Sunday, August 17, 2008

I Think I'm Cool

I am a part of the Special Occasions Committee at my job, and I am in charge of creating the monthly newsletter. In addition to all the news, events, and messages from upper managers, I figured it would be fun to put some creative input from my coworkers. My idea is to have a coworker submit a story, drawing, riddle, or anything creative to be published at the back page of the newsletter. For the first month, I am going to submit a story. Being that almost everything I write is at least five pages, I wrote something new. This is the first creative piece I have written since I graduated.

The story is based on trends. Initially, I thought I would make fun of myself for buying ridiculous clothes just because they had the Nike swoosh or Tommy patch. Then, I saw the bigger picture. I thought trends ended once we become adults, but then I thought about skinny dudes wearing Affliction. Here goes:

Do you ever look back to your junior high days and think how lame it was to buy all these clothes just to stay trendy with your classmates?

I once purchased a Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt off the 50% off rack at Dillard’s in eighth grade. The shirt utilized two of the primary colors in a horizontal stripe pattern and had the Tommy patch on the upper left corner of the shirt. There was a reason the shirt was on the 50% off rack. The shirt was unsightly. Nobody could pull the shirt off without a stranger off the street pointing his or her finger and laughing at you. At the time, it didn’t matter because I was cool with my official Tommy patch seal of approval.

We think that the “do whatever it takes to be cool” phase ends once we age to adulthood. The phase never ends. Have you ever seen a skinny guy at a Scottsdale club wear an Affliction t-shirt? Affliction: the brand for big, muscular men. Affliction t-shirts run anywhere from $50 to $75. Yes, a t-shirt. But the t-shirts are trendy in the club scene, so we must buy it.

I can only imagine the transaction. A guy and his girlfriend are at the store.

Guy comes out of dressing room with Affliction t-shirt on and says, “What do you think?”

“That looks hot,” girlfriend says.

“It’s a little loose on you. I think you should try something more slim fitting. You’ll look better,” voice of fashion reason says. Unfortunately the voice of fashion reason can’t be heard because there is no voice of reason in this transaction scene.

“I should get four t-shirts so I’m not on repeat cycle after the first weekend,” he says.

“How much are they?” she asks.

“About sixty dollars each,” he says.

Why do we go out of our way to stay trendy? When we were younger, we bought the Jinco’s jeans, the Tommy shirts, and the Nike shoes to become popular and give the illusion that we were cool. As adults, we buy the Christian Dior glasses and Affliction shirts to attract someone. However, if we can’t pull those styles off, we look like a poser. Everyone can see right through it. Look at the comments at The people in the pictures think they are cool, but the reader comments exploit them for being a tool. Really, if you buy something trendy and can’t pull it off, save your money and go with clothes you can wear. Even if you can’t pull off the trend, you’ll save $60 and the humiliation of a stranger pointing his or her finger and laughing at you.

No comments: