Swinger Syndrome

Dear Reid,

I am writing in concern for the mental health of a close friend. Recently he has taken to imitating fictional characters in a current popular film. In an attempt to get “the beautiful babies” he now wears a hefty silver chain on his belt loop. He says he looks like “money,” but I think it is just a reflection of his insecurity. Is this just a fashion phase or is it a serious cry for help? I desperately need advice on how to deal with my disillusioned pal.

Signed,
Sick of “Swinger Syndrome”

I know how you feel. People these days are so impressionable. First they started wearing those leather jackets and slicking back their hair. Then in came the bell-bottomed trousers and flowery shirts. Next they put their baseball caps on backwards. Backwards, for Pete’s sake! It doesn’t even help keep the sun out of your eyes that way. And now with the baggy pants and the chains dangling from their pockets. Always trying to look “hip” or “groovy” or “keen,” these young people are just out of control.

And what’s with this whole “alternative” phase, anyway. Doesn’t “alternative” mean new, different, straying from the norm? But in being “alternative,” these kids are just conforming, albeit they are conforming to a different style than their parents conformed to.

But back to the chain. Those things remind me of the suspender fad when I was in seventh grade. Everybody had suspenders attached to their jeans, but rather than looping them over their shoulders to help hold up the pants, they let the suspenders dangle from the waist. If you didn’t have suspenders dangling behind you, you just weren’t cool. Unfortunately, looking cool and being cool are two different things altogether.

Some of those youngsters were not quite as smooth—not quite as “money”—as the others. Those were the kids who after class, got up and tried to strut out of the room dragging their desk chair behind them, tethered by a tangled suspender. Once they managed to pull free, and got out into the hall, the bigger kids would reach behind them and pull on the suspenders. When they let go, the innocent victim would be snapped in the behind. Females can liken this experience to the early-puberty bra-snapping stage.

I know if I tried to hook one of those chains between my beltloop and my wallet, I’d end up dragging one of those broken orange HFA chairs halfway across campus before I just gave up and let it have my money. But that’s just me. I’m sure your friend is one of those slick kids, in with the honeys and bad to the core. Why, I’ll bet he could even pull off that backwards baseball cap look at the same time.

But really, who would you rather hang with? Some hipster doofus who’s fly with the latest trends, or someone more honest and real? Which person do you think is more secure who he is, more in touch with his true self? Your friend needs to take a good look at himself. He needs to find out what’s under that tough-guy exterior. He might just be surprised at what he sees.

He’ll probably realize that his life is a sham. He has no purpose, no motivation, no direction, no heart. All his life he’s been caught up in the now, doing what is currently perceived as cool, mindlessly following the flock. Your friend is a sheep, being led along to his demise by the very chain which he thinks will get him where he wants to go.

Help your friend. Take away his chain. Help him find his individuality. Alternative is no longer an alternative. Friends don’t let friends conform.

One Response to “Swinger Syndrome”

  1. http://technorati.com Says:

    It took a little time for me a long time to figure out the things you were talking about.

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