“Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky; little boxes, little boxes, all the same. There’s a red one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one…and they’re all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same…”
Friends and I were talking about “trends” the other day. Only we preferred calling them by another name – “fads”. This way we are able to make more sense of the fickleness of it all. The “swirlkous” (to thosewho are not in the know…Google is your friend!) was what gave rise to the discussion. One friend was relating that a new-age swirlkous was making the rounds – one that is far more hip and fresh…more in line with modern fashion trends. Like I care…the swirlkous had its place I guess, but it was one of those very first things that made women feel inferior about the state of their hair. ‘Nuf said.
I was relating the story of how our work often takes us to strange boardrooms (or bored rooms, might be more appropriate), confronted with the really pretentious corporate world, like those new-look, intimidating office blocks that I want to run far away from. And, at the risk of sounding priggish, I pity the poor sods who have to go to work there on a daily absis. Yet, for them, it might be bliss? Who knows…
In these blocks are its people – all dressed accordingly. You know, the ones who take their “dress code” very seriously, wearing something that will match the “seriousness” of their jobs and, God bless their tight behinds, “fit in” with the look and feel of the building and its ridonculous décor. Feng shui and all…and, by décor you know what I’m talking about, right? The very sparse, very “minimalist”, very “less is more” look. There is a designer couch (often in shocking red or bright orange, or sometimes in a sublime lime green) in the middle of a big, very white, very harshly lit room, with a huge designer coffee table in bright orange with an empty big, brown vase on it. Along the entire sidewall stretches a desk far too big for one person – mostly in glass with huge, cold chrome legs.
The only other legs will be those of the groomed receptionist (is that still the acceptable term or has it changed countless times to something more corporate-sounding, like an executive p.a; or a telephonicleptomaniacocomist, perhaps?) sitting behind it, looking thoroughly bored. And that is it!
It’s all so unapproachable and terribly arty…and terribly boring…zzzzzz. Nothing about it is inviting. It says: “We are serious about work; this is not a home!” If I were the woman having to go to work and sit in that space on a daily basis, I would have slit my wrists ages ago – with half a Provita biscuit that I so diligently eat for lunch (alongside the celery stick) for fear of gaining an ounce or pro-ageing (the opposite of anti-ageing – huge, I believe in some anti-Christ circles).
Is it only because it is “in” that people follow fads? And these days the world is full of them – and they usually cost an arm and a leg.
How parents cope is beyond me. And I’m not just talking about designer labels here, believe me. I’m talking about those devices they sell to us on a constant basis.
I know many people who fall for the joke all the time under the guise that they work hard and “why can’t they spoil themselves” by buying these gadgets? GPS’s and cell phones that can bake cake, make coffee and fetch your slippers and, and, and…and I wonder…where is it all going to stop?
So, there I was listening to a local radio station talking about trends. I was amazed at how many people follow the party line about being trendy at all costs.
One woman caller said it is very nearly a sin to have last year’s fashion in your wardrobe. If bootcut jeans are in this year, how dare you wear last season’s skinnies? “Hello? Pink is the new black, hello? Green is the new beige,” she would insist with a nasal twang, believing it as though it were written in The Bible or The Talmud – decreed by God himself! I do remember a short time in my life when those things mattered to me.
My excuse: I was in my early 20s. I can still forgive the kids for wanting the next best thing on the market…they just want to fit in; need to fit in. They are also trying to “find themselves”; their identities.
But in this day and age of everyone screaming “recession”, could someone please explain to me an adult’s fascination with fads as though I were a four-year-old? And we all know adult fads are even more expensive than the “trainee” ones for kids.
Anyhooo, who am I to rant and rave? I am sure by now, while spending the time writing this banal column, black has already become the new off-white…