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Too late to be cool . . . I lost it a long time ago

I had never heard the word 'rager' until it unexpectedly left my lips the other day. I was using it to describe a party, which, by the way, I left at the all-too-reasonable hour of 3am.

I don't know how the word seeped into my vocabulary. Media osmosis? Or perhaps a subconscious effort to stay down with the youth vote? Either way, it made me sound about as cool as a Christian rock group.

The look of horror that the word elicited from my friends reminded me that the youth vote would never be gained with that sort of language and that my own youth was gone forever.

I've lost my touch, I whined, as I secretly wondered whether I ever had it in the first place.

As sure as hair will recede and skin will wrinkle, we will all eventually dance like an aunty at a 21st birthday party and behave like a foreign visitor when in the company of young people.

I should know: I've already been there. Speaking to a couple of 18-year-olds the other day, I asked them 'where it's at right now?' In truth, I don't know quite what 'it' is, or indeed where it should be 'at'. They didn't either. Worse was my parting line: Enjoy school tomorrow!

My sister seems to be making the transition with me. She recently used what was supposed to be a boozy evening in to showcase a plastic bag that preserves vegetables for longer. During the same evening, she enthused about the selection of emoticons (the yellow face symbols) on her mobile, and insisted that she was going to start using them (she's 31 next week).

A Burger King and DVD box set was the highlight of New Year's Eve; it's been a year since I added a song to my iPod, and did I mention that I recently bought a pair of orthopedic shoes?

I'm reminded of Madonna and her habit of piggybacking any youth-centric underground trend and Mickey Rourke and his penchant for twenty-something models.

Then there's the hilarious website www.myparentsjoinedfacebook.com which reveals the cringey dialogue between parents and their children on the social networking site. One mother posted three status reports over 20 minutes: "People all over the world, start a love train", "Yo mama don't dance and yo daddy don't rock'n'roll" and "Freak Out. Le chic. Listening to 70s music. Pretty funny".

Ironically, it's the determination to prove that you've still got it that reveals to others just how much you've lost it.

In my case anyway, a little less effort will go a long way.