8 Ways I'm Cooler Now Than I Was 10 Years Ago

by Laura Hanby Hudgens
Originally Published: 

I’m in my mid-40s, so keep in mind that “cool” is a relative term. But today as I was reorganizing my silverware drawer (bear with me, I’m not to the cool part yet), I found myself singing a little alt-rock ditty that has been running through my brain for the last several days. I know all the words. Yes, I am that cool. In fact, I think I am actually cooler than I was 10 years ago. Here’s why:

1. I know all the words to every Panic! At the Disco song.

Ten years ago, the coolest thing on my iPod (Did we even have iPods back then?) was The Laurie Berkner Band. And while I admit I still kind of love Victor Vito (and Freddie Vasco, clap clap), one of the advantages of having teenagers is that none of the music playing in my car is about dinosaurs or trains or little ponies.

2. I know what not to wear.

There was an awkward time in my 30s when I wasn’t always sure where the fashion line was for a woman my age. Which trends could I get away with and which ones made me look like I was trying too hard? This is not a problem for the mom of teens. My girls are more than happy to tell me what looks awesome and what looks absolutely ridiculous (apparently there’s no middle ground). In fact, I’m not sure how women who don’t have teenage daughters to tell them when they are a complete embarrassment ever get dressed and leave the house.

3. I can wear dangly earrings any time I want.

As a child of the ’80s, I have never gotten over my love of big earrings, but when my children were small I had to stash them away for fear of having my lobes ripped off by a toddler who wikes Mommy’s pwetties. I learned that one the hard way. Of course at my age, I am careful to steer clear of anything too Jody Watley, but I have my daughters to keep me in line.

4. I watch ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and Netflix marathons of ‘Mad Men.’

Once I even saw an episode of Game of Thrones, but since I still have kids under 15 in the house, I can’t really risk that again. I never watch Phineas and Ferb or Dora the Explorer. And just the other day, a younger friend mentioned something about Umizoomi, and I had no idea what she was talking about. I just nodded politely and twirled my dangly earring.

5. My bras don’t have flaps.

The only way in is to take it all the way off, which I can do if I want without the fear of milk leaking all over my T-shirt.

6. None of my clothes have dried spit-up down the back.


7. I read all the bestsellers (the ones without pictures).

I spend countless hours sitting in my car waiting for school to get out or practice to end or the movie to be over. This affords me hours of free time for reading.

8. All of my favorite styles are back.

High-waisted pants? Been there. Leggings? Done that. Off-the-shoulder sweater? Like a maniac.

Yes, I am definitely cooler than I was 10 years ago. In fact when I think about it, I was also cooler in my 30s than I was in my 20s. And even with my savage tan and Julia Roberts-style big hair in my teens, I was really just practicing at cool. So basically I am like a fine wine, getting better with each passing year. I can’t wait to see what the next decade brings.

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