As I get older I attempt, in my own way ( a great deal of emphasis placed here), to stay relevant. It’s becoming harder, though. For multiple reasons really. For starters, it was much easier to be cool when we used words like ‘awesome’, which actually lives up to its definition. But now I’m having to figure out if being ‘salty’ is good or bad. And what about ‘savage’? It sounds so bad (and by bad I don’t actually mean good.) But I think ‘savage’ is actually a compliment. And did you know that ‘scrubbing’ has nothing at all to do with cleaning?! Who can keep up.
And to make matters worse, my kids don’t want me to attempt to be either relevant or cool. I mean, they want me to be cool as in “My mom always lets me borrow the car” or “Sure, I can have 10 friends spend the night, my mom is cool.” But they don’t actually want me to be cool.
For example, I’m reminded daily that I shouldn’t shout out “skiiirrrt!” when I have to stop really fast in the car. They don’t want me to sing that one J. Cole song (although, granted, my version comes out sounding like Howard Cosell somehow.) And truthfully, I know that a 43-year-old mother with three teenagers has no place trying to dab. Honestly, I just do it to be funny and ironic. But my kids think I’m trying to be cool. And there’s the true irony (Alanis, if you’re listening) that they misinterpret my attempt at irony.
I have no place trying to be cool, I’m painfully aware of this. (Thank you, fruit of my womb for daily reminding me of this.) I was never a cool kid. I was quite the opposite of cool. No, I wasn’t goth. I could only wish. I was a nerd of the tallest order. The kind with a huge gap in my front teeth and over-sized glasses that were the same blonde color as my hair. And yes, at one point (in high school no less) I had to wear tape on those blonde glasses. I kid you not. My attempts at being cool included wearing a cheap brand of acid washed jeans that slowly turned a putrid shade of yellow. And yes, I fluffed my bangs as high as they would go and wore banana clips in my hair that I stored in my purple Caboodle along with my blue eyeliner. I really tried to be cool. Oh, but I was such a nerd.
Someone told me once that my 40’s were going to be this time of the great self discovery and self acceptance. There are very few things I like about aging but I will say that you truly do gain a lot of perspective on the things that really matter. I’ve spent so much of my life wanting to fit in with the cool kids. What a waste of time. Even the cool kids have a lot of insecurities and self-doubt, they just don’t get to vocalize it like us common folk do. Maybe it’s just easier to be a nerd.
So, I’ll have to break it to my kids that I intend to continue pretending that I know all the words to that one Drake song. And I may or may not learn how to do the whip. I will continue to use outdated phrases and words I don’t quite know the meaning of. And probably pretty often. I mean, the struggle is real. But I’m ok with it. Because I finally figured out that the best way to be cool is to –
JUST BE YOURSELF