In my last post, I used the word “sexy.” In reference to my laptop – really, people, there’s no denying it – but still. It got me thinking about the word, and what it means in our culture. I have a confession: I have never, ever heard the song “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake. I’m so uncool; I wouldn’t know it if I heard it. Oh, I’ve heard references to it, I’ve followed the cultural tidal wave, but largely, I am outside the whole young and sexy scene.
“Sexy.” What an odd concept. Where do we learn what “sexy” means?
For me, I learned from television. First of all, there was that lady on “Miami Vice” who oh-so-cooly tipped her sunglasses during the opening credits. The last time I tried that move, I may or may not have poked myself in the eye. And that may or may not have been just this morning.
Secondly, there was Kelly Kapowski. I distinctly remember an episode of “Saved By the Bell” where she coyly held the tip of a pen between her teeth, flirting with Zack Morris. I, for one, never tried to emulate that move. On a plane. Next to a cute boy. When the pen broke open. Filling my mouth with ink. Causing me to panic. And swallow the ink. And – tada! – staining my teeth black.
No. That never happened.
See, “sexy” isn’t my forte. At Nordstrom, I have occasionally heard the booming voice of God: “Step away from the Karen Kane.” I don’t know why – I just somehow naturally find myself surrounded by… mom clothes. I found a very functional black bag at a yard sale, and one night, a friend said, “Even my mom hates Liz Claiborne.” Oh. So that’s not cool? Okay – I didn’t know.
Yesterday, I gave myself a pep talk and decided to give the juniors’ section at Nordstrom a try. Despite the awful music that plays there (“Lips of an Angel”? Whose idea was that? No, really – whose?), I triumphantly came away with FIVE NEW TOPS! I am so cool. And young. And hip.
But sexy? I don’t think I will ever feel comfortable attributing that label to myself. That term will forever be reserved for the computer, who will always deserve it more than me.