot see the evil we confronted. They cannot understand the evil that was based upon “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”, and are willing to embrace it, calling it “fairness”………

  17. Of more importance for me is the fact that I left Berlin for USAF basic training THREE FRICKIN’ DAYS before the wall fell.
    Boy was I pissed off when I realized I missed the biggest party in the universe.
    My mom was a naturalized US citizen, but after reunification she took back her German citizenship.

  18. Sendarius says:

    Umm, Marko, I am sure you MEANT to say:

    “Never known a world WITH an East Germany or a Soviet Union.”


  19. Windy Wilson says:

    The best Playboy joke I heard was,
    “Why do you read National Geographic?”
    “For the same reason you read Playboy. I enjoy pictures of places I’ll never go.”

    As for feeling old, that happened the first time I dated a girl who was born AFTER Kennedy was assassinated. The plastic beauties in Playboy just look sort of daughterly to me now (God, did I write that?).

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