when to admit that you’re no longer cool

Something very scary happened to me the other day, and I feel that it definitely deserves mentioning. While adventuring through the town of East Hampton, New York, I heard a loud, “Val? Val deFrancis?”
I swiveled my head in ten directions and then I spotted a friend whom I hadn’t seen in years, who had gotten married and moved away. As we hurried toward each other, laughing and screaming like a bunch of valley girls, two really, really, I mean really, hot guys walk past us. With one eye on them and the other on my friend, we embraced and jumped up and down as we jibbered our hellos.

“Oh my God, it’s been forever. How the hell are you?” she says.

“I’m doing great,” I say, “and you? Gosh, I cannot believe that I’m seeing you here. Are you alone? Where’s the hub?”

“No, I’m with my twin boys.”

I could actually feel my eyes stretching beyond their normal limits. “You had twins? And you never called to tell me?”

“I know, I know. I’m so bad. What can I say? Life just got in the way. Forgive me?”

“Yeah, I forgive you. It did the same for me too. So, where are your boys? Is Josh watching them?” Josh is her husband.

She waves her hand at me and laughs. “No, silly. They’re over by Babette’s. I’ll call them over.”

I turn to see where she’s looking, and I turn back. “Where?”  I’m expecting to see two little boys with their nanny or grandmother or something.

“Right there”, she says, pointing her finger. “I’ll call them over.  Cody? John?”

Remember those two hot guys that I mentioned earlier? Well they’re walking across the street and heading directly toward us. They’re now in front of me. “Val, these are my boys. This is Cody and this is John.”

Okay. This is where I have to stop. Did you ever have something so embarrassing happen that you knew your embarrassment was giving you away? I could feel my face getting really red, as though they could read my mind. These guys were so hot that warning signs should have been tattooed on their foreheads.

“Hey,” they both say in perfect unison. They’re twins, remember?

“Hey, nice to meet you,” I try to say casually.

Then one of them gets a thought. “Hey, Mom, isn’t she the one who was in those pictures you showed us a few weeks ago?”

My eyes shoot a beam of WTF into her face. “Pictures? Which ones, Donna?”

He answers for her. “She took out pictures from when you guys used to go clubbin’. Man, you used to wear your hair really high. How’dja get it to stay up like that?” His gorgeous twin laughs.

“Let’s just say that Tresemme stayed in business because of me . . . and her.” I used my head to point to his mother.

“Tresemme?” he asks, totally clueless.

Donna and I just rolled our eyes.

After exchanging a few more words, we exchange cell numbers and went on our not-so-merry ways.

Okay. I explained this to you because this little episode had an impact on me. Later that night, after coming out of a restaurant, I get the urge to call Donna. She answers the phone all bubbly. I suppose she knew it was me; caller ID. “What are you doing now?” she wails into the phone.

“Nothing, that’s why I’m calling you. Feel like company?”

“Yes, yes! Come over. I’ll make drinks and we can look at pictures and . . .”

The rest is history. After leaving Donna’s that night, I did a lot of thinking. And when Vallie thinks too much, it’s not good. I want to know one thing. When the hell did I get old? When did it happen? I used to be young, adorable, and so freakin’ cool. Did I fall asleep under a tree for a century?

Looking at Donna’s pictures, and seeing how high I wore my hair, and how freaky I used to dress, brought back so many great memories. Where did those days go? Back in my day, the song 1999, by Prince, was numero uno on the charts, and my friends and I used to say to each other, “Shit, could you imagine the year 1999? What the hell would it be like?”

And now it’s pushing into 2011! Good grief? But here’s the thing. I don’t feel old. I don’t look old. I don’t dress old. I don’t think old . . . or do I?

How do you know you’re getting, let’s say . . . mature?

1)      When you hear thumping rap music coming from the car next to you and you close your window because you find it totally annoying.

2)      When you fall asleep during Grey’s Anatomy, and it just started.

3)      When you keep referring to your younger years as ‘back in the day’.

4)      When you really dig hearing an oldie come on the radio and you crank it up.

5)      When you incorporate prunes and apples and wheat germ into your diet to keep ‘regular’.

6)      When you wear a hat, a scarf, boots, and a long quilted down coat and it’s only 50 degrees outside.

7)      When you watch someone twenty years younger than you make the same mistake that you’ve already made a hundred times and know they’re really going to pay for it.

8)      When the trip to the dentist requires taking full mouth impressions.

9)      When you’re told it’s almost time for a colonoscopy.

Guys, when did I get old? Or, is it that I’m just getting better? Oh, and one more thing; Sunsweet Pitted Prunes really do work. Just sayin’.


8 thoughts on “when to admit that you’re no longer cool

  1. OMG! Val!

    You are so spot on, that list is perfect. I remember those double socks, hot pink lipstick, and who could forget those bangs! I remember the very first episode of the Simpsons and I remember when MTV was actually cool.

    Heck, just a couple of months ago I had to explain to my twins who Chuck Norris was! I overheard them talking in the room and one of them said so matter of factly “Chuck Norris is NOT a fighter” I knew then that the times had changed and I had to enlighten them,,lmao Great Write!

  2. Oh Val I love this. When someone just a couple years older than me started talking GREAT grandkids? Ya. Old. And…I think prunes taste good too! lol

  3. Another Great short story!!! I laughed the entire time I was reading it. BTW: I am reading your book AGAIN… It seems to calm me and intrigue me no matter how many times I read it. I have talked to many of my friends about it and I keep telling them it’s well worth the time to read it. Keep all the great stories coming!!!! Hugs to you girl…

    • Brandi, you’re amazing. You really are. Your witness to my book really fills my heart with gladness. I wrote it to help people and I’m so happy that it’s helping you. Tell your friends. And don’t forget that I have a novel in the works.

      Loveya girl!

  4. don’t worry youre younger than me !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    but be sure that the way to learn how to be young is quite long……
    oH love the END…..

  5. Hi Val, I am not younger than you. I think very young and that’s the secret.
    I’m happy that you came to read this.

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