Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Luddite and Okay With It

I got an out-of-the-blue email from my ex the other day, saying that he knows that we don't usually coordinate holiday gifts, but that they're giving Twelve the headphones that she wants and he just wants to make sure we don't both give them to her. As far as I know, he's referring to the brightly colored Beats by Dre headphones that retail for approximately my entire monthly grocery budget.

I haven't replied to the email, because the response that comes to mind is something along the lines of YOU'VE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME IF YOU THINK I CAN AFFORD THREE HUNDRED DOLLAR HEADPHONES.

I don't mind the headphones themselves, actually; I like the bright colors, I appreciate their fresh design, and I presume that they're relatively high quality. I don't think that a) teenagers can appreciate the difference in audio quality or b) that it matters, given the crappy music they listen to, but I'm not holding that against the product itself. I just hope Twelve gets the color she wants - and that the color she wants doesn't change between the time she puts in her order and when she gets them.

The thing that annoys me (secondarily to my ex being a douche canoe) is that I am aware of this product's existence.

Knowing more than I want to about various aspects of popular culture is, I've concluded, a byproduct of having an adolescent daughter. We were watching all the LMFAO videos the other night (some of them are just dumb, but I adore the satirical portrayal of men waggling their secondary sex characteristics around in public), and Twelve pointed out all the Beats by Dre headphones - sorry, they're referred to as Beats, I looked it up - in the video. 

I like being clueless about the newest trendy gadget that I can't afford and didn't know I needed (hellooo, iThings). I pride myself on not knowing the latest teenage singers or current television offerings. I keep track of my schedule in an actual notebook, using an actual pencil that periodically needs sharpening in an actual pencil sharpener. I read real books. I still don't have a smartphone, for Pete's sake (and I just used the expression 'for Pete's sake').

So, it's pretty galling to know about Twilight, One Direction, several of the identikit young teenage girl musicians who have come (and not necessarily gone) in the last few years, and those doggone Nike Elite socks. 

It's an imperfect and inconsistent cluelessness, of course. I resolutely avoided finding out who Lady Gaga was for an admirably long time, but then when I finally gave in and watched all of her videos, I loved them (because awesome). I scoff at the latest ridiculous fashion trends only unless I really like something, like legwarmers, of which I made four pairs last night out of sweater sleeves, because that's how I roll. Granted, I checked the internet and I am not the first person who realized that legwarmers and sleeves are similarly shaped, but my version (that uses the band at the hem of the sweater to finish the cut-off end of the sleeve) is by far the best if I do say so myself. I started a doctorate program in an apparel design department with no clue that premium denim was a thing (irony!), and three years later all my jeans are Paige, Joe's, and Habitual.

Twelve's home from school now, so I'm off to get her to troubleshoot this outfit for me; the legwarmers are working with my Cate the Great boots, but I don't like what's going on above the knee.

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