Once upon a time there was a misfit who devoured pop-culture.
She was a fan of PEREZ back in the *day* when he was Page Six Six Six (anyone else remember that?).
She used to joked (awkwardly she can now see with that 20/20 vision of hindsight) she had a BA, an M.Ed., and a PhD in Pop Culture with a focus on In Touch Weekly.
She was the one everyone came to when they wanted to know what a certain slang meant or to find out what was happening in Hollywood & Trashtastic Television.
She presumed herself to be a more benevolent TMZ who provided an educated spin on unimportant social subjects.
(yep. you can see where Im headed here right? *what* goeth before a fall?)
Life grew hectic.
Work, family, priorities intervened and interrupted our misfit’s love of the pop culture in a way she never dreamed would happen.
- Perez was replaced by devouring adoption blogs.
- With only enough time to read ONE magazine Star was often passed over for the New Yorker.
- First names like CHER and DEMI began to be associated with their older namesakes and not young, popular whippersnappers.
Still, our misfit clung to the facet of her self -definition which said she was a pop-culture junkie.
She knew this realtor and his KICKS quite well!
Until the fateful day she was brought to an awkward realization thanks to her young, vibrant 20 year old babysitter.
On this day our misfit was feeling particularly hip, current and down with the kids.
I’m super hip these days! She thought. Even our book focuses upon social media and harnesses the power of a hashtag!
Chronologically I may be 45, but inside I could be thirty! Maybe even in my 20s!
As she readied to head off to work (walking as always. she was *so* on the trend of loving Mother Earth that way) she remembered a package she’d received earlier that morning.
You need to see this gift a friend sent me, she told 20 something sitter. It’s so weird. And the tag was still on it, too, so I saw it’s weird AND expensive.
20 something sitter glanced at the sweatshirt and without missing a beat responded:
Yeah, that’s a Beyonce quote. It’s from Flawless.
It was in that moment something inside our sassy little misfit died.
It was in that moment she realized the key difference between pop culture and keeping up with pop culture.
In a way she’d not realized before — as the shift was simultaneously miniscule yet seismic—the fact she kept up with pop culture indicated the culture was no longer her own.
(cue mind-blowing realization which may or may not be profound for non-pop culture junkies)
The difference was huge and yet defined by two short and simple words:
- Do you define yourself as a lover of popular culture? Have you considered whether you’re keeping up or living it?
- Did you IMMEDIATELY know the sweatshirt sported a Beyonce lyric?
Gary saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 2:35 am
Definately just keeping up, probably not even that since I live abroad which makes it harder. I was recently thinking about this same thing after watching a “Teens React” clip on YouTube.
Runner Girl saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 4:14 am
I love BeyBey and knew this immediately!
Liz saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 4:31 am
OIive saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 5:20 am
I love her too.
Where is the sweatshirt from??
Tina Muir saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 4:24 am
Love it Carla! You are definitely not a follower, you play by your own rules, and it is one of the things I love about you. I do like that shirt, but not sure I would ever purchase one of those slogan shirts. I am afraid most my clothes are running (as you would expect if they are free right?), but I would say I am probably a bit more pop culture than I would like overall. Working on being my own self though 🙂
misszippy saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 4:33 am
I’m so old and out of touch that I don’t even desire to keep up! Thus the fact that I had NO idea about that lyric. The generation gap widens…
Marcia saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 4:36 am
I’d have no clue where that slogan came from. I’ve never been remotely interested in pop culture. My SIL reads all the trash mags and I have to confess I’m sort of embarrassed for her. Guess I’m “not cool” and proud of it.
Healthy Mama saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 4:50 am
I don’t even care about pop culture and never understand the references.
Coco saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 5:10 am
The only time I hear current music is at spinning and my husband can’t stand TMZ, so I only keep up with Pop Culture that makes it onto NPR. 😉
MrsFatass saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 5:19 am
Oh I’m definitely keeping up, and not very well. I don’t know anyone on Perez anymore. I consider Bravo to be the network for those of us who have aged way out of the MTV demographic. Lol.
