When my niece blares pop music from her bedroom, I used to feel like a grumpy old lady. Sitting slumped on the kiddie bean bag chair in their family room, I pull a long strand of grey hair from my head. Holding the very wiry, silver hair, I contrast it to my very black pants. Day-um that’s grey. The music continues to blare from above us.
“What’s she listening to?” I ask her mom.
“Who knows,” replies her mom, with a little chuckle, “Justin Beaver, Rihanna, Brianna, Drake. I can’t keep up.”
“Me either. Dem kids and their music.” I say. “By the way, it’s Bieber, not Beaver.
That’s when I felt old, unhip, out of the loop (as I continue to watch the grey against black action.) I used to be the fun, hip Aunty. What the heck happened? I got grey all of a sudden and was one of those people who scoffed, “dem kids and their rock and roll.” Hey, I used to be one of those kids not too long, long ago. The grown-ups would scoff at me when I listened to Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, Prince and his Purple Rain, Ms. Jody Whatley and A Flock of Seagulls. Hello 80’s child!
Next time I visited and heard the music blaring, I actually took the time to go up to my niece’s room. Looking up from her text happy fingers, and sparkly nails, she greeted me with a large smile. “Hey Aunty,” she said. “Move those clothes from the chair and take a seat.” I love Kayla and the freedom of this age. There is no shame about the sloppiness. I simply move the pile of clothes and flop in her chair. I see the music coming from her iPod thing-ama-jiggy. In my day it was records, and then Cd’s. I look at the song selection and see Pink’s song “Try” is playing. I love what I’m hearing. The lyrics are all about being strong and rising up not just in the face of heartbreak, but life’s trials in general. Never giving up, even when it’s hard. “I really like Pink,” I proclaim, proud of my pop culture awareness.
“Really?” says Kales, between texting. (So what? I can’t like Pink just because I have a few greys?)
“Yeah,” I continue. “She was my favourite in the Lady Marmalade compilation.” When I start to sing gitchie, gitchie ya-ya da-da, Kayla looks clueless. Time to leave that alone. Must not show oldness, must not show oldness. I’m in the room of hip for Pete’s sake!
I sincerely like Pink. I think she is not given enough credit in the cut throat music industry and is underrated for her talent and great voice. She says she’s not a conventional beauty, and she seems proud of her appearance. (although I think she’s very pretty.) I’m sure bigwigs in the biz tried to change her and convince her to lose weight, look more Brittany and Christina-esque, to soften her look and not to look quite so muscular. I’m sure Pink told the bigwigs what to do with their Brittany-esque ideas. What did Pink do? She cut her hair to an even shorter, cropped do. She gained more muscle and looked like a complete badass. She’s a great role model for young girls and sends a strong message to be yourself and do it proudly. It’s not about being paper-thin for Pink, it’s about being healthy. She’s fearless and is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. A tigress if I’ve ever seen one. I look at the young Kayla texting before me and see a tigress emerging there too. She’s not afraid to show a little muscle, tries out for the track team, holds two responsible jobs, is respectable, yet strong-minded and can rock climb like nobody’s business. I admire this fifteen year old and I am happy to say it.
” I love this song,” says Kayla, Try finishing up on the song selection. “makes me feel like I can do anything, even if it’s hard.”
I smile at Kayla. Like I said, I love Kayla and I can relate to this song. Yes! Just then my brother knocks on the door with a “hey guys.”
“You may enter, father,” she says.
My older bro scratches his head and yawns, looking in through the door. “Can you kids keep it down? I’m about to get some sleep here.”
You kids, I gush inside. I love Pink. I love my older bro.
Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame,
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned.
Just because it burns, doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try, try, try.