Thursday, April 12, 2012

When did you stop being cool?

Maybe it is because as an indie author I have been writing about characters that were considered cutting edge during their time, but lately I have been thinking about cool people. I first realized that I was no longer cool back in my early 30's. While I applied make-up the thought came to me, "When did I last think about if I looked cool?" I couldn't remember.

The second thought was "The cool thing is, I don't care!" What a freeing experience.  I was finally mature enough to realize that every time I stepped outside, the whole world was not waiting to judge if I epitomized cool. How refreshing! I had always made sure I was dressed "arty" or "funky" in my 20's. Now I found myself dressing how I damn well pleased.  It was funky one day and dressy the next.  Imagine the freedom!

Later that year I was getting ready to attend a wedding.  The thought occurred to me that this day was for the bride to shine, not me.  (Only women will get this.) Previously, every time I attended an event, hours were spent selecting the best dress. It had to be one that took people's breath away when they saw me.  Hair and make-up had to be perfect. I had to be a fashion statement. Could not let the awaiting public down! Remember how much time you used to take to get ready for a wedding? The wedding dance was a Big Deal.  You had to have the sexiest dress, etc. Ummm...note to each of you...a wedding is NOT about anyone but the bride and groom.  Got it?

Then I hit my fifties and realized that not only were people not waiting in excited anticipation about my outfit, but I had also become invisible. Yep. People in their 50's and later are simply "filler" for events. The young people celebrating, and their friends, want the limelight.  Trust me, your niece or nephew want you to blend in, sitting at the nether tables. "Oh God," they think, "please don't let Aunt Cathy make an ass out of herself again on the dance floor."  No young person expects an older person to be the center of attention. You are simply a bit player in their scene. Hey, still make an ass out of yourself if you want to. Just realize that you might be stealing a scene that maybe should no longer by yours!  Can you say "age gracefully, but still have fun?" I sure hope so. Hey, still have fun and still be you.  Just don't insist on being the center of attention every minute of every day.

No one notices an older women much on the street, either.  Unless she is dressed strangely.  Which can be cool.  I can embrace eccentric.  In fact, I sometimes do.  Okay, I lots of times do.  Just because it works people up. And if a teenager pokes a friend in the gut and points, laughing?  I just surprised them by smiling and giving them a suggestion about what to do, starting with "Go" and ending with "yourself".  That really shocks them.  How can someone so old know that word?

But lately I have moved past "no longer cool" to out and out "dork".  I don't care, either.  I am busy.  I have books to write and format, paintings to create, people to love. If I want to go out in my yard with old lounger pants (pajama) that end above the ankle and no make-up, I do.  If the neighbors don't like it, they can kiss my...well, let's just say I have grown a large target for them.
I go for walks in whatever old crappy pants I can find. Sometimes I go to stores without make-up on. Writing and painting cause me to live inside my head a lot. I find the outfit does not matter.  If my outfit does matter to others, then they really do need to get a life. There is so much to accomplish before dying, so many things to try! What I am wearing shouldn't be a big deal to others.  If it is they are wasting some of their precious time here on my jogging pants with paint on them instead of enjoying their children or their jog.

Yup.  I look like a dork at times now. A funky dork sometimes, but usually just a dork. If you really look when I walk by, you will see that I truly don't care.  (Yes, I have good hygeine. I am talking about fashion.) I am too busy just enjoying the moment; a moment no longer highlighted by my shoes or pants. One of the wonderful things about becoming older is that I realize I am more than what I wear. The lounger pants don't matter. Experience and enlightenment do. Because of that, I am now truly cool.


  1. Loved this post! And it's true that women, after a certain age, become invisible - except to other women that age. I have had the meanest, hardest looks from other women - who knows why - maybe because I dress very casually? But it's a sad commentary on them - not me.

  2. Exactly. They have too much time on their hands; or too little thought in their heads (more likely).