Keeping Up With The Times

(Photo by Peter Neill/CC BY 2.0)

I’ve always prided myself on staying current with the changing times. This may very well be a leftover emotion from my teenage years, when I thought my father was one cool dude. Dad listened to the music of the times, and often purchased 8-track and cassette tapes that reflected his taste in current harmonious sounds. He wasn’t one to listen to music from the past, although Mom often could be found listening to the soft crooning of Perry Como and Frank Sinatra. Dad, in contrast, listened to Asia, Fleetwood Mac and Journey.
As a young adult, I purchased fashion magazines and stayed current with the styles of clothing, makeup and hair. My wardrobe often reflected trends rather than the hard sell of timeless fashion, which became a costly investment. Dad often remarked that it was a good thing that I worked full-time to fund my closet’s insatiable appetite. Weekends found me with other young adults in Rainbow Shops, Foxmoor’s, Lerner Shops and Baker’s Shoes. I gladly handed over my paycheck sacrificially to the Goddess of Fashion without shedding a tear, all the while thrilled that I was en vogue.

Motherhood has a way of changing a woman, especially when it comes to fashion. Kicky heels and cute zippered pants gave way to sweatpants, sneakers and oversized tee-shirts. It wasn’t long before my hard-earned paycheck went to fund my daughter’s wardrobe of Osh Kosh and Children’s Place items.
There were changes in music, too, which I tried to embrace. Trends of specialized dances, such as “Mambo Slide,” “Cotton-Eyed Joe” and the ever-popular and equally hideous “Chicken Dance” were quite popular. One had to brush up on these skills prior to any block party, wedding, or social event that required one to dance like a chicken or have a little boogie-woogey-woogey from the Electric Slide. I learned these as well, especially because at several elementary school gatherings, my daughter was up on the floor and begged me to join her. These dances were the last that I learned, which led me to sit out on quite a few at my sister’s wedding this past June. I’d fallen out of vogue.

Every generation has a bit of a gimmick, just to keep them on trend. The 1960s were known as “psychedelic,” the 1970s were known as the “disco era,” the 1980’s were decadent, the 1990’s were naughty and the 2000s, according to Time magazine, were “the decade from Hell”. During each decade, there was a bit of a gimmick to keep it set apart from the decade before. When kids began to get their lips stuck in Gatorade bottles to plump their lips in 2015, I knew it was long past the time for me to stay “trendy.” I could still be a cool mom, I convinced myself, without ensuing nerve damage to my mouth or chowing down on a handful of laundry detergent pods.

When a friend and several of her colleagues came up with a new “Tik Tok” dance this week and posted it to Instagram, I admit that I really felt OLD. Like dinosaur old. I sent a text to my daughter, who responded with a LMBO (“laugh my butt off” for the less tech savvy). I told her that the last experience I had with “Tik Tok” was the song by Ke$ha that she and her Hicksville Middle School friends used to sing, which was released ten years ago. Again, my daughter responded with a LMBO, followed by more “O”’s, which read, “LMBOOOOOO”. This was to imply that she was literally on the floor, crying her eyes out with laughter. She also told me to “stay woke.” I’m pretty sure it means our generation’s “get with the program.”
I found out that “Tik Tok” is an app for phones, which allows the user to upload a personally choreographed dance set to the music of their choice. Color me ancient, because I had no idea that such an app existed. Tik Tok is free and it’s a hit with kids and teens. It’s even crowned a few Tik Tok celebrities, like Baby Ariel and Jiff Pom. *insert shrugged shoulders here.*

To prove that I was indeed “woke,” I sent a video to my daughter this afternoon, set to the tune of “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha. It featured a demented cheerleader dance I created with my dog enthusiastically clawing at my thighs. Her response was another “LMBO,” followed by a few laughing emojis. I’ve officially decided to hang up my “cool parent” hat, in favor of not “staying woke” and acting my age. And I’m as happy as a clam. Do they even say that anymore?

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Patty Servidio is a columnist for Hicksville News.

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