Sunday, January 27, 2019


(Yo. Strangerville Live is February 22. You should get your tickets. Meg and Jolyn are doing a circus routine. Something about a bearded lady and roller skates. I'm scared, too. Find tickets and info HERE.)

Skylar's medical school classmates are all 14 years old and this freaks me out because they are going to be giving every one of us prostate exams like tomorrow.

It's never really been my practice to date or surround myself with people much younger than me. For years, pretty much everyone I ever dated was my age or older. I've never understood the allure of dating someone half your age. I don't know why that's a thing.

Then Skylar came along. He's nearly six years my junior, and most of the time that's not noticeable, but it comes up every once in a while. Like the other day when I made a very clever joke about Linda Tripp and Skylar was like "who's that" and I explained it to him and then yelled something about why doesn't he follow current events and he was like "BECAUSE I WAS SIX."

Skylar is too young to really remember Princess Diana. He doesn't recall the OJ Simpson trial. Zero memory of Jurassic Park hitting the theaters. He was barely five when the Oklahoma City Bombing happened.

But the one that upsets me the most--one that I've required him to do substantial research to catch up because I will not bear his ignorance on the issue--is Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.

But you guys. Skylar is 29 years old. He's an older medical student. He peaced out of education for half a decade to have a career. His classmates think of him as wise from life experience.


Life experience.


Skylar has classmates, lots of them, who are twenty-two years old.

They are too young to remember 9/11.

Because they were four when it happened.

Let that sink in.

You know how people are sometimes like "where were you when 9/11 happened" and you're like "I was meeting with my financial planner to discuss retirement." Well Skylar's classmates were four.

You know. The ones who are going to give you prostate exams. Like tomorrow.

Call me old fashioned, but I don't think anyone who doesn't remember 9/11 should ever be allowed to put their fingers up our butts.

On Friday we were hanging out with a group of Skylar's classmates. I was engaged in a pleasant conversation with the husband of one of the students when I said something that apparently dated me. He paused and said, "wait. How old are you?"

"I'll be 35 in May," I told him.

His eyes widened, and in a tone of shock, he informed me that he would have never guessed I was "that old."

God bless these young whippersnappers.

And now, please enjoy a poop story.

This time in Strangerville, Eli nearly commits mass genocide in his neighborhood, Meg is like so good on the slopes, and a Mary Kay rep has an unfortunate encounter in a small town gas station.
Mary Kay, by Brenda Larson
Production by Eli McCann and Meg Walter

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. I'm 44 (shhhhhhh) - when I was 16 I was hit on by a 24 year-old man . . . .at my church . . . .who was shocked when he asked me when I graduated from high school and that date was in the future. (Yes - he backed off once he realized I was underage).

    By the time I was 26 I was teaching college classes. A woman I worked with was shocked to find out that I was only 26 and said she thought I was closer to her age. It dawned on me later that she was 38 . . . .

    Fast forward to my late 30s and early 40s . . . . everyone is now shocked I'm as old as I am. A new neighbor told us that he thought my husband was robbing the cradle until he found out my age (my husband is only 2 years older than me). Several faculty members at the college were astounded to find out I'm around the same age as them. Several younger faculty members were astounded to find out I'm NOT the same age as THEM! And students are regularly shocked when they find out I graduated from college over 20 years ago.

    So - evidently I have this Benjamin Button thing going on and I'm aging in reverse. Hope my husband doesn't mind pushing me around in a stroller soon . . . .

  2. This post simultaneously made me feel young AND old. I’m 30.

    But how does Skylar not remember Tonya Harding? Didn’t he grow up practically in Portland? She was like a hometown hero before her scandal broke.

    The only thing you referenced that I have zero clue wtf it is (or who tf she is, I guess) was Linda Tripp. Guess I’d better ask the Google.

    1. He grew up in Vancouver Washington, which is Tonya's home town. So he did know who she was and general information about her, but he didn't know a lot of the details. And Tonya really comes alive in the details.

  3. A. Nicole, a while back you asked what part of Michigan and I tried to comment but (WE ALREADY KNOW, AMY, stop complaining about the comments hating you) Ok, so they live in the Detroit area, on the Flint/Pontiac side in a township called "Waterford".
    B. Definitely Strangerville should come on the road to Michigan, count me in as a vote for that idea.
    C. I will be 36 in July, and for some reason I thought you were 36 in May, making you only a few months older than me so now I feel AGED that you are actually younger.
    D. My husband is four years older than me, and people routinely think I AM OLDER THAN him, although now that he is sporting a beard it helps.
    E. He tried explaining Flight of the Navigator to me last night, but I think there are some things from the 80s that can't be explained, only experienced, so I guess I will be watching that soon.
    F. Welcome back to the US, the suzzzzzzzzzzzz!

