"We tried not to age, but time had its rage"
Today I turn 39. The dreaded 3-9. I have one desert boot in the grave. You’ll soon see me skanking on the dance floor with a cane. I'm considering buying those electric wheelchairs and adding a ton of Stadium mirrors and a bunch of fog lamps on it. Alright, maybe I'm over dramatizing things just a tad.
Seriously, I think I might have a legitimate question here. Am I too old to be a Mod? Modernism is supposed to be a youth subculture. When you're a teenager, you feel invincible. You look at the world with a carefree attitude, thumbing your nose at society. I don't have time to do all that; I have a mortgage to pay!
Even though I feel like I'm not a day over 25, am I pushing it? Is an almost 40-year-old geezer supposed to prance around on a vintage Vespa in a parka? Is this the start of a mid-life crisis? Am I holding on to the last throws of my youth with both hands and not letting go? When you stop and ponder, it does sound pathetic. But before I go in a dark alley and shoot myself in the head, let me play devil's advocate.
If you ask most of my coworkers, acquaintances, neighbors and a lot of my friends what they thought about me being a Mod, they would most likely answer: "What the hell is a Mod?" Besides, since I'm French Canadian, they usually get confused about the word itself. Mode in French means fashion. So its gets even more complicated when you try to explain that the Mod movement is more than just about fashion.
The point is that a Mod can be very anonymous in a crowd. Your attire is sharp, smart and clean. You can pretty much blend in everywhere. It's not like if I was a huge hip hop fan, wearing a crooked cap, pants that can fit two and enough chains around my neck that the weight could break a few vertebrae. I have no piercings, no tattoos and no wild haircut. I have nothing against any of those things. In fact, most of my friends have tattoos and piercings but they don't teach elementary school kids either.
The Mod movement is also rooted in a lot of things that are retro. The music, the fashion, the art, the scooters, all get their inspiration from the past. Therefore, you don't have to keep up with the latest trends to feel that you are part of it. There's no real street lingo attached to it anymore. Modernism used to be synonymous with everything that is now and upcoming. I think that we can all agree that it's not really the case anymore. You can have a firm hold on the present while having a foot (or boot) planted in the past. That's what makes the Mod movement unique. For that reason, I think that I can keep being myself without being looked upon as being out of touch.
Modernism is not a religion. You can embrace it without being fanatical about it. It doesn't define me. It's simply part of who I am. You won't find a target logo on everything I own and I don't wear a suit to the grocery store. On the other hand, I will drive my '59 Vespa VNB to work every once in a while. I think there's a difference between wearing a nice Fred Perry to work, with nicely pressed Farah trousers at 39 and looking like Marilyn Manson. And if you do, well more power to you!
"People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we g-g-get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Yeah, I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
This is my generation
This is my generation, baby"
My generation, The Who, 1965
From now on, I have to accept the fact that I'm getting old. I will only sit in rocking chairs...