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August 08, 2022

Modern Times

By Tedi Trindle

Ok, could somebody please tell what is up with this mango craze? It surely must have gotten out of hand if even I have noticed. I mean, I am not exactly the pop culture goddess everybody seems to think I am. I couldn't tell a Gucci bag from a barf bag if my life depended on it. Although, it would probably be more fun to barf in a Gucci, as long as it wasn't mine.

As far as I can tell, mangoes are a nasty, grainy, not very sweet fruit that somebody had a lot of and needed to get rid of. So they gave it an exotic name and started putting it in everything that wasn't nailed down. There is mango ice cream, mango salsa, mango lipstick and bath bubbles, mango mangoes, etc. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I could market a mango/feces eyeliner if I had distribution capabilities.

Then there is the so-called "rain fresh" items. Now, I'll admit that I'm partial to the rain fresh scent, but let's face it. Rain fresh does not smell like fresh rain. Fresh rain smells hot and primal and earthy. You expect to be stepping on worms when you smell it. Rain fresh smells flowery and pretty. And not even a little bit primal. Theoretically, it's supposed to smell like clothes that were dried on a clothesline, but how many people under thirty even know what that smells like? And "rain fresh" doesn't smell like that anyhow.

While we're on the subject of pop culture, who is Burt and why do we want to pay so much for his bees? I have so many questions. For instance, why do we pay to get cable in order to watch reality television when we can sit on the front porch and watch the neighbors for free? Who are Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey and please tell me they aren't going to reproduce? Am I the only person left on the planet who does not have a tattoo or a piercing? I need answers and I need them fast. I'm obviously not doing my part to uphold American consumerism and the money police are sniffing around my neighborhood even as we speak.

I think I should probably blame my parents, become a victim, hire a therapist and join a support group. What other explanation could there possibly be for my lack of fad sense? If my folks had just worked harder at keeping up with the Joneses then I would have no use for the extensive mental health coverage we currently maintain. Unfortunately, I have no idea who the local shrink du jour is, so I'll have to ask someone who has been shoe shopping in the last five hours. Maybe Burt knows.

I could, I suppose, turn on a cable network and let one of the Iron Chefs or a Queer Eye tell me whom to consult. But then I'd have to learn how to turn on the television, and I'm home alone right now, flying without tech support. That inability of mine is also my parents' fault, I believe. Their televisions always had buttons and knobs on the front of the set. But now I can't even watch my mother's television. She has one of those flat-screened, high-definition jobbies that looks like the space monitor on Star Trek.

When we went house-shopping a few years ago, we didn't go anywhere near the upscale neighborhoods. They had guards at the gate, which makes nervous. I mean, I know they're meant to keep people who aren't supposed to be there out of the neighborhood. But what if they suddenly decided they were there to keep us in? What's to stop them? There is even a neighborhood here in town that has its own police force. Why, please, please tell me, does a neighborhood need a police force? It's a neighborhood! They already have police! Around here, we call them the county sheriff's deputies.

Ok, I don't own a hot car, I don't wear designer duds, don't live at a fashionable address and don't watch enough TV to know which one of Ozzie Osborne's dogs pooped on the carpet this week. I don't eat sushi, I don't listen to house music or technopop and I can't tell you whether J-Lo and Ben are ever going to work out their differences. I do, however, know that Julia Roberts is pregnant with twins because I had to stand in line at the supermarket today.

So, nobody is going to nominate me for edgiest writer of the year. There is one area in which my family excels though. We are the most connected people I know. We have more computers than god. We average 2 cell phones per person. (Reason being that we all have been blessed with two ears apiece.) We can reach each other at any time of the day or night, even when we're sitting in the same room with the person we're trying to reach.

I have instant messaged my son upstairs to ask him if he had walked the dogs. I have sent a text message to my husband when he was sitting in the chair next to mine. My daughter emailed me at my desk this afternoon from the sofa, ten feet away. My oldest son lives 650 miles away, but I see him almost daily on the internet.

So, even though I can't tell an Armani from a Versace or a shiitake mushroom from a mango, maybe I am a little edgy after all. At least I know you're supposed to be edgy and not hip anymore. And I can run a net search on my cell phone. The Joneses got nothin' on me.
Article © Tedi Trindle. All rights reserved.
Published on 2004-06-12
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