Incredulity crossed my face after he uttered those words one fine afternoon over pizza and smoothies. Was it a case of tactlessness, which, I noted, happens frequently with today’s twentysomethings? On hindsight, it’s far more than tactlessness as seeming vacuity. Honestly, it’s a topic of conversation that has never and will never make it to my list. There are other more substantial yet mundane topics to talk about, say, sports, football, healthy diet, New Moon, and even Robert Pattinson’s supposedly painted on chiseled abs versus Taylor Lautner’s genuine bulk and biceps.
Miu Miu is one example of a substantial yet mundane topic I indulged a former colleague. Categorizing it under socio-cultural studies, she had enlightened me on the origins of her S$1,000+ Miu Miu bag – it being a subsidiary of the uber-chic Prada label – and that a Miu Miu boutique store is found at Paragon Shopping Centre along Orchard Road. The conversation started with her griping about not having money although salary day was just a couple of days ago. Curious, I asked what happened to her money. She beamed and raised her black Miu Miu bag for a brief show-and-tell. I was flabbergasted and managed a wry smile.
Previously, he blabbered away about older women (read: women way past their 20s) and that he dated someone 10 years his senior, which didn’t work out. That didn’t raise my shackles a wee bit as it was interesting to note that men and women in their 20s are completely ridden with unnecessary angst when it comes to age. They consider themselves old even though they’re only 25; I was amused at his whines about “old age”. The obsession with age among people in Singapore is prevalent and somewhat befuddling. Worn-out from getting drawn into the tiring age debate and cheap shots at their “senior” counterparts, I engaged in silent repartee invisibly throwing lines like a highly-skilled assassin would at his (or her) target:
- Age doesn’t spare anyone wrinkles, aches and pains, and slower metabolic rate.
- Don’t worry – you’ll have a lot to moan and groan about when you hit 40. *wicked grin*
- Nobody skips old age; one can only stay the ravages of time.
- Anyone born ahead of you is, obviously, older than you.
- Age is far from being a reliable gauge of a person’s maturity. Ever met a 40+-year-old man with a mindset of a teenager or vice-versa?
- Age is not a hard-and-fast rule about living; it can be viewed as a flexible guideline.
Fashion was his topic for that almost-nice afternoon and which, by the way, is another obsession that dogs the twentysomethings (both sexes) like one’s shadow. I read about fashion trends but do not necessarily follow them. This was the exact opposite of my tea companion’s thoughts and the reason for my bewilderment. What I found normal and decent in my wardrobe – trainers, jeans, shirt and Nike satchel – was completely anachronistic for him.
“You’re carrying a Nike bag but your shoes are New Balance,” he blurted out on alleged fashion faux pas.
“What’s wrong with that?” I retorted with my eyebrow raised, my trademark reaction to bizarre comments.
“Nothing really but your New Balance is an old model. You should change your trainers every 12 months,” he replied with certain smugness.
Tea ended on that thought-provoking moment and me wondering how cougars (not the animal) can suffer puerile behavior. Jaw-dropping looks and a toned physique can only go so far.
(Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)