Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Window to Cool

I was driving out of the Stop n Shop parking lot today and a car caught my eye -- it was a little, souped up (souped up? now I know what they were getting at the grocery, wait, here's one, it was a chicken-stock car! HA!) blue car with bright pink hubcaps (rims? I don't know much about cars). I saw a young woman get in, her with the coiffed hair, bright nails and barely street legal clothing. The only thing I could think was "what is she going to do with that car in 3 years when she leaves her window of coolness?" It dawned on me that there is only a small opening of time for these counter culture youths, and then they either have to blend in with the rest of us ol' folk, what with our jobs and such. My best guess allows for extreme expression to blossom at 11, find strong footing through the first 2 years of high school, and then hit its stride between 17 and 22 and then that's it. After that, if you are still trying to drive like you are in the Fast and/or Furious lifestyle and dress like you don't care, then you become the old man or woman of that set who is just barely hanging on and is trying way too hard. Then, you can sit back with the rest of us and watch the next wave think that it is the first bunch ever to go through this stage.

At this point, I have seen tens of these waves, with their particular movies and slang, each one thinking that it will never grow old (a fate worse than death) and that its mode of expression is somehow new, different and better than all the rest. Wake up, kids...adulthood means that if you try to be like the 19 year olds, you just embarrass yourself (unless you are an actor, and then you can PLAY 19 year olds for another 20 years and then complain that you can't get any roles that people take seriously). Celebrity gives older people the chance to hold onto the coolness of youth for longer, at least in public. I took a different approach, embracing the old man role well before it was my turn.


  1. Or one could dress like a cowboy - that coolness is timeless.


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