Far From Trending

I am all sorts of excited about the possibilities the new year presents. Having a vacation is my biggest hope for 2022. Some of us have worked tirelessly during the past couple of years through the labor shortage, pandemic, business loss, and whatever other effects the period had on us. We’re all very tired and could use a vacation.

Also, with the new year, I’ve begun something new. I’ve started to explore twitter.

This morning I was watching my twitter feed on my computer instead of on my phone and saw postings over on the right side of the screen. News items that are trending (Willow the First Cat has arrived at the White House), advertisements for Apple TV, and suggestions on who to follow were neatly lined up along the edge of my screen. While on twitter, I posted about my new blog, mentioning it was new, yes, but I’m a continuous student of history and new would be a relative term.

Trending. Is history a record of trends? In some ways it is, some ways it isn’t. History explores trends, i.e. considering cultural and geographic norms of the time and place, but records events carried out by people, nature, and God. As I’m always carrying a book with me, what’s trending, on twitter may not interest me as much as West African Folktales. It will come, it will go, but will a country’s or the entire world’s history rely on it?

I tried to be trendy once, if a loose interpretation of the term is used. In the ninth grade I begged and begged my mom for a pair of soft leather white Nike shoes with the red swoosh. I wore them and wore them and wore them. When they got dirty and scuffed I washed them and painstakingly rubbed white shoe polish on them, careful to avoid getting any on the swoosh. I wore them for all of ninth grade and into the tenth, and I thought I was fitting in with my peers. Mom bought me a pair of trending jeans that came far too long – seriously, the company intentionally made them too long, so wasteful; they could have made them shorter AND cheaper – Anyway, I hemmed them up with masking tape after every wash. It was a defeating moment when I realized that in order to fit in with the trends, you need to have new Nike’s and new San Francisco and Brittania jeans (those were trending at the time; now they’re vintage), but my high school splurge allowance was spent in the 9th grade and my mom wasn’t buying any more of those trendy, spendy things. I earned money doing odd jobs and babysitting, but I didn’t earn near enough to maintain a trend.

Mom still remembers the sacrifice she made in order for me to be stylish. I still remember learning that trending is not something that is ever finished. I like all the wonderful people I’m meeting on twitter. As I’m new there, I don’t follow a whole lot of people yet, but those I have run across all seem very nice. I just hope they don’t notice I’m barefoot.

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