  4. Thanks Amy Rose. I am grateful for western medicine but I'm kind of pissed at the doctor who cleaned out my surfing would yesterday because it hurts like hell today and I have to go back for more antibiotic injections.

    I am not commenting on this post other than to say that I can sympathize with you Eli, but we do this to ourselves.

  5. Oh man, not knowing about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan might be a deal breaker for me! Is it too late to call off the wedding of the century? I am the same age as you (will be 35 in May) and this was an instrumental moment in my life! Next thing you'll tell me he never used AIM or rewound a VHS. God, did he even own a Beanie Baby??!?
    Also I went to the doctor for an ear infection last month and the doctor I saw was clearly younger than me. I'm expected to heed your medical advice when you never even played Oregon Trail?? Unfortunately I don't see this problem getting better as the years go on.... :-( (<-- that's how we used to make a sad face back in my day!)

  6. OMG - no freaking way - I grew up in Waterford!!! Okay - I’m FB messaging you!

  7. All of you Strangers are national treasures and I love you. I really enjoy that there is a community of people who connect just through the comments section of a random guy who blogs (and has REALLY good hair, and does a lot of stuff too, don't worry I know you're awesome, Eli!). I think one of the more extraordinary things about this is that you have managed to create a safe space that has become a community.

    Also, as a high school teacher, all of this is everyday reality. And I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT I AM OLD BECAUSE I'M STILL A SPRING CHICKEN. Even though it is currently winter.

  8. My younger brother in law married an even younger girl last fall. At family Christmas I referenced Destiny's Child and she said she'd never heard of them. I told her it was Beyonce's band before she was Beyonce. She said "OMG, BEYONCE WAS IN A BAND?!?!" and it was the moment I realized she was actually closer to my son's age than mine, which is weird because he's 10 and I haven't been a mom THAT long.

  9. I am MUCH older than all y'all, but it's so funny to read this because there has recently been a FB page created for everyone who attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in the 80's and 90's. (yes, I'm THAT old - I graduated COLLEGE in 1990). However, when I scrolling through the comments and people are talking about what they did in 1997, I feel like yelling, "Shut up! You are way too young to be on this post! You know NOTHING!" Those people are in their 40's. WHAAAAAATTTTTTT?????

  10. I almost wonder if it's on purpose that Strangerville Live is synched up to my conference schedule. There's only been one show where I was actually a)in town or b)not coming off a 16 hr workday keeping a bunch of docs and nurses happy. ;)

    I had this moment when I was a tour director for a bunch of 8th graders in Washington DC. A bunch of blank stares as you're talking about 9/11 at the pentagon. The next tour, I tried to contextualize it for them - I would pull in our tour of the JFK gravesite in Arlington as I talk to them about how every generation has that "I will never forget where I was when I heard...." moment and share that for their grandparents (our parents) it was JFK, that for their parents (us-because we are old enough to have an 8th grade child!?!?!)it was 9/11 and then I ask them if it's happened for their generation yet. Somber head shakes as they contemplate what horrible tragedy likely awaits them. Then I take them across the street and let them loose in the mall - which is what they'll really remember about the trip, let's be honest.

    1. the comment I really should have made is that daily at work I have these interactions with doctors who are a decade or MORE younger than I am and there's a moment in the hallway where I say "HI.....Youuuuuu" because the internal struggle in my head is whether or not I can make myself call the 24 year old Dr. so-and-so, or just call them by their first name, since I AM their senior after all.

  11. Skylar is crazy. I’m 29 (weeks from 30, yikes), and I remember Princess Diana clear as day! And the OJ trial. And the OKC bombing. Maybe my parents had the news on too much?

  12. This is one of my favorite episodes ever! Brenda is hilarious. I could listen to her tell any story about anything at all. She’s so entertaining!

  13. I made my husband listen to the podcast last night when we were in the middle of watching something on Netflix. Someone mentioned poop, and I paused that sucker and turned on Mary Kay. I am so classy. Meg killed me in this one btw—her “ditto” comment and “sure come on over...”. Haaaaaa!