February 13, 2008 by Judith Liebaert
I’m losing my cool. In fact, I’m not sure I ever really had it. To be honest, I wasn’t giving much brain time to this whole thing until I tuned into my favorite talk radio station today. It seems that in the war of the sexes, mature guys win hands down over older women in the cool department.
As if there isn’t enough fodder to set the political pundits’ tongues on fire, now they’ve pointed out that Hillary just doesn’t have the same cool factor as her husband, the Former President Clinton.
Remember that great moment when Bill donned his Blues Brothers glasses and started tooting his own horn? The voters loved it. By comparison, Hillary looked, well, less than cool while performing the Macarena, and she can’t carry a tune in a gunny sack, but that has little to do with the truth of the matter. It’s her age – her middle age, to be exact that makes her uncool.
Too bad it wasn’t a call in program; there are a few things I wanted to point out, like the fact that the commentators were men. In Man World, men become distinguished with age. Women just get old. I think men have some kind of magic mirrors that reflect only virile youth. How else can you explain the aging male, with substantial paunch, man boobs and sagging skin, that stands in front of his looking glass every morning, strikes the Atlas pose and announces, “I’ve still got it.”?
Billy-boy’s famous saxophone solo was sixteen years ago – that’s almost two decades. Back then, if Hillary had donned a pair of tight blue jeans, a t-shirt and a leather jacket, and rode in on the back of a Harley with her long blond hair blowing out behind her, I think hot might have been the buzz word. As a matter of fact, I think she could still pull that off today if she lost the matronly suits and spent a little time with Stacy and Clinton of What Not To Wear.
There seems to be a little confusion over hot and cool. Does it all come down to gender? It is Joe Cool after all, not Jane. John Travolta’s breakout character,Vinnie Barbarino was the epitome of cool in Welcome Back Kotter. And sitting in the desk behind him? Hotsy Totsy, not Cool Lulu. Then came Grease, and John T spelled cool with a capital C. When sweet and innocent Sandy decided to go bad for her man, she transformed into a sizzling hot babe.
Okay, so maybe a middle aged woman can’t lose her cool factor because she never had it to begin with. But unless you count the hot flashes, my temperature on the hotty thermometer is definitely going down as my years increase. Let’s face it, I’m barely lukewarm these days.
“That’s not true,” my 26 year old daughter assures me. “A lot of guys your age think you’re hot.”
Your age. Two words that rake on my confidence like nails on a chalkboard.
As for Hillary, she’s in a catch-22. The same pundits who pigeon hole her as uncool, (translate – past her prime), find fault with her opponent for being too young and inexperienced. I guess they’d think it was cool if Senator Obama played a mean blues riff on a harmonica, then suddenly he’d be a seasoned gentleman – one cool cat.
So what is this hot factor that has me losing my cool? Why do I spend money on creams, lotions and potions that promise to make me look ten years younger? Why do I squeeze myself into Spanks, a kinder gentler girdle than my mother wore, to look fifteen pounds thinner? Why do I even care if I can make men half my age take a second look?
Does a woman have to be hot to be cool and can a middle aged woman like me pull it off? Should I even bother? I mean, unless I’m running for President of the United States, what’s it going to get me?
There will always be women younger and prettier than me and maybe my days of dancing the Macarana, or at least looking good while I’m doing it are over.
Not to worry, there’s still the Tango.
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