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Cool is in eye of the beholder

September 9, 2011
Christine Weatherman - Community Columnist ( , Tribune Chronicle |

When did I become un-cool?

Last time I checked, I was still rocking the latest fashions, listening to the hottest music and hanging out with all the right people in all the right places. Well, news flash, mom, apparently I haven't been "cool" for a long time now, according to my teenage daughter, and I can almost hear her rolling her eyes at me as I write this.

As far as I knew, I looked and acted relatively hip for my age. That is, at least until my 13-year-old started telling me what a dork I was about a year ago. It seems my clothes are mom-ish (not really sure what that means) and forget about my dance moves. Those rank right up there with the foxtrot and the waltz on the teenage cool scale.

Yes, as goes the common mother-daughter relationship, my daughter and I disagree on just about every subject we possibly can - clothes, hair, shoes, makeup, radio stations, boys, etc. I tend to be of the "old school" variety generally favoring conservative styles and believing "less is more" concerning makeup and accessories. My daughter, on the other hand, as she should be at her age, is struggling to find her own style and personality that fits who she is and wants to be. She loves bright colors, skin-tight "skinny" jeans and dark eye makeup.

Unfortunately, as I strive to keep her young and innocent, the media keeps trying to tell her that if she doesn't hurry up and start looking and acting like she's 25, she's going to be left behind the "cool" and "popular" people she constantly sees in magazines and on television. As you can imagine, these polar opposite influences create for her an internal conflict and are making her already difficult middle-school experience more trying.

I just want my little girl to stay young and safe. Is that so wrong? I can't imagine that I'm the only parent to feel this way. If I am, please let me know and I'll start setting appointments for my "get with the program" lessons.

With all of our differences, one thing my daughter and I definitely agree on is our passion for music. She prefers anything with a techno beat and slick lyrics that I usually can't understand as I still love to rock to classic KISS songs and some of the heavier stuff like Saliva (thanks to my nephew, Kevin) or Metallica.

She did do my old mom heart well the other night upon returning home to find the dog had chewed her earphones. She posted on Facebook that she was upset she couldn't listen to her MP3 player because "music was her life." Ah, as long as we always have that in common, there's hope for the rest.

I suppose, as us 40-somethings go, I still consider myself to be somewhat cooler than average. I really do try to keep up with what the teenagers are doing, watching and listening to, but increasingly catch myself shaking my head in disgust and wondering what the heck the younger generation is thinking.

Have I become my mother already? Is it possible that I've turned into one of those middle-aged moms who thinks they're "with it" but isn't nearly as cool as they think they are?

Nah. I'll keep wearing my rock-'n'-roll T-shirts and sneaking my daughter's sparkly pink eye shadow when she's not looking. You're only as old as you act.

Weatherman is a Trumbull County resident. Email her at



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