Parents know best

The ones who raised you are the cool ones

By Aidan Mouellic, Staff Writer

Growing up, I shared a sentiment that a lot of people my age have held onto: that we in generation Y are way cooler than our baby booming parents. Now that I’ve aged into an immature 23-year-old, I’ve realized that I was wrong. Our parents are actually way cooler than us.

I came to this dreary realization last week when my parents asked me if I wanted to watch a movie with them. Typically, the films my parents are into are lame: weird foreign films, depressing dramas, or unbelievably inspiring movies based on true stories. But this time was different. This time I watched the foreign film and loved it. Our parents aren’t supposed to introduce us to things we like—we’re supposed to introduce them to things that are cool, so my notion that I was the coolest in the household melted away that evening. I realized that my favourite films, some of my favourite musicians, the foods I adore, and the values I hold dear were introduced to me by my parents, the originators of cool.

I’m not sure if this sudden realization of my lack of coolness is anything to be concerned about, but realizing that your parents are cooler than you can be worrisome. For the longest time I thought my father was one of the least cool people out there, mainly because he doesn’t care much about how he dresses. But I recently realized that the coolest way to be is to not give a fuck about how you look or what people think of you. It also helps that he rides an Italian motorcycle, bought his childhood dream car, and retired.

It dawned on me that my father, who I had long considered incurably uncool, was actually one of the coolest people I know. My whole definition of cool has changed. I no longer think the moustachioed Main Streeters are the coolest cats on the block—it’s our old and perhaps retired parents who we should admire. Think about it for a moment: everything that we consider cutting edge right now originated in our parents’ era. Computers, cellphones, cars, vinyl records, and hip hop—it was all born when our parents were our age.

The people we all think are the coolest are the hipsters, that breed of urbanite no one can really describe. But I can: a hipster is your mom and dad 30 or 40 years ago. That’s right, your parents were the original hipsters. They smoked weed while listening to vinyl records before you, and they wore the clothing from the thrift shop when it was available in the department store.

Earlier I mentioned how retirement added to my father’s coolness. This sounds odd since we usually think of retirees as weird old people who tell kids to get off their lawn, but there isn’t a cooler demographic. Retirees worked hard the majority of their lives, so it’s only fair that they get to relax and pretty much do anything they want. My dad sleeps in, gets dressed, and rides his motorcycle or drives a classic car all day—much cooler than most of the stuff I do. If you stop and think about it, you too will realize that your folks don’t need to wear leather to be cooler than you.