By Marshall Jones
There was once a time—several, in fact—where I was a trend-setter. That’s right, me, the guy who once went for two years wearing nothing but jeans and black T-shirts (not even a haircut).
Sadly, modern fashion and trends left me for good in about 1994. I still wear Levi’s, Nike high tops and, occasionally, sweater vests. I just stopped caring and by 1999, it was too late anyway. My fashion sense was stunted by kids.
For ten years, the only new songs I knew was the theme to SpongeBob SquarePants and Bob the Builder. I think I may have finally forgotten the theme to the Teletubbies… no, wait, I just remembered again. Zut Alors.
But I am just now coming to the payoff. After all those years of kiddy culture, my boys are approaching the absolute height of North American society.
They are about to be tween.
Tweens rule the world, if you didn’t know. They make Miley Cyrus and Joe Jonas into household names. They determine the new brands, the new songs, the new toys, the new words. And as their father, I will make them take me with them.
Or so I always thought.
Turns out they are rather defensive about keeping kid stuff, well, kid stuff. They sing some goofy, yet catchy song from YouTube that goes “I’m a Ninja,nin-nin-Ninja” and have taken the habit of saying “Oh Snap” in a distinctive way, often involving a finger snap for a new generation.
I used both the other day and you would think time itself stopped. Kids came running from either end of the house and roundly roasted me.
“Don’t ever, ever, ever do that in front of our friends, Dad,” they said.
They wouldn’t stop until I agreed.
Sheesh, I said. Then stop saying it so much.
I went shopping the other day and bought some old man clothes but my eye caught some hoodys on sale. I felt this great weight as I took them to the change rooms. They were adorned with various logos, which I have largely eschewed since 1992 when I single-handedly made Air Jordan the most popular apparel in Northern Alberta.
Tell them to stuff it, I told myself, looking at this big Hurley logo on the black hoody. My generation invented the hoody. Even if they were called bunny-hugs.
The black hoody was on sale. It fit well. It looked good. I liked it. I wanted it. But the whole time I watched myself in the mirror, I saw the look of horror on my kids’ faces.
I flashed back 25 years, tried to imagine my parents listening to Motley Crue or Ozzy Osbourne. What if they liked basketball? Wore flashy spandex? Or balloon pants?
I cringed then sighed and took off the sweater. Best to let them decide themselves what they like and don’t like. If I bought it, I could alter their future.
250-575-0831Marshall Jones: Tweens refuse to let me in on the hip and trendy