There comes a time in every adult’s life when they have to look in the mirror and stare long and hard at themselves, asking the life-altering question, “When did I become so fucking uncool?” For me that time is this weekend (as I type this from my bed at 9pm on a Saturday night). And really, being single with no children, I have no excuses.
This has been nagging at me for a while – when I started to realize that my Google searches consisted mostly of “What does YOLO mean?”, “What’s a hashtag?”, “Who is Taylor Swift?” and “What does ‘bae’ refer to?” Still don’t understand that last one.
Let’s go back fifteen or twenty years. I was into grunge. I had pinkish hair. My friends told me I resembled Bjork. I was in love with Damon Albarn from Blur and Jarvis Cocker from Pulp. I watched edgy films. Even as I entered my 20s, I still dressed cool, had good taste in music, was a bit of a scenester. I was kind of a platonic groupie. I got free tickets, backstage passes and hung out in recording studios. I worked for a couple of musos who had toured the States with Sonic Youth and Pavement. I dabbled in illicit substances. Hell, I even drank alcohol! I wore red lipstick and high heels (no actually the heels part is a lie – too clumsy, some things never change). In my late 20s, I once flew from Seoul to Tokyo for the weekend to see friends, hung out in one of the hottest clubs and got upgraded to business class on the flight back on Sunday morning, all of this with my aviator sunglasses on. It was perhaps the peak of my rockstardom before the decline began.
I suppose the decline from cool to really, ridiculously uncool happened gradually so the changes were almost imperceptible until one day recently I found myself talking with an attractive male friend. Instead of flirting and dropping names and retelling tales of my international party girl days, I started lecturing him about the travesty that is female genital mutilation. Yeah, if you ever need a buzzkill, that’ll work pretty well. Oh, but I didn’t stop there. No, I took it a step further and segued into a rant about pedophilia. I really know how to reel ’em in. And all this in Asia where it’s hard enough to get laid as it is, without my making it worse. Needless to say, I went home alone that night, like every night. This wasn’t always the case in my young carefree 20s when I could spend Friday night with one guy and Saturday night with another. But I digress…
So, all this calls for a solid ‘recooling’. This means that I must buy some cute new clothes without worrying about the price and fact that they are made by children in Bangladesh. I won’t go on a tirade about how morally bankrupt fashion is. I will buy and wear make up like every other female on the planet without bitching about the cost or how it’s false advertising. I should listen to a wider range of music and not care if it is low brow or high brow or shit American pop music (seriously though, I don’t look like that at 7am). I shall not worry about misogynistic lyrics in rap songs. I will waste several hours of my life in a dive bar without telling the patrons about the virtues of AA. I will no longer judge hipsters. I will not use the word ‘vapid’ in relation to anything pertaining to popular culture. I’ll bust out the soundtrack from my life circa 2000. I will finally watch Singles and rewatch Chasing Amy, which used to be my favorite movie before I became an idealistic tree-hugging, polar bear-saving bore. The first mission: to sit through that new documentary about Amy Winehouse and not lecture the next person I encounter about the perils of addiction. Wish me luck.