As a writer, I am always working to have a compelling voice and for my characters to have their own distinctive voices. This can be a challenge when writing characters of a different generation. As my husband and I descend (rapidly) into ‘old codgery’, we are quick to point out the cultural catch phrases that we find so annoying, while completely ignoring how many things we describe as “cool”, “perfect” and “awesome” like the old so-and-so’s that we are. We started saying “Really? WOW” so often that our three year old picked it up, not knowing we were being sarcastic. We started every text LOL in fun, but now I think we might mean it. “I know, right?” snuck into my vocabulary completely against my will.
The problem is, I’m not opposed to writing in the language of the ‘yoots’ (My Cousin Vinny – outdated cultural reference), if I could be sure I knew what it was. I’m terribly afraid that by the time I know about the next cool thing, it’s no longer cool. I try to compensate for this by reading young adult novels (obsessively) but find myself disturbed by how sophisticated they are.
My only hope is that Gabi’s coolness rubs off on me. She lives with us and helps with our kids and she’s young and knows things. I think she’ll help me because she feels sorry for me and maybe wouldn’t want to be embarrassed by association.