a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Monday, December 29, 2008

Marching to your own guitar hero

By Amanda Gillooly

Forget the commercial with Victoria’s Secret babe Heidi Klum dancing Tom Cruise-style, the one I’ve come to respect is far less cheeky.

I’m sure you’ve seen it. An uptight, WASP-looking family is jamming to some song featured on the hit video game “Rock Band.” I’m not sure if it was Fleetwood Mac or some other such band, but my first reaction to their “Yeah, I'm a rock star” facial expressions was a killer smirk.

Some part of my psyche that I couldn’t control thought: “Oh my God, what a bunch of tools. I have not, in the past several days, seen anything so dorky.”

But then I stopped myself. To make fun of some middle-aged mom in a sweater-set trying to get a guitar riff down would be just as bad as snickering at the overweight guy getting red-faced on a treadmill while working to depork at the local YMCA.

It’s just not cool, dude. For real.

Here I am judging this poor pretend family because it didn’t look the part of a rock band. And I felt ashamed of myself. A quick recall of the Middle School Years and even some of the High School Years was enough to remind me how terrible it is living your life afraid of what other people are going to think about you.

I doubt I was the only awkward teenage girl consumed with trying to act cool instead of acting like, well…myself.

It’s a tragic thing – I’m sure you’ll agree – when you base such things as leisure activities, hairstyles and off-color jokes simply on how you feel someone else will react.

So there I was watching Sweater-Set Lady doing her best Eddie Van Halen or Jimi Hendrix and I finally smiled, remembering an adage that my uncle shared with me. Despite my awesome Internet research skills, I was unable to find the exact quote, or who its should be attributed to.

I was just glad I saw the commercial, and that I wouldn’t have to wait until I’m eligible for a senior citizen discount to learn the lesson.

“When you’re in your 20s and 30s, you care about what other people think of you. In your 40s and 50s you stop caring about what other people think of you. And in your 60s and 70s you realize they were never thinking about you anyway.”

So, to you Sweater-Set Lady, I extend a gracious “thank you” and a healthy “rock on.”


Scott Beveridge said...

Oh go ahead and laugh at the middle-aged sweater set lady. She's funny.

Murphy's Cats said...

How true that is!! At 53, I no longer care what anyone thinks of me, and it's such a good feeling to be able to act like a complete dork and just laugh along with everyone else. Amanda, you should have your own blog - it's time to break away! You and Scott are both great bloggers, keep it up!

Scott Beveridge said...

Thanks Cats. Amanda should have a blog of her own. If that happens, I think she would still contribute to this magazine of sorts.