CARLA saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 5:21 am
Michelle saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 5:26 am
I loved the shirt and had no clue it was a Beyonce quote. Oh well…still love it.
I used to be a pop culture junkie (I still get sucked in a little on internet articles) but one day I read an article about how Uma Thurman had cottage cheese thighs (she was getting into a car and it showed the back of her legs with the slightest of dimpling) and I thought…This is bullsh*t. I’m not giving them my money anymore. So I stopped.
Kelly saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 5:51 am
I love the sweatshirt, but I’m not a Beyoncé fan…more of a Destiny’s Child gal myself. I do love me trashy tv and bravo!!!
Jenny saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 6:25 am
I’ve actually never kept up with pop culture! Don’t watch the Emmys, Oscars, Academy Awards, Music Awards, etc. etc. Don’t care who wore what where, who’s dating who, who married who, yada yada yada. I consider *that* to be the new hip. 🙂
workout mommy saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 6:27 am
(sigh) I did not know.
and yes, I remember page six six six. (and pink is the new blog, remember that one?)
and now I feel old.
Valerie saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 6:30 am
I’m so far behind I’m almost ahead…pop culture’s about to lap me. 🙂
Janis saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 11:53 am
Just hold on for a little longer and it WILL lap you. I’m seeing kids nowdays walking around in stuff I saw on campus. I graduated in 1988. 🙂
Elle saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 6:58 am
Who is Beyonce? 🙂
Danielle saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 7:07 am
First time commenting, thoroughly enjoy reading your thoughts and musings.
I’m in my mid/late 30’s and was raised by my Chinese great-grandmother, so I was never cool but I thought I was my own kind of cool.
I suck at pop culture, I haven’t watched the news in eons but manage to keep up every now and then via living not under a rock 🙂 I had a phase of watching E Entertainment and reality tv and then realized it was stressing me out. I don’t want to care about these people, time is precious and I’d rather save my energy for people I want to know.
I would never have known that was a Beyonce quote, I just thought it was a cool shirt 🙂
Sagan saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 7:39 am
Definitely had no idea that was a Beyonce quote. I am totally in the *keeping up* crowd (at the ripe old age of being two weeks away from turning 26, no less!).
It’s funny – one of my freelance jobs right now is transcribing for university lectures, and the professor will make Seinfeld references and then double check with the students – “do all of you know Seinfeld?”. It’s kind of weird to think that these students REALLY AREN’T that much younger than me but pop culture moves so fast that they don’t get awesome 90s references.
Pam saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 7:53 am
I also devour pop culture….but sadly….I did not know where this phrase came from. Guess I’m not nearly as hip as I thought. Probably the fact that I used the word “hip” is evidence of that. Still love the shirt.
Marste saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 7:56 am
Ahahahahaha!!! Love this. I love the shirt, but had no idea it was a Beyonce quote (though I’ve been thinking lately I should pick up her music, because so many people I know LOVE her – plus that whole “Feminist” thing at the Grammys!).
If it makes you feel any better, I responded to someone flippantly the other day with “can’t stop, won’t stop,” and when they asked me where that was from, I realized I had NO IDEA. Apparently it’s an Usher song? I’d picked up the phrase through cultural osmosis without any context. I got a lot less cool when I had to look up the reference on my phone . . . 😛
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 7:57 am
Haha, I know nothing and could careless about pop culture!
mimi saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 7:59 am
With no TV, and reading the old fashioned delivered-right-to-my-driveway newspaper every morning, i neither keep up nor understand, but i have kids who can translate for me when i need to know. That’s okay by me.
AdjustedReality saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 8:17 am
I have no desire to keep up on purpose, but I end up with a decent view of pop culture (definitely on the outside looking in) just in daily life. Although, I had no idea it was a beyonce quote, but I think it fits you well! 🙂
I’d rather spend my downtime watching sci fi and reading running mags, so I’m definitely not trying very hard!
nellie saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 8:23 am
Of course I knew. But I am also a beyonce superfan. Don’t feel bad about not knowing. Us superfans speak our own language and there happens to be several million of us so shirts like these are made to facilitate our insanity.
