By Charlotte Latvala
One of the most disconcerting things about turning 50 is that inevitable moment when you realize – perhaps in the midst of your Yoko Ono impersonation at a party – that you have completely lost your ability to judge whether something is amazingly hip or not.
After all, many once-cool things have plummeted from grace. Aluminum siding. Margarine. Bill Cosby.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If it was un-cool when you were growing up, it’s probably super cool now. Such as….
- Broadway. Then, it was something corny and old-fashioned your parents forced you to go see. Now, Hamilton.
- Filming your cat doing weird stuff. If you followed your cat around with your 8 mm as a teenager, you were quite the dork. Now? Still a dork, but possibly one with 20,000 followers.
- Vinyl. So passe, once CDs came out. Now? Vinyl is the gold standard of vintage cool. (You’re kicking yourself for getting rid of those three Boston LPs back in 1998, aren’t you?)
- Cassettes. Which are apparently the new vinyl. Eight-tracks and picture discs will follow accordingly.
- Arena rock. Who knew that Journey would have such a long shelf life? We’d love to stop believing, if only we had the choice.
- Hippy life. In the eighties, what could be less cool than an old hippy, clinging to her memories of Woodstock and bralessness? Now, hippies are back. They are “crunchy.” But still hippies.
- Tiny houses. In our day, bigger was automatically better; the bigger the square footage, the better. Now, dollhouses are chic.
- Crockpots. Filled with disgusting sloppy Joes in the 1970s, they have now been rebooted as “slow cookers” and touted as a way to cook healthy homemade meals without actually doing any cooking.
- Beards. No normal person in our day wanted to look like a lumberjack or the cough drop guys. Now the Grizzly Adams meets Kris Kringle look simply will not go away.
- Thrift stores. Who used “thrift” as a verb way back when? Hippies, that’s who. Case closed.