Another Quick Thought: Why I loathe the term “old school”

In preparation for the release of my next book, I’m going to share some similar thoughts that will be appearing in “Epiphanies, Theories, and Downright Good Thoughts…made while being single.” I’m not going to give the whole thing away. but the below passage is more of a paraphrase from an earlier version of the book. Hope you enjoy.

I really dislike hearing this phrase nowadays; especially in the context of “Hey, he’s really ‘old school’.” Or “Do you see how he handled that? He’s really old school.” Or even “That person sure is old school. Do people even do it that way anymore?”

My somewhat bitter feelings are not directed at an older generation. I don’t want this to become misconstrued in that sense. The common conclusion when one hears “old school” is think one of two things: an elder’s way of performing tasks (which is more likely) or the comedy film, Old School, starring Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell. For those that were hoping to talk about that movie in this post, I’m sorry to disappoint. That won’t be happening. Instead, I want to talk about the lost meaning of what defines this type of person.

Being “old school” generally means to conduct one’s self and/or behave in a manner that is more in line with the days of yesteryear. You like to print paper from an office machine rather than save it electronically on an iPad. You prefer reading the newspaper versus scouring Yahoo! news via the internet; and you may be someone who likes to open doors for dates, ask the father for permission to marry his daughter first, and even keeps the family jewels in check before tying the knot with said female consort. These are ideas and notions that our culture deems as “old school”. And where I’d agree with the first 2 as being truly old school behavior, I’m inclined to disagree with the third one, aka the whole dating scenario.

When did the best standards for courting someone suddenly become “old school”? And why is being “old school” not rewarded for the sake of being “old school”? Last I checked, a lot of people are hurt by bad relationships or poor decisions so they are looking for some kind of guideline on how to act or send away the wrong customers. Well, it’s no secret that we often neglect the best option for us in favor of the one we think is best; only to be burned later on for our ignorance. But what’s really interesting is that we turn around and do the same thing all over again. As if what’s comfortable trumps the pursuit of actually being happy. Thus, as human nature takes over, and we continue to do the same things over and over with similar results, a chosen few who break from that mold slowly become a cultural phenomenon simply known as “old school”.

So what gives, right? Well, how about this question: Do you rely on horoscopes for dating advice? Or magazines like Cosmopolitan? If you do, I’m not here to chastise you for it; sure, being a Scorpio may make you more prone to jealousy and possessiveness but are those traits the only way you should define yourself? And should Cosmo be telling you the proper alignment of months to seek out a partner? No, I would hope not (and for the record, I have checked out this publication and am not proud to admit that but hey, I had to do my research). Naturally this advice, for lack of a better word, – sucks.

If something is recognizable as making both parties happy, and there aren’t better ways to execute said process without someone getting hurt, then it’s not old school – it’s simply the right way to do things. *pause for dramatic effect here*.

Now, is that a hard concept to grasp? Maybe I should consult my horoscope to see if that’s so….ok, not really.

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