When did I stop caring about being “cool?” Did I ever? I guess I have felt hip, cool or happening at brief, random moments in my life. But overall, not consistently. Not really. Or is that just the too-cool-for-school attitude of “I’m so cool I don’t have to worry about it?”
Sigh. Bear with me. I’m looking at my six-year-old and wondering what the teenage years might hold. Apparently my fourteen-year-old niece thinks that leg warmers, specifically neon ones, and other hideous items from the Eighties are cool. I’m not faulting her for wanting to wear things I wouldn’t have worn the first time around. And I was there. I’m just perplexed. Every generation has its retreading and redefining, I guess. How else can we explain Happy Days? I’m just wondering why there is so much pressure in our society to be cool. Can’t we just all relax and enjoy what we like, no matter how geeky, without looking over our shoulder to see what the other guy thinks?
In a way, blogs are the ultimate discarding or celebration of cool. You can finally put your Star Wars action figure collection or other crazy enthusiasm up there for the world to see in all its glory. You might even find some other enthusiasts. Or you can write witheringly about everyone else’s dreadful pursuits. I’d rather be the former than the latter, most of the time.
Boxed DVD sets seem to be another outlet for the expression of inner geekdom and devotion. No, you cannot borrow my Angel DVDs unless you sign a release, thank you.
The iPod lets us celebrate all the wacky music from our past, picking and choosing some songs that we would never in a million years have forked over the dough for a whole cd or album by that particular artist, but have no shame in paying 99 cents for a got-to-have song like Jive Talkin’. Or maybe that’s just me …
Maybe what I’m really writing about here is the inner nerd that never leaves one, but as an adult, gets refined and honed until it becomes a “collector” or “specialist.” All I know is that as I get older, I am more and more likely to buy what I like and not what’s considered “cool.” Coldplay? Radiohead? No, thanks very much. I may trip over the random cool thing from time to time, mostly by accident, I’m sure.
These are things we used to call guilty pleasures. But my life is a guilt-free enterprise and what I want to do is enjoy the things that I like, cool or no.