In the last ten years there’s been a resurgence in buying vintage. The ‘kids’ of whom I’m not particularly ‘down with’ are now hankering for the fluffy jumpers of yesterday, the satin applique’s, high-waisted denims and mustard patterned fabrics our sista’s of the past loathed. Gathering on masse in warehouse-style buildings where row-upon-row of what I lovingly call ‘old shit’ they clack through the hangers as if panning for gold. Casting dispersive glances at me whilst I peruse for something ‘humiliating’ for a fancy dress party; I sense their disdain as they weigh up my Next coat and Tesco brogues. Sniggering with the folly of youth; their white teeth, side-tossed hair and carefully painted on eyebrows are synchronised in an animated dance. Am I irritated? I should say no; but truth be known I am. As they assault my ears with their ‘OTT’ banter and sudden outbursts of ‘literally everything is fucking hysterical’ laughter. Am I envious; of their youth, pert buttocks and crinkle-less eyes? Nope; I would simply like to look them in the eye and say this.
“You might think I’m a sad, haggard old cow who knows nothing, has done bugger all and ‘just doesn’t understand’; but I do. I’ve been you; only back in my day we were less entitled; we didn’t cackle like loon’s at every banal and fleeting thought that passed between our ears, or look down upon anyone who didn’t fit into the very clique we might then cry about of an evening. I didn’t subject the rest of the world to a mindless cacophony of ‘whoops’, ‘awkward’s’ and ‘what the hell’s’ whilst in public thus invading their airspace and wind-stealing their peace. And we certainly didn’t proffer contempt and derision to adult’s because back then we still had some semblance of respect for those who have lived longer, experienced more and whose worldly knowledge at that point was superior to ours. Adults who could be our parents, grandparents, teachers or Doctors. At the very least have some admiration for the generation whose clothes you clearly covet as you cluck and crow like farmyard animals over a shitty waistcoat we wore red-faced twenty years earlier. See; you ain’t that bloody clever!”
Then I would leave the stale-smelling warehouse and pop to Starbucks for a flat white and a portion of fruit toast; content that my work was done.