What’s Bothering You?

I have a confession. 

Well–confessions, actually. 

I didn’t know what the ruckus about “surfbort” is all about, until I started writing this. (I’ve heard of it, but I couldn’t find the time to actually research about it.) 

I only found out about “America is Beautiful” ad hours after the racist explosion online. (But I’m not a big fan of Coke,  so no surprise.) 

I have purposely distanced myself from news on the Deniece-Vhong-Cedric brouhaha

I suppose when you get a little bit older, you realize how little time you have to pay attention to everything that catches your fancy. (Add to that the fact that you perceive life happening a little bit quicker, as you mature.) 

What’s troubling (well at least for me) is, this connected world demands just that: that you flit from one point of interest to the next, stretching your attention span so much until nothing really makes sense anymore.

But maybe it is just me not keeping up. Or rather, failing to keep up. 

A Jezebel article I was reading put it succinctly (caveat though, this is about Madonna): 

“Oh. It’s happening. You are getting old. You don’t get it anymore. You don’t know it, but you have become the bearer of old ideas. And I know I’ll be there eventually too. I am way more terrified of that not-getting-it than I am of crow’s feet and saggy neck-skin.” 

At some point you realize that you’re not exactly as cool/awesome/(insert adjective that describes your participation in the cultural zeitgeist), and you realize that you’re the person who does things young people cringe at. 

It makes me wonder: at what point does one become something that’s dated or out of style? At what point does one just shrug and say, the fight isn’t worth it, that it’s time to quit and become obsolete?   

Frankly, I don’t know. I don’t have to answer to that. But let me tell you a little story of what happened earlier this evening: there was a long line in the grocery, and I was a bit irritated that the cashier was taking so long to accommodate all the people in front of me. 

As I inched closer to the counter, the epiphany struck: this was what was bothering me now. This was one of the things that was actually consuming most of my time. 

My life had revolved around domesticity. 

Not parties. Not going out there and peacocking. Not being interested in the latest trends (save the ones related to work.)

Slowly I wondered, had I become obsolete? The voice in my head was adamant though: no–I just found a different kind of fun.  

Each day I console myself by saying: to each his own distraction.

By Evan Tan

Evan Tan is a writer & communications professional from Manila, Philippines.

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