How to be cool — or not

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Let’s face it. After a certain point in every person’s life, it’s difficult to be “cool.” In a newsroom full of 20-somethings these days, I am reminded daily that I am one of the oldest people on the staff still pounding out stories.

Sure, I have tons of “institutional knowledge,” as they say. I’m a mentor, an editor and the one who remembers what was what in the Flathead Valley 25 years ago when some of my fellow writers weren’t even born yet. Even so, I still want to be cool — rad, hip, happening — heck, I’m so uncool I don’t even know what the cool word is for cool.

It didn’t help my state of mind any when I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and came across an article called “25 Things Baby Boomers Think Are Cool” (but really aren’t). If this list compiled by Offbeat.topix.com is to be believed, I should no longer wear my diamond ring, need to ditch my Crocs, remove my fuzzy toilet-seat covers and stop ordering from Avon. I have to quit ironing my clothes, start sending texts exclusively (emails are so passe´) and stop using potpourri. I can’t even make orange juice from concentrate anymore — it’s not cool!

Apparently I am doing many uncool things, such as using bar soap when body wash is really much better. So says some young person named Jennifer C. Martin who takes credit for this rant that decries many baby-boomer favorite things.

I don’t play golf, but for those of you who are over 55 and still hit the greens, stop immediately if you want to be cool. Ms. Martin, in her snippy, disparaging rambling, noted that golf “is the most boring sport in the world, it hurts your back, and apparently it only exists as some sort of status symbol.”

She didn’t hold back on home shopping networks, either. “We have enough capitalism constantly shoved down our throats,” she whined.

The list of uncool things runs the gamut. TV shows no longer in vogue include “NCIS” and “Dateline,” the latter of which she simply says “yawn.” I love both of those shows.

When this sanctimonious scribe started putting down some baby-boomer favorite foods, that’s where I had to draw the line. I’ll be keeping my meat loaf recipe, thank you very much, and my broccoli-raisin salad, which, I should add, is a tried-and-true favorite at any Lutheran church potluck. Ms. Martin can keep her kombucha and sprouted nuts.

And because turnabout is fair play, here’s a message for you 20-somethings. Use one of those archaic irons to press your shirt before your job interview. Learn how to spell. Open a book. Write thank-you notes to your grandparents when they send you gifts. Talk to people in person, put down your smartphones from time to time.

My own mini-rant no doubt has canceled out any coolness I ever had, but so be it. In the end, different generations like different things, so pass the meat loaf and turn on “NCIS.”

Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.

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