Do you know who Dr. Rick is? If you’ve caught a commercial break lately, you probably do.
Dr. Rick is the name of the character on the Progressive “Unbecoming your Parents” commercials. You know, the series with the youngish homeowners who need to comment on the parking situation and introduce themselves to the server because now that they are responsible adults, i.e. homeowners, they are turning into their parents.
A couple of confessions before I continue…This is not an endorsement, I do not use Progressive Insurance, and I was a homeowner at 21, long before I was a responsible adult. But lately, I catch myself doing and saying things that could be scripted into the next Dr. Rick commercial. To be honest, I’ve always said, “must be free” of the item with no tag at the check-out, or felt the need to comment on the state of slow-moving traffic during rush hour. I have asked repeatedly over the decades if an oddly dressed or overly made-up person “even owns a mirror”, but NOW when I hear the words coming out, I want to slap a hand over my mouth. Stop! I think to myself. You sound like an old person!
How is it fair that simply because I’m getting up there, things that I’ve always done–like walk into a room and forget why I’m there–are all of a sudden so obvious? Used to get home from the store and realize I forgot the one thing I went for and it was just a minor inconvenience. Now, it’s a big glaring error message flashing O-L-D like the 12:00 on my grandma’s VCR.
The worst part is that I’m not the only one who notices these things. Notices and associates them with aging. I see the looks I get, even with my bad old-lady eyesight. I wonder if the prevalence of these commercials make those younger than me feel old, too. Especially since they are doing the same things they’ve probably always done.
I have to admit, they are an effective line of ads. I mean, I remember both the content and the sponsor. Come on, I know you play that “what’s it called” game where you recall one but not the other. The game where you can think of every ancillary detail except the one thing you’re trying to remember. But you’ve always done that, right.
Now, every time I hear the phrase, “sixty is the new forty” or whatever combination of ages, it reaffirms the idea that we don’t really change, we just get older. And older. Some reader out there is going to suggest that they had this very epiphany several years ago.
I guess eventually we do ALL “turn into our parents”. There are worse things.