When I told one of my twenty-something son a few months back, that he was peppering his sentences with the f-word so much that it was annoying and meaningless (inferring that I use said word only when called for) he told me, I didn’t understand the way today’s youth communicates. And when I told my twenty-year-old daughter it was weird for her to call her female friend, “Dude”, she informed me that I had no understanding of how her crew rolls. So I’m the one that needs to find a new personal steez.
Flash forward a few months and despite the fact that I’ve heard that fifty is the new forty, (except that your back hurts in the morning and you read all the articles about botox) my journey to be more chillax with said youth has been complicated by my new status as a grandma. Suddenly it’s not cool for me to be cool.
Take the other morning – my precious, adorable, gifted (how can she not be?) three- month-old granddaughter, who I love to absolute pieces, was bawling her beautiful eyes out. “Oh baby, baby, what are you bitching for baby?” I crooned, in the presence of above son, the uncle to the screeching infant.
“Mom, don’t talk like that,” said twenty-two-year-old new uncle, “you’re a grandma now.”
“Hey, I was joking,” I said to Mr. F-word.
He wasn’t amused. “Just imagine my grandma’s talking that way,” he said. “That would be gross.”
Okay, he’s a sensitive kid. But this grandparent image doesn’t end with my vocabulary. My poor husband wore a handsome new cardigan, instead of his usual sports jacket, to work on a casual Friday and not one, but two people joked that just because he was a grandpa, he didn’t need to dress like one.
Which brings me back to my personal steez. Okay, Grandma or not, I like to be in style. But the height of last season’s fashions, and this, and probably next season’s too, has been skinny little leggings, or stirrups. I wore both in the eighties, taking me through all four pregnancies in comfort, but these thighs of mine didn’t belong in leggings then and especially don’t now. Neither do they take well to skinny jeans. Wondering the mall in another season’s wide leg pants and feeling so not down with fashion, I discovered a look I could do – granted I’d have to give up pants completely until these styles – suited only for women with peg legs – disappeared, but I could mimic several of the chic shoppers I saw and wear black tights, and one of the several casual straight black skirts already in my closet. Top it with a t-shirt, put on a cardigan, (not fearing ageism in cardigans), step into my sensible but stlylin Clarks and presto – I would fit in, a grandma with a little flair, straight off the chain – the kids might say. (Actually, I imagine the kids are going to text and tell me I should have got them to proof read the slang.)
I zipped home, tore off the baggy jeans, pulled on the new tights, found the right black skirt and tee-shirt, added a black jacket (black is the new black) and stepped up to the mirror. I’m proud to be a grandma. But my uniform for this fashion season which is devoted to the peg legged women, looked like that of a f-ing (sorry son) aging flight attendant. For reals.
- J.Crew September Catalog – Sneak Peek (stylelist.com)