Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Cool Aunt

My 13-year-old niece is visiting for a couple of weeks. Just as my own young-adult children have become depressingly patronizing, here i have the chance to be seen as 'cool'. Luckily, i have some guidance in this area - the excellent example of my own Aunt A., who married my mom's younger brother when i was 13. She, the motorcycle-riding, rock-concert-going, pot-smoking rebel, was such a contrast to my other aunt, my dad's wallpaper-hanging, vegetable-gardening, Hummel-collecting older sister. Everyone should have a Cool Aunt; here's why:

First off, the Cool Aunt sees you as a grown-up long before your parents are ready to admit any such thing. She understands why you need Calvin Klein, not JCPenney, jeans. She says "cuss words" in your presence without apology. She gifts you with Tabu perfume, which your mother says is "completely inappropriate," thereby sealing your lifelong loyalty to the scent. The Cool Aunt teaches you to roll your long hair up on empty orange-juice cans, then brush it out super-smooth. She lets you borrow her nailpolish - and she has every shade BUT pale pink. She slips out of family gatherings to smoke a cigarette on the back porch, and with one raised eyebrow, enjoins you t0 secrecy when you discover her there. She doesn't stop talking about heated political issues, like abortion, just as you enter a room.

Yes, i've got a dazzling role model...but i'm very aware that i'm an awful lot like my older, responsible aunt (not the Hummels - had to draw the line somewhere!). My Cool Aunt was 19 to my 13...but i'm 44 now. And i'm proud of the stability of my life - i'm less exciting, perhaps, but more dependable. And yet...is it too late - am i asking too much - can i still be cool?

5 Comments:

Blogger Bela said...

Of course you can be cool, D! Your tastes are super-sophisticated and the simple fact that you're not this young girl's mother makes you "interesting" and "different".

I never had a cool aunt, but I used to have a cool cousin: to the dismay and anger of her strict American parents, she had run away to Spain when she was 18, changed her name and become a Flamenco dancer. She used to whirl into my life, tell colourful stories, do demonstrations in full costume in our small living room, and, poof!, vanish again - sometimes for years on end.

You don't have to be a Flamenco dancer to be cool, though, D; just be yourself: we know you're young at heart. :-)

7:58 AM  
Blogger Kelly(Mom of 6) said...

Yes, you can be a cool aunt. From your post, it sounds like you already are, so all you have to do is be yourself.

8:42 AM  
Blogger ParisLondres said...

You ARE cool my dear! I am sure your little niece thinks that you are hypercool!

I had two aunts who were cool and then as I grew older and saw life through less rose tinted lenses - I realized that while they are sophisticated - they are a bit too conservative for my liking.

Mwah!!

9:40 AM  
Blogger red-queen said...

thanks for the vote of confidence, y'all!

i did take her shopping this week & we bought cute CK capri jeans...

and i'm thinking of slipping her a bottle of Gap Om to take home :>)

Okay, J - truth time - do you flamenco? (LOL!)

3:55 PM  
Blogger Bela said...

No, D, I don't flamenco. I couldn't dance if my life depended on it. I would have loved to be able to tap-dance, but I had just enough coordination to learn to drive. :-(

9:33 PM  

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