Kim saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 8:49 am
I’ve never been up on pop culture – not sure why other than I’m just lame!!
I had no idea that was a Beyonce quote!
Janis saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 9:19 am
Are you kidding? I listen to 300-year old opera written by people no one ever heard of where all the male parts are sung a little high up, if you know what I mean. (By falsettists, thankfully. Nobody’s missing any parts, IYKWIM.)
Anyhow, if it’s a quote from an oratorio that was last stage in its entirety in Venice in a theater that burnt down 300 years ago, I might recognize it.
In other words, pop schmop. 🙂
Lori saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 9:45 am
I am sooooo not with pop culture. I am an embarrassment to my nieces, but I don’t care. I don’t know any current music and I am probably the only person in the world not to have watched the gagnam (sp??) video. I also proudly do not know what the fox says…
The things I am most interested in are not pop culture usually. Sometimes the beams cross, but usually not.
Jody - Fit at 56 saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 12:24 pm
Nope, did not know & really have never kept up with pop culture.. I no nothing! 🙂 Living in southern CA where we are bombarded by all this entertainment stuff even on regular news, I just do’t follow. TMZ is fun to watch for the guy that talks behind the scenes but most of the time I am clueless & OK with that!
Yum Yucky saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 12:50 pm
Had no idea it was Beyonce. I am very happy in my little world of not keeping up with the culture.
Janice - Fitness Cheerleader saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm
The only pop culture I’ve ever been up with is New Kids on the Block.
Bonnie saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 2:24 pm
Hahah – I did NOT know about that quote (although I’ve seen it penned across Instagram photos but didn’t know it was from Beyonce). I know enough but wouldn’t say I actively read or look for pop culture updates – only while waiting in line to check-out at the grocery store. That’s my time to “veg” and read those mags. And that’s okay with me!
She Rocks Fitness saysSeptember 11, 2014 at 5:04 am
I had no clue that was a Beyonce quote, but I DID used to read Perez like it was my job…I have stepped away from all of that as well as watching the news lately and I actually feel a lot better. I maybe in my own little world, but that’s okay. XOXO
T saysSeptember 11, 2014 at 8:55 am
The way I catch up with pop culture (after being lapped over and over again), is watching about 3 minutes of “entertainment” tv on my father-in-laws gazillion inch tv (seriously, it takes up an entire wall it seems)…
Case in point; last night after dinner E! something or other came on and I watched J-Lo and Nicki Minaj have a BOOTY-OFF then watched Bierber strip down to his skivvies because he was getting booed on stage.
That was enough for me.
(skirting back under the oooooooold rock in which I live)
Angela Mager saysSeptember 11, 2014 at 11:03 am
How old does it make me to ask what young popular person is named Cher or Demi? I have no clue. So obviously I didn’t know that was a Beyonce lyric. 🙂 So, before reading this I thought I was keeping up. But…maybe not so much.
Dr. J saysSeptember 11, 2014 at 11:45 am
Nev er been part of it except when pop culture crosses my life line. I’ve never seen myself as a nonconformist although I’ve been called one. I just have followed my path rather than paths created by the masses. Is it a good idea? For me it was easier, for most, not so easy.
Leigh Ann saysSeptember 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm
I can’t keep up. My husband sent me a cool cover of what I presume is a current hit song, but I have no idea, because I’ve never heard it.
Abby Land saysSeptember 11, 2014 at 4:54 pm
I know no reality TV pop culture, but a bit about music.
KCLAnderson (Karen) saysSeptember 23, 2014 at 10:53 am
It occurred to me recently that it’s no longer “the younger generation” but rather the younger generationS. There are more than one that are younger than me now.
And somewhere along the line I realized it’s okay that I can’t keep up. As evidenced by the fact that you wrote this post 13 days ago and I am just now commenting 😉