First of all, don’t say merit badge, no one says that any more. And don’t say, that doctor, cop, fireman, dentist, pilot, looks twelve. You sound old and that’s not cool. Learn not to say anything; learn to listen to younger people. That’s right, you heard me, just listen. What you’ll find is amazing.
When it comes to music most people tend to stay with what they know. My problem is I don’t really know too much about music so I don’t stay with any one thing. I’m always hearing something different and loving so many different kinds of music I can’t be pigeon holed. Case in point, I go to a Zumba class a few months ago taught by a 40 year old (to mostly other 30-40 year olds) and she is gag gag over Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Thrift Shop in class that day. I can’t help myself and send her this on Facebook from December 2012:
The reply: “That’s so cool Sandi!” Just sayin. We might not listen to the same type of music all the time but we tend to listen in the same way. For me, eyes closed, head back and forth sometimes tears from out the corners of my eyes. Or possibly spurred on to dance around my living room or a Zumba class. You’ve seen it…hopefully you’ve done it because it makes you cool.
On vacation recently, I overheard the little boy said, “Grandpa I can see the fish swimming near your hook” Grandpa said, “Cool”. Extreme generations tend to think the same. The middle generation is all control this and accommodate that and live up to someone else’s standards. At a certain age those things are no longer important nor are they relevant just as it was when you were a child. So listen to them, they get it.
Ever see the way young people decorate? They surround themselves with things they love. Our family friend Jeanette taught me that a million years ago. To this day I believe in the same thing, surround yourself with things you love, somehow it will all work. So a young people’s things might not be my taste but it is my style.
So here’s the distinction between younger people and me (and possibly you). Here’s where you earn your cool. When asked about similar events in our lives, like a first date, young people will give you all the details. They can recall the clothes they were wearing, the music, the weather, all the minutia. We can’t really do that anymore but what we can do is put our memories in context. We come from different angles but can share the same story. We have the benefit of context, context can equal cool. You can relate, you can’t recall. Somehow it works.
Don’t ever be surprised by how much younger people care. I heard a wonderful story tonight at a wake I attended. It was just a tiny little tribute to a granddaughter who had the foresight to give her grandmother a book. It was a legacy book, filled with questions that could be answered easily and cherished for a lifetime. Questions like what was your favorite movie to much more probing and personal questions. The wake was for her grandmother. The entire family will be sharing those memories together. They will be touched by the look of the handwriting and saying things like, I didn’t know that. They will be laughing and crying together all originated by a wonderful young woman. How cool.
In my never ending quest to be the favorite Aunt, safe place, coconspirator, aspiring wise woman, I will be ever grateful for every “cool” that comes out of their mouths. They are indeed merit badges….I know like I know.