I once posed for a fashion student friend under the arches of a bridge in Waterloo, London, in the freezing winter weather, wearing jeans, a bra and the corset she had designed and sewed. Unable to fasten the too-tight corset around my waist, we stopped a stranger to ask if he had a knife (thankfully he was not Jack the Ripper) in order to cut the corset open to fit me. As I stood for the shot and she snapped me on her semi-pro camera, passers by looked on curiously - it was the middle of a cold day under a bridge after all.
Back then, I seemed to know what was cool - more because of my hip friends than my own instincts. They mentored me in the ways of the hottest fashion, the newest music and the best bars and clubs.
Fast forward ten years and a different life later, I feel about as far from young and cool as I've ever felt. Far, far away from those young people with the cool stuff. (Notice I said "young people"? I've seriously had it.)
There are certain signs that have pointed toward this mysterious aging of late.
When I hear pop music on the radio I feel a sudden urge to reach into the car stereo and strangle the DJ. I hear myself saying, over and over, "What is this crap?". I even once heard myself say the dreaded words "Music these days is far worse than the stuff I grew up with." It's true though! I'd take The Cure and Semisonic over the new radio crap any day.
And the other day I made a snide remark about a girl walking down the street with a ridiculously short skirt. Then, straight away I remembered I once wore a skirt that short - a skirt my Dad claimed was actually a belt and promptly made me change out of. Which I did, then changed back into the belt-skirt when I was out of sight.
And then the other night me and J were eating at a restaurant when J nodded toward the next table. "What is that?" He asked, motioning toward the black bandage-y-thing on the young man's arm. "A bandage." I said plainly. "Oh." He said. "I thought it might be some kind of fashion statement or something."
And then I snorted and laughed so loud that wine almost flew from my nose and the couple next to us actually looked at me.
"Oh honey." I said. "We're getting old."