The latest trends in fashion, culture, technology and just about anything else you can think of are not my forte. In fact, if I even find out about them I tend to turn my nose up at it, priding myself on my second-hand clothes and my outdated phone. Did they start playing music after 2000? Then no, I haven’t heard of that band.
Apparently even in the world of cooking, there is a new hot thing every year. I just picked up an amazing baking guide for half price the other day. The girl running the cash register said it was a really good one but almost in a hush to avoid humiliating me, I suppose, she confessed it was a couple years old. I don’t usually have my finger on the pulse and may be missing some major innovations but its cooking, has it really changed that much?
And then there are skinny jeans. I’ve loathed them since they came on the scene. But it seems they are enduring because they’re still the dominant trend in pants, even in men’s suits where they produce an army of young professionals that resemble Chris Farley doing his “Fat guy in a little coat” gag. Did I mention my pop culture awareness pretty much ended at the millennium?
Despite all of this I broke down. Last weekend in an attempt to find another pair of pants to get me through the winter season I drove down to the Goodwill and tried on a dozen pants. I found a pair of skinny jeans that I really like. It probably helps that I’ve been jogging every morning for a couple weeks and am feeling my body firming and slimming up in all the right places. Stuffing my mom butt into some stretchy pants that don’t look like I’m on my way to bed or the gym suddenly made sense.
I started thinking about the mental process at work with my resistance and realized that want of what is familiar and known is not that different from the way our other values operate. It’s frightening when things start changing and going in directions that are unfamiliar and maybe even seem wrong to you. As culture continues to evolve and move forward in our acceptance of the many varied ways people exist, there are those that jump right on board and those that lag behind and resist the change. But after a while, with continued exposure, the things that seemed so foreign and scary become familiar and less offensive and ultimately the new normal.
Every side, right and left rail against things moving away from their perceived “correct” way of doing things. For some of us, the world exists on two extreme ends of the spectrum, either or. For other of us, the gray area in between is where the truth lies.
I hear my parent’s generation often saying they wouldn’t have kids nowadays, or at least that it would be so much scarier than it was for them. If you look at the data, the threats that exist are so much fewer and less frequent than they were for us as kids but with the rise of the internet and digitization, all that fear is at our fingertips. Talking heads on the news are accessible 24-7 filling the airwaves with their fear and worry, probably all to sell more skinny jeans but I digress.
My intent is not to argue against their point of view but to simply say, I get it. I imagine what the world will look like for my kids or my grandkids- everyone walking or hover-boarding around with retina chips feeding them constant information, on their way to buy their laboratory produced foods. It terrifies me. But it’s just not the way I know or prefer things. I mean, it’s so not 1998. It doesn’t alter the fact that change is inevitable, it’s happening constantly with every breath we take. You might be a vehicle for slowing down or speeding up the trajectory if that’s your thing but it’s going to keep on rolling.