I was digging through my old writing files the other day and came across this feature article I wrote in college. It’s fun to discover these little gems. This is a feature that I wrote with the intent of including humour into my writing.
I wrote this feature when I realized that people were trying to bring some terrible 80s styles back into the mainstream. I hope it’s enjoyable.
It should be known that the feature states that I’m 24. This is not true anymore. Sigh. I’m on the cusp of 33. My heart just skipped a beat when I realized that I wrote this feature almost a decade ago. Ugh. If anything, I’m glad the styles I was tormented by for that short period of time didn’t last.
Old Before My Time: A Discovered Feature
It’s a beautiful spring day, the sun is shining, birds are singing, the smell of melting dog droppings is wafting through the air. I’m waiting for the bus when a young boy (probably between the ages of fifteen and seventeen) walks past me at the bus stop in a pair of skinny-jeans, a tight purple and black checker shirt, a modern day mullet, earrings (known as plugs) that stretch his ear lobes out about five centimetres, a belt made out of bullets and a pair of green Chucks (shoes) on his feet. My immediate reaction to this horrid sight is to stare. I gawk at this stylistic tragedy, mouth agape. All I can think is: ‘Who would let him outside like that?’ My next thought: ‘Holy crap! I’m old!’
What was turning out to be a gorgeous day took a drastic turn in the southward direction all because of one guy’s horrible sense of fashion. If I were a superstitious man, I would have taken the smell of crap in the air as a sign for how that pseudo-beautiful day was to turn out.
I can remember my father’s reaction when he came home and found me in dark clothing, pants as wide-legged and baggy as possible, chains around my neck and wrists, a chain attached from my wallet to my pants, black platform shoes, black and green hair in two-inch spikes and a green camouflage jacket. He was an army sergeant. I’m sure you can imagine his excitement. He used to say: “What are you dressed like that for?” and “You look like a bum!” To which he was met with my response about how it looked cool and that he was old and didn’t understand.
“Is ‘dumb’ a fashion statement now-a-days?”
I am my father. That is the only thing that I can gather from my experience with the teenager I encountered at the bus stop. This particular kind of enlightenment makes me want to throw up. I’m only twenty-four! How could I be so old when I’m so young?
Ever since that fateful spring morning, I can’t seem to stop focussing on the teenagers and their style choices. I was driving with my older sister over the weekend and we were discussing the new ways that people dress and how it compares to our childhood. We gave honourable mention to the ‘grunge’ the ‘punk’ and the ‘rave’ styles and talked about how they’ve been laid to rest by the teenagers of the world today.
I remember when everyone wanted to be ‘grunge’ or ‘punk’. Those were the days. Those were definitely the days. I was still young then. I’m still young now, but not according to the style-world.
When I was a teenager… Another saying that pains me to say: “When I was your age…” I can’t believe that I have uttered those words. I swear that it shouldn’t be my time to be saying that, but if teenagers still lived by the dress code that existed less than a decade ago, I wouldn’t be in this psychological mess.
I had another fatherly moment in the Rideau Centre the other day. I walked past a pretty, young girl who had nice enough hair. It was short, and spiked out a little bit. And that is when I saw the side of her head. She had a huge chunk of hair shaved out of the side in order to make a fashion statement. What kind of statement is that? I wanted to enter some kind of witty retort here, but I’m at a complete loss for words. I can’t even make something up as to what that statement she was making would be. Is ‘dumb’ a fashion statement now-a-days?
I cannot understand why people feel it necessary to try and revive the mullet. That hairstyle was a mistake in the 80s, and it is most definitely still a mistake. It has to be the ugliest hairstyle that I have ever seen. How do these kids not see that?
“Thanks, and lose the mullets.”
There is a girl who works at a local diner that I frequent who wears the skinny jeans and has the crazy plugs, bleach blonde hair and the ugly shoes. My friends say that she’s pretty, but I can’t get past the outfit and I can’t move my eyes from the glowing, blonde mullet long enough to see her face.
I guess that the same way that the teenagers of the 90s and early 2000s revived the styles from the 70s; the kids of today are trying to bring back the 80s. I just don’t like it. They look like bums! (Oh, God… I really am my father!)
My parents used to say that my hair and my clothes were distracting. They’d say that people weren’t able to see my face because they couldn’t stop staring elsewhere. I never really understood that before. I get it now. I hate that I get it, but I do.
Teenagers have robbed me of my youth through their terrible sense of style. So, not only do I have to view these eye-sores, but I have to accept that I’m old way before my time. Great. I’m so excited to see what it’ll be like when I’m actually old. (Please read that with the most sarcastic tone of voice you can muster up). Thanks, and lose the mullets.