Thursday, 24 September 2015

Feeling old thanks frankie

Reading a recent issue of 'frankie' was my latest experience of "I'm definitely getting older". Like being excited that there's another series of 'Rake' in the making and often sharing Greg Sheridan's opinions.

I browsed this good-looking, good print quality journal that celebrates a very interesting and diverse range of individuals and small businesses, which I know that I should enjoy reading about. But I kept wandering off - looking at the mix of people in the library and the quiet school holiday street outside.
I can appreciate that there is good writing in the articles - there's hooks, narrative arcs and unique voices - but terms like "upcycling textiles" and "up-skilling communities", which sound like such positive activities, actually served as expressions that distanced me.

It's similar to how I felt when I joined a management consultancy firm and was told to "touch base" with a client. I didn't actually get what they were asking me to do, and when I did find out I vowed that it was a term I would never use.

I'm not a complete colloquial social purist. I started dropping 'like' into sentences as a pause or a placeholder after everyone esle did, and when I bought a pair of skinny jeans I realised I should never say I'll never do something. But for me, reading 'frankie' has gone from enjoying a new publication (which it was when I first read it 18 months ago) to something more like sociological research.

I'm pretty sure I'll never use the headline 'Tattoorary' or study at The College of Event Management - that said, the DIY Terrarium course at the CAE did get my attention - and my reaction to these reminded me of the first time I was called lady, when a young mother on a tram told her 5 year-old to give up their seat for me. I was surprised and a little offended before I thought of the 25 minute journey ahead of me and thanked them as I sat down.

I was respectful as I placed the issue of 'frankie' I hadn't finished back on the library shelf. It had reminded me of not being cool when I was younger, but not in a bad way. Now, comfortable in this period that is technically middle-age but feels like too much fun to be called something I always imagined to be dour, I could see that 'frankie' is fun, and funny, and something that I would have loved to have found when I was awkwardly trying to find my look and my place in a community far more diverse than my suburban experience of growing up.

And just to reinforce feeling old, I went back to a frankie that I enjoyed during those awkward years.

 

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