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Cool Brands - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Cool Brands
When I saw my dad last night, there was a brilliant white glow coming from his feet. "Got some new tennis shoes there, Dad?"

"Yes, do you like them? I got them on [some bargain website that I've forgotten] for $20 off."

I squinted at them, trying to look more closely through the glare reflecting off the too-white shoes. "Sure, they're nice. They'll look good once they get a tiny bit dirtier. They look a little like my running shoes. What are they, Aesics?"

"No, they're Adidas. But that's a 'cool' brand too, isn't it?" He looked at me quite concernedly, but I knew he was just joking with me. [Side note: it took me years to realize that my father has a sense of humor. It is very dry and subtle, but he can be quite funny. I never got his jokes as a teenager, because I was too busy being driven crazy by him and taking offense at his every word.]

When I was around middle-school age, a pre-teen, my sister and I had a shared obsession about our father's wardrobe. We felt that his clothing choices were embarrassingly 'un-cool', and we told him so regularly. He dressed the role of a scientist/engineer, with a closet full of short-sleeved button-down shirts with pen pockets, drab slacks, and ugly work denim for the weekends. Remember in the Apollo 13 movie, when all the scientist nerds get together in a room to make an air purifier out of the astronauts' socks? Those were the clothes my dad wore every day.

Every Christmas, birthday, and Father's Day was an opportunity for us to try to bring him into the (early) 1980's, and try make his outfits (what we considered) hipper and trendier. My sister and I tore through the malls searching for cool clothes for him. Fortunately, our mother always supervised these shopping excursions and kept us from buying radically trendy clothing that he would never-ever wear (so no parachute pants, much to my disappointment). Still, we would find 'cooler' pants and shirts to give him. Even though we gave him pieces of clothing that we considered more appropriate, he always managed to combine them in decidedly un-cool ways. It was a hopeless battle, but we continued with it for many years.

In retrospect though, looking at photographs from middle school... I was only marginally more fashionable than was my father. I was never one of the popular "cool kids", and I never had much of a clue as to what I should be wearing to fit in. So I don't know why I was so obsessed with updating my dad's clothes. Maybe just because it was easier to see what was wrong with them than with my own fashion choices.

So last night, my dad checked once again to see if he'd made good brand choices. He didn't really care, but we both still find the old game amusing. "I also bought a pair of dress shoes, from [some brand which I'd heard of, but have since forgotten]. That's a 'cool' brand too, isn't it?"

"I don't know. I've heard of the name, but I'm not sure if they're 'cool' or not... But to tell you the truth Dad," I joked, "I don't know what's cool these days! I'm 33 years old now, remember? I'm too old to know what's cool or trendy."

"Oh that's right," he nodded, with a sympathetic look on his face. "We'll have to find somebody younger to help us out."
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Comments
polaron From: polaron Date: October 2nd, 2004 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Were his shoes so bright that you had to wear shades ? ;)

Also, you're a really good writer - I like reading your posts ! Go you and more, more, more !! :))
renniekins From: renniekins Date: October 3rd, 2004 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I coulda used a pair of shades, yes. Thank you very much!
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: October 2nd, 2004 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I'm 33 years old now,"

33 and a third to be exact ;)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: October 3rd, 2004 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
YES, you are correct! Good memory. I had a good 33 1/3 birthday -- time with family is nice.
hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: October 2nd, 2004 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
you know, i don't know your dad all that well, but i can totally picture this conversation happening (:
zenmondo From: zenmondo Date: October 2nd, 2004 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Oh that's right," he nodded, with a sympathetic look on his face. "We'll have to find somebody younger to help us out."

HAHA I like your dad. His sense of humor mirrors my own.

Oh -- and since Run DMC sang about them, Adidas will ALWAYS be cool. You can tell him that from me. :)
atdt1991 From: atdt1991 Date: October 2nd, 2004 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's awesome :) I know what's cool, I'm not even 27! :) Parachute pants are making a comeback.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: October 3rd, 2004 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay, I should buy some!!!
mindgames4one From: mindgames4one Date: October 2nd, 2004 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
HAhahaa!! This was just too funny! And I can SO see my dad saying these things!

My dad was the type to wear shorts in the winter. He didn't go outside in them, but he wore them inside all year 'round. And we lived in Wisconsin. And they were ridiculous plaid.

And what's funny is these dads LIKE their tennies when they are freshly white. My dad worked hard to KEEP his that way!
nishar From: nishar Date: October 3rd, 2004 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Just from reading this, I like your dad. he is smart enough to know 'cool' is having fun with your daughter: even if it means mixing up cool clothes so they now are very un-hip. lol
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