When I was an adolescent, I was desperately uncool. (I like how I'm saying this as though I've become super-hip and popular in the intervening years. EL OH EL NOPE.) As a result, I always came to fads late. My Tamagotchi was probably one of the last ever sold. I skipped the Furby altogether, and I'm glad I did, because those things are scary. One particularly bitchy classmate made fun of me in the third grade because I still played with Barbies. This is how it went back then.
Today, I'm no better at keeping up with trends, but in a different, more adult way. Gone are the times when I was late to the party; instead, I'm skeptical of the party itself. The hyper-manicured eyebrow? I don't get it at all and refuse to participate. "Festival style" baffles me, both because of its appropriative aspects and because I don't see the appeal of things like Bonnaroo and Burning Man. Reality television in the vein of the Real Housewives franchise holds no interest for me.
This might sound surprising coming from someone who claims to be a devotée of popular culture, and in a way, it is. When it comes to pop culture, I lean more nerdy, more literature-centric, more critical (in the evaluative sense), so I walk a different path, ignoring the things that don't speak to me in favor of topics that spark my curiosity.
As a child, I wanted to fit in badly enough that even something as inane as pogs seemed essential to my life; unfortunately, by the time I arrived at the station, the train had departed and I was left trying to catch the caboose. Now, I'm less susceptible to that impulse, although I do still occasionally seek opportunities to be accepted into the so-called "cool kids" group. That's only human, I think.
Perhaps as I continue to age, I'll worry less and less about that cutting edge. It usually turns out to be ineffectual, anyway, or lacks historical or philosophical resonance. The exception to this may prove to be something like the Kardashian family; if that turns out to be the case, I'll eat my words. For now, though, I'll continue to wonder what I might be missing when I don't consume a given type of media.
Here's hoping I'm not missing anything at all.