A Dad Discovers the Teen Meaning of the Phrase ‘Netflix and Chill’

By Stephen Hurley

Stephen Hurley discovered what kids mean by “Netflix and chilling” and he was not amused. OK. He was a little amused. Now he has started to question everything he hears, however.

If being “hip” to the younger generation is genetic, I’m screwed. My Mother was a very smart women, but she didn’t have a clue when it came to what kids were talking about. She didn’t speak their language nor did she care to.

This was evidenced best in my Junior Year of High School when my friend Dave left a message for me that she responsibly relayed. In my Mother’s words, “Your friend Dave called. He said you left a doobie at his house last night.” I was prepared for some frightening consequences, but it became immediately obvious my Mom did not know what a doobie was. Now, she did lecture me for several minutes about the importance of being responsible. She said that leaving a doobie over Dave’s house was typical of me and that she wouldn’t be shocked if I had been as irresponsible with someone else’s doobie because I was careless and not very thoughtful.

For the record, listening to your Mom drop the word doobie four times in a 20 second stern lecture about responsibility is fantastic comedy.

A few days ago, I read something that made me realize I’m just as out of touch as my Mom. I found out that the phrase “Netflix and chill” actually mean hooking up for today’s youth. It’s sounds so innocent but kids, as they’ve always done, have turned something as harmless as enjoying binge watching House of Cards into getting their freak on. And I’m sure they no longer say “Getting their freak on.” Did they ever say that? A liver spot just exploded on my hand.

The only way to avoid being in the dark when it comes to my sons Charles and Arthur is to always be vigilant when it comes to breaking their code. They’re only 15 weeks now, but in a few years they’ll start developing phrases to use with their friends and each other that will seem benign but will undoubtedly have more sinister meanings. They’re in for a surprise because I know what a doobie is and I WILL figure out what they’re saying!!

Let’s fast forward a few years

Charles: Hey, Dad. We’re going to ride our bikes down to the park and play catch.

Me: How dumb do you think I am? Ride your bike? That’s clearly code for scoring some heroin. Do you know what riding your bike can do to your brain!! Your head is writing checks that your body can’t cash!!! (I love quoting the angry Navy guy from Top Gun)

Arthur: Hey. Me, Charles and some friends are going down to the mall to see the new Star Wars Movie.

Me: Really? The new Star Wars Movie? Do you think I just fell off the turnip truck? I have no intention of letting you steal a car and drive down to Comic Con. If you want to watch Star Wars you can stay right here and order it on Netflix. No, wait!! You can’t do that either.

Today it’s “Netflix and chill.” I have to anticipate what it’s going to be 10-12 years from now. When my sons announce they’re going to have an English Muffin with lots of butter are they really going to be communicating to each other that they’ll be meeting downtown at midnight for illegal street racing?

If they tell me they’re using the Rosetta Stone to learn a new language is that just code for making a quick $500 by helping to sneak people across the border?

I think I have two options to guarantee I stay one step ahead in the years to come. I could pay some young kid who lives in another town to keep me up to date on street vernacular. I don’t have that much money.

My other option is I could just have a cup of coffee and relax.

I just don’t know what that’s actually code for.


(Graphic by Erik Mace for Yahoo Parenting)

Originally appeared at The Good Men Project.

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