Retrosex Revival


I attended a wedding in New York last weekend. Without going into much detail / spilling too many secrets, I'll allow that it was a crazy time; many high school friends and acquaintences who hadn't seen each other in years were, um, reunited. Some were really excited to reconnect, if you catch my drift. When you haven't seen someone since high school and all of a sudden they can drink legally, flirt ably, and wear a tuxedo without looking like a clown, it's undeniably appealing.

Of course the whole time I could only think about the story I wrote early this year, "Are You A Retrosexual?" The story's gotten a fair amount of play, in Time magazine, on the New York Times language blog, and even internationally (a French newspaper is going to print it, and Jeff and I will talk about the phenomenon on "Get Connected," a Canadian technology radio program, on Saturday).

Several of the points I made in that piece resonated in these scenarios. Consider what "Gillian" had to say 10 months ago: "There's a level of familiarity . . . that can actually make things awkward at first. Like, you're seeing this guy who you've gone through so many years with, but now you're both naked. [It] can be almost comical. . . . But it can also be amazing, because there's this sense of connection that, although it might not be a true love connection, is unique in that there's a finite number of people in the world you knew in the high-school context." (I think several of the weekend's participants would agree today.) 

Post-wedding, as we all nursed hangovers and dished details, the inevitable "what-now" conversation arose. Suffice to say, everyone has a whole new batch of Facebook friends this week. ("The popularity of social-networking sites — okay, really just Facebook — has made retrosexing all the easier. Whereas potential retros used to have to wait for their five- or 10-year high-school reunions to have old acquaintances fall into their lap, now they can simply search Facebook for high-school classmates and fellow college alumni, and re-establish contact without too much gumshoeing," I wrote in January.)

Will these online connections lead to more long-term staying-in-touch? Only time will tell. But it certainly makes it easier to maintain the gigglefest -- to learn more about these guys and girls who otherwise might disappear again into the ether. (Would that be for the best? Another unanswerable one.)

(More Time-Phoenix connections: The Second Maine Militia meeting that Rick Wormwood wrote about in last week's Portland Phoenix showed up on on Saturday.)

| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular 
All Blogs
Follow the Phoenix
  • newsletter
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube
  • rss
Latest Comments
Search Blogs
Strange Maine - winner, The Best Blog, Portland Phoenix, 2008
Black Bird Legal Collective - A Portland-based legal-activist group
DowneastBlog - You tell us what they think
Local Foodie - Portland-based local-foods blog
Media Nation - A media-watch column by journalism professor and Phoenix contributor Dan Kennