When I started The FYD two years ago, I was equally as obsessed with the concept of “trendy” as I was with spending all of June lying on a giant beach towel in my front yard. I spent hours there, blasting Dave Matthews and Coldplay from my Blackberry not out of free will but out of destiny and fate. Read “destiny and fate” as “my uncle gave me this Blackberry as a hand-me-down phone and those were the only two artists he, for some reason, already had on there, which is strange because I always thought of him as more of a Mika guy.”
When I think about it more, I realize that my lying-on-the-grass phase happened not two years ago, but in eighth grade, and for some strange reason I was really convinced for a second that I was in eighth grade two years ago. I was not.
This flaw of the mind just might contribute to the argument I’m trying to make perfectly, that involving the ebbs and flows and unpredictable shortly lived lives of trends. Things happen and you’re infatuated with them for one month in eighth grade. So many other little obsessions have come and gone since, that eighth grade passions – think lying on the grass, wearing jean jackets with skirts and converse, carrying a small digital camera around on Fridays after school to document teen angst in its purest form – have crept up so close that they seemingly happened a mere two years ago, when, in fact, they did not.
Though I find myself constantly intrigued about “trendy,” I don’t actually know what it means. Or I do know what it means sometimes, but I don’t know if it’s something we can categorize into good, bad, or “aspirational,” as in, trendy is something we should all aspire to.
For example, my mom tells me I waste all my money on clothes and shoes: “Hannah, man, you just gotta realize that money doesn’t grow on trees,” or, “One day you’re gonna realize that you don’t just have an endless supply of money and you can’t spend it on stuff you won’t care about in a month and stuff you don’t need.” When I chime in with: “But Mom, fashion is a hobby of mine… being well-dressed is something I care about… this is just the thing I choose to spend my money on,” she replies with, “Yeah, but you buy something and wear it once and don’t care about it ever again.”
This conversation happens immediately after my mom notices I’m wearing something she hasn’t seen before, cocks her head to the side, and says, “Where’s that from?”
She’s entirely right, you know. The only explanation for how I could possibly spend so much money on clothing and shoes yet constantly feel like I have nothing to wear, as my closet expands like a lady in need of a lap-band, is because I buy “trendy” things. They come in and out like men to a harem whose affections towards women last as long as they can keep it up. And suddenly, I realize my closet is a combination of someone who fights morbid obesity and someone who objectifies women in ways that should have gone out of style a hundred years ago, which is very, very bad.
Yet most of the time when I use the word “trendy,” I’m not referring to striped sailor shirts with boat necklines, silk culottes, or the $340 Edie Parker/Del Toro velvet loafers stitched with poop emoji patches. I’m referring to something much more encompassing, as I believe most are when they use the word, too. I’m referring to saying certain words (literally can’t, literally cannot, stop I’m dying), avocado toast and brunch, wearing those large floppy hats not in the summertime (click here for example, this one is actually called “floppy hat” in its product description), never getting a haircut ever, and SmartWater. Just to name a few.
Here’s another. Once, I tweeted this: “Recently I’ve been eating a lot of Chobani. It looks like cheese curds but tastes trendy, so I like it.”
This was before Chobani was a “thing” yet I still attributed a yogurt texture to something considered “trendy.” I still like Chobani – it’s the perfect protein-packed afternoon snack – but most other things I spent exorbitant amounts of energy and babysitting money on just to watch them fade months later. It’s uncomfortably ironic how what I’ve considered myself most enthusiastic about at various points in my life, like lying on the grass and walking to the diner for a milkshake once it got to be 10pm, are ephemeral.
Perhaps this is just the nature of passion. (Or the nature of trendy, if there’s a difference.)
Image via Jezebel.
Everybody has a thing for their grandmas. But, of course, everyone’s things are different.
When I tell people my grandma was my best friend, I’m generally shocked that they aren’t shocked. “I mean it,” I say again. “She was LITERALLY my best friend.” For the longest time I was frustrated at the ignorant head-nodding with which all would reply. But now, after thinking about how awesome grandmas are/watching Julie Andrews at the Oscars on Sunday, I’m going to give the bubbes of the world more credit. Though I will never admit defeat in that my grandma was the best person in the world, and still is in my eyes, I will start recognizing other grandmas as equally endearing in their own light.
Here are the different types of cool grandmas. May you one day achieve your goals in becoming one:
1. JAPpy Grandma
This grandma is your straight up 16-year-old who goes to any big Long Island public school. However, she is 77ish and is not necessarily from Long Island. She appreciates the finer things in life, like a good Juicy Couture sweatsuit and silver Supergas. JAPpy grandma gets great botox and looks exactly how your mom would if she were made into a wax figure at Madame Tussauds. However, we love JAPpy grandma for all of these qualities, and she’s the best for shopping trips. “I’m not a regular grandma, I’m a cool grandma.”
2. Very Old Geriatric Grandma
She’s your standard octogenarian. She puts up with bullshit because she doesn’t really understand what bullshit is. She looks like a “Grammy” even though you might not call her that. Wheelchair is optional but recommended. She’s just really cute and is Buddha-content with her long, prosperous life. She might even take pride in her senility. You know what they say: a grandma who can laugh at herself is a great grandma. IDK who “they” is, but someone, somewhere, says that.
3. Hip Grandma
Hip Grandma is Nora Ephron if Nora Ephron were your grandma. She knows how old she is and therefore dresses like she’s about to walk the NYFW runway for Eileen Fisher’s fall collection. She still maintains complete sanity and is “with it.” She even says, “I am so with it.” She likes talking about femininity, sex before marriage, and alcohol. She puts quinoa in her matzoh ball soup. She loves working out with her trainer on a large exercise ball that doubles as a toy for the grandkids. Oh, and watch out – here comes the world’s most incessant Instagram commenter.
4. Traditional Grandma
Here, think Julie Andrews. She dresses conservatively, loves brooches, and is prim and proper. Maybe she was raised in the south. Maybe she’s British. However I have a shockingly large group of friends, and by large I mean two or three, whose grandmothers were raised in the south, so perhaps that should be a category on its own. New official category: southern grandmas who have since relocated to a suburb in the tristate metropolitan area. Also, she has good taste in bling.
5. Cute and Unintentionally Cool Grandma
This was my grandma. She’s a combo of the wise grandma and with a spoonful of each the others. For example, she knows everyone has premarital sex but doesn’t like to talk about it (at least with her granddaughter). However, she loved the Broadway show about drag queens. She spends money on you that she may not even have and appreciates nothing more than a good “Girls’ Day.” She carries designer purses – without any knowledge that they are designer – but sports Eileen Fisher like a champ. She isn’t quite like JAPpy grandma because she won’t count dessert calories but never turns down a mani pedi. She has a BlackBerry and an iPhone but doesn’t really know how to use either of them.
6. Quiet Grandma
The quiet grandma is a silent hero. She comes to babysit a lot and just kind of sits on the couch while you’re downstairs playing with your siblings. She’s good at ordering pizza and making dinosaur chicken nuggets. She’s affectionate but not your BFF. Maybe she drives you places. That doesn’t mean you don’t love her, though! Maybe she’s still a little sour about something that happened in the fifties. Quiet grandma really likes iPhone games.
7. Wise Grandma
Wise grandma is straight from the picture books you read when you were younger. Wise Grandma looks beautiful with wrinkles and is the best storyteller in the world. She doesn’t quite understand “kids these days” (she probably doesn’t know about premarital sex at all) or technology. Still, she’s loving and patient with you. She’s great at cooking food you refused to eat when you were little but can’t get enough of now. Also good for playing board games. She’s like a little gem with words that come in quality, not quantity.
This post is dedicated to my very own Cute and Unintentionally Cool Grandma, though she was really all of the above. I miss ya everyday.
It used to be cliché. “Oh, you know, just talking about the weather” is a great way for people to pass the time. Especially for those who have no desire to speak to each other. After last year’s Polar Vortex, and this year’s whatever the eff it’s been – I don’t know, an icy hell copied and pasted from a Disney cartoon – not speaking to someone about the weather is strange. The best way to bond these days is over hibernation techniques. (Turtlenecks? Anyone?)
Talking about the weather in small groups or flocks is a coping mechanism. It is the daddy penguin holding the mommy penguin’s egg in that space between its stomach and its flippers. It is a sign of love and friendship. It is how we get through a winter like this. Like penguins.
Last year, a friend was in distress over everyone else’s distress. “Everyone’s complaining how cold it is” – also, it was only November – “and they’re being absolutely ridiculous because this is winter and this is how it feels in the beginning of winter every year, so people should stop complaining about the cold,” he said. Half of me agreed with him, mostly because I can’t listen to the sounds of anyone’s complaints but my own, and the other half of me questioned: Is it possible that it is, simply, unusually cold?
Two months later, we found out we were in a polar vortex, and he felt like a piece of shit.
Though science peoples and global warming research says that, in fact, winters are getting harsher due to climate change, there is a possibility that we are becoming progressively less-able to deal with the weather. Logically, it makes sense – our moms no longer bundle us up on our way out to school, as we take flight from the nest and relocate to cities we face the outdoor terrain more than ever before (less driving, more walking), and we start to realize how bone chilling being without booty call who is also DTC (down to cuddle) can really be.
Or maybe it’s the opposite – maybe summers are getting hotter, which makes our dear friend winter more of a shock. Maybe everyone’s body is like a girl’s on her first few weeks of a new birth control. I’m thinking, “WTF is going on,” “Am I nauseas or hungry because I haven’t left bed all day,” “Are my boobs just bigger because I’m getting fat,” “Wow where did all my acne go? [Dry air and birth control can do similar things for our skin, if you think about it],” “Why am I sweating profusely every time I set foot indoors,” etc. etc. etc.
But today, something incredible happened. I went outside at 1:30pm, not having been outside for three hours, and felt an ethereal warmth that pervaded every particle of air. It was like stepping off the airplane in West Palm Beach.
We spend the first half of winter complaining how cold we are, and the second half of winter realizing how we’ve sadly adapted to it. I looked at the temperature on my phone: at 1:30pm, it was a whopping 39 degrees. And it was no placebo – though I’d braved temps less than ten for the last week or two, I felt the difference before I knew it. I was imaging myself peeling off my layers, walking in a dress without tights, and feeling okay. I could feel myself feeling okay. That’s how warm it was.
My mom is also a believer in our bodies’ adaptability to the cold. When I called her last weekend to complain about how my body decided to be bloated and hungry a lot more than its usual bloated and hungry, her response was CCC (calm, cool, and collected). “I genuinely believe our bodies change in the winter. They really go into hibernation and think that they need to store everything.” This was comforting, though not comforting enough to defer me from my BFFs, WedMD and Google.
According to all internet sources, your metabolism actually speeds in the winter because it requires an extra amount of energy to keep you warm. I always said I hoped to shrivel up in the New England winter, and I didn’t know my dreams could biologically come true. Could, unfortunately, does not translate to “do,” so I think for now I’ll stick with Mom’s theory: our bodies adapt to the winter like grizzly bears going into hibernation. And for now, we’ll keep talking about it until we plateau at 40 degrees for five days straight. Minimum.