10.04.2011

(Liberal) Arts Education

So the other day, I'm in the car with Yordanos and "Don't bring me down" by ELO comes on the radio. After a lengthy discussion about how a "snake in the grass" is an idiom and not to be taken literally, the song ends and the DJ says, "That song came out in 1979!"
So of course I mumble something about how I was 7 years old at the time. Yo looks at me and says, "It's hard to believe you were ever a kid," to which I respond, "Yeah, sometimes I can hardly remember it myself."

Half a mile later I look over at her and say, "You do know that I did used to be a kid. You've seen pictures, right?" She looks back and says, "Yes dad. You looked like the party rockin' guy."

Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with the Party Rockin Anthem by LMFAO, being compared to that is kind of a compliment wrapped in an insult and then smothered in another compliment. It's flattering because who wouldn't want to be the Party Rockin' Guy, right? If you haven't seen the video, it's amusing. Youtube it. Only seen through the blissfully naive eyes of an adoring daughter could I ever be construed as the Party Rockin' Guy, especially back in the 80's. Of those three words, 'guy' is probably the only one that might have been used to describe me. And since I was in middle school, even that is iffy.

So the bad news is that the party rockin' guy looks like this:Aaaand the good news is that this look is somehow cool again. So it is sort of a twisted compliment.
For the record, this is me in '85

And this is Katy Perry NOW trying to be as awesome as I was 25 years ago.

Here's a pro tip from someone who was there, Katy... kids with braces didn't smile openly in pictures. Ever. See my picture above. That's me with braces, I think. We went years without showing our teeth. Headgear or otherwise, you kept your lips clamped shut. And if your lenses weren't thick enough to warp the size of your face by about a factor of 6, then clearly your vision is fine and you would have squinted through high school with the rest of the jocks.

So after doing the mental loop-the-loop about my daughter's not-so-backhanded compliment, I looked over and said, "You know... looking like that wasn't 'cool' back then."

"Really? Huh." she replied genuinely.

Being cool before its cool isn't nearly as cool as I thought it would be.