Age-Appropriate: Thoughts Of A MAB (Middle Aged Blogger)Posted: July 4, 2009
Being at “that age” where I have started to worry about such things, I always read with great interest any post about age-appropriate dressing. (Samples here and here.) My feeling, of late, has been sort of like Justice Potter Stewart’s 1964 explanation of “obscenity” for the Supreme Court – I can’t tell you exactly what is NOT age-appropriate, but “I know it when I see it . . . ”
Lately if I wear anything too sweet, too ingenue, or too trendy, it just feels wrong. I’ve conceded that I probably shouldn’t be shopping in stores where the music makes my ears bleed (those crazy kids and their rock and roll) or any store that carries size “0 negative” (interesting blood type, alarming clothing size.) If an article of clothing has three zippers and six pockets, I probably shouldn’t wear it. I can’t tell you why – I just feel it.
Everyone has their own ideas about what’s age-appropriate, and at what age it kicks in, and whether women (and for that matter, men) should bow to any kind of societal pressure to dress a certain way, or to stop dressing a certain way, based solely on number of years lived. Part of me agrees that we should all be free to dress however the hell we want. Another part of me doesn’t want to see a 50 year old woman in a bedazzled bustier and a mini skirt. Is this judgmental? Maybe I should just say I don’t want to see ME in a bedazzled bustier and a mini-skirt and leave it at that.
As I was pondering this whole “age-appropriate” thing, I started to wonder about other age-appropriate issues. For instance – language. I will often write a post using current slang in
a desperate attempt to sound cool an attempt to capture the tone of today’s pop culture. I’m a writer, and when I’m writing for certain clients, I have to appeal to their particular audience, which is often a younger demographic. Hence, I try to keep up with what’s cool. Or dope. Or buck (in the Lil’ C sense of the word.) That’s just part of my job, yo. But what about my own posts? Why, at my age, do I feel the need to sound like an ironic twenty-two year old? I stopped wearing ironic t-shirts from CafePress years ago, yet my language is still peppered with whatever slang I just stole from my teen-age niece’s Facebook page.
Is this my way of hanging on to “relevance?” As if sounding intelligent and thoughtful makes me somehow not relevant? (Lame.) Our society reveres youth, and if you’re on the interwebs it’s impossible to escape the rip tide of pop culture. But just because everyone else is doing it, should I? If all my friends were jumping off a bridge, would I? I may have to sound like the shiznit when I’m up for a job writing for a trendy client, but does this eternal search for linguistic youth make me pathetic when I write my own stuff?
What about you, my fellow MABs? Are there other areas, aside from clothing, where you feel you’re trying to hang on to “youth?” Do u text rlly good? Dream about gettin’ with James Pattinson? Do you rock out to Kings of Leon in the car? Are these behaviors okay or nay? Hit me up with your thoughts, aight?