After a lot of research and hundreds of interviews, surveys and focus groups, I’ve compiled the following to help those of us with heartbreaking issue of Middle-aged Coolness Degeneration (M.A.D.)
Get a Cool Job: It’s never too late to make a career change. Cool jobs include rock star, gigolo, CSI investigator and fireman. Not cool jobs are things like Nigerian heir, public servant, street mime, David Suzuki or mayor.
Look Cool: This is the most important one and the most difficult. General rule of thumb is to spend a lot of time, money and effort on hair and shoes and everything else will fall into place
With cool hair you can pull off the occasional fashion faux pas and still look cool. To have cool hair you need to spend a lot of money on a good stylist and lots of products and hair hardware. The aim is to have your hair look so natural and unfussy that it looks like you can’t even be bothered combing it, washing it or even looking at it.
The next thing you need are excellent shoes. You should have lots of shoes and they should all be expensive and should not hurt to walk in. They should not be designed to make you trip, stumble and fall a lot. You should also be able to walk in them on most terrains, so you are not defeated should the time comes that you might have to cross a lawn.
Clothes are tricky. An entire post or two could easily be devoted to middle-aged do’s and don’ts when it comes to clothes, but alas my research hasn’t taken me that far yet. In the meantime, be aware that not cool includes trendy fads or stores like Wal-Mart, Zellers, Giant Tiger, Northern Reflections or Tabi International. The easiest thing to do for now is to pick someone everyone thinks is cool, who’s kind of your age, style and size and copy them exactly.
Get Cool Teeth: In 2008, it is imperative that your teeth are so straight and blindingly white that they look like dentures. If you can’t afford months in the dentist chair to have your real teeth bleached, orthodontured and veneered, then you might as well get fake ones.
Get Cool Gadgets: It’s way cool for people of any age to have a lot of high-tech gadgets AND to know how to really use them. That includes portable gadgets, car gadgets and home/office gadgets. Not cool is to brag about how you can’t even operate your VCR or to make fun of youngsters texting because it’s all so mystifying to you.
Be in a Band: There’s nothing cooler than being in a band, cutting a CD, playing a gig, jamming or talking about how you’ve just done or are about to do any of those things. Being the front man/woman, playing guitar, bass or keyboards are cool and being the drummer is especially cool. Playing accordion, recorder or air guitar, not so much. Karaoke is also not cool unless you’re doing it in a mocking way and not because deep down you think you’ll be discovered. Often it’s hard to know for sure.
Stay away from Malls: Malls are cool for teenagers, not grown-ups. Grown-ups shop in stores staffed by grown-ups where the music is eclectic and funky rather than just ear-splittingly loud. Grown-up stores have doors, not gates that slide down from the ceiling. Also never go any place that makes you line-up to get food. Never line up for food.
Talk Cool: Keep up with current issues, trends, ideas. Don’t start all your sentences with “in my day…” Don’t make grammatical errors that will make people wince. Talking like a hillbilly or a teenager isn’t cool. Get a pleasant voice. There is nothing more uncool than a voice that’s shrill, grating or sounds like you should be clearing your throat before speaking.
Walk Cool: Ever see those executive types in their expensive suits who spend 98% of their time sitting at desks and board tables so they have big barrel chests, bulging abdomens and wide heinies and skinny, spindly legs? When they get up to walk they lumber along on their underused pins kind of like a robot. Don’t be like that. Make videos of yourself walking in the privacy of your home. Don’t go out until you’re sure have mastered a cool strut.
Hang out with Cool People: Cultivate friendships with people who are cool and coolness is bound to rub off on you. Ditch friends who drive mini-vans, spend their weekends at Red Lobster, Swiss Chalet or Ponderosa. Also, don’t hang with anyone who’s into creative anachronism, Home Depot, Oprah or the Starland Vocal Band.
Be an Activist: Even the dorkiest dork immediately attains an aura of Cool Squared if he/she protests stuff. Joining things like PETA, the Green Party, Friends of the Earth, and Sweatshop Watch are way cool. Uncool groups would include Real Women, NRA, or the Stephen Harper Secret Cabal of Good, Clean Fun.
 Don’t get me wrong, I love, love David Suzuki and all the wondrous things he hath wrought. It’s just his recent TV ads are really creeping me out