When I was younger, and I’d be willing to bet you were the same, I was full of passion and convictions. Many of my beliefs hold true today; I am still pro-choice and anti-violence, I still believe that mean people suck and that high heels are only rarely worth the discomfort. However, there are a number of things that I have come to value that young SaraB would look at and say, “You have got to be kidding me.” The worst part is that they are so clichÃ©, the young me who still ives in the back of my mind is embarrassed that I have succumbed to them.
“You’re not going out of the house dressed like that.”
You’re right, Mom, I’m not. The tight jeans with the ass torn out and the mini skirts of my youth are gone (thank you, 1980s heavy metal scene). I may not have the most professional wardrobe, I do work at home after all, but I do like to keep things covered. Not only that, but I rarely get to wear my pretty pretty bras. When I was younger, I fell in love with funky underwear. The more bright colors and fun patterns that came out, the more I vowed never to buy anything with “nude,” “blush” or “taupe” in the description. Unfortunately, purple plaid bras and light colored T-shirts don’t mix. When your teenaged sons have their teenaged friends come over, it is not only inappropriate to have your bra showing through your shirt, it is creepy. I can still remember Young Sara’s cries of despair the day I was out shopping and said, “Oh, beige! This will be perfect.” I still have the purple plaid, but it only comes out when I’m sure that I’m the only one who will know I’m wearing it.
And it’s not just my clothes either. I look at groups of young people and sometimes I just don’t understand what they are thinking. Who thinks it’s attractive to wear your pants that low? Seriously, if I wanted to see guy’s underwear, I’d just do some laundry.
“If the music’s too loud, you’re too old.”
I’m just gonna say it. I hate loud music. Not all the time – if I am driving by myself, sometimes I like to roll down the windows, crank up the volume and sing like I’m a rockstar. However, if I am out at a bar or hanging out with friends, raising my voice to be heard over a sound system irritates me.
What really stings, though, is that I often find myself thinking, “What is this crap?” when I listen to current music. Now, I’m not going to say that getting older means you automatically lose touch with what’s new on the radio, but you do have to work harder to stay on top of things. I had to make a conscious decision a few years ago to seek out new music at least twice a year, when I realized that I could not hum a single song by any artist on the Grammys. The ironic thing is, if I’m being totally honest, the new artists I have “discovered” usually appeal to me because they remind me of the bands I fell in love with when I was younger. Fratellis anyone?
“Just try it, you’ll like it.”
I never believed it when I was a kid, but your tastes really do change as you get older. Again, not in all cases. I still think cooked carrots are vile, and we all remember when George Bush banned broccoli from the White House*, but there are a lot of things I swore I would never like that, it turns out, I actually do. The ones that immediately come to mind are salad dressing, kielbasa, and onions.
The other side of the changing tastes coin is that you stop liking things that you used to love. I can’t eat Peeps. Nor can I eat a piece of cake with two inches of frosting. I have to scrape most of that shit off or my teeth start to hurt.
The end result of these changing tastebuds is that, where this used to be the most awesome thing ever:
Sometimes what I really crave is this:
Like I said earlier, there are times when I can hear Young Sara railing against these changes. “How can this be? How can we have turned into this? We used to be so cool.” Well Young Sara, change happens. We would be bored to tears by now if it didn’t. And if you think we can’t still be cool, just because I have changed my thinking about a few things, then I point you to the immortal words of Walt Whitman. From Song of Myself:
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
*I f-ing love broccoli, by the way. We eat it a couple times a week in the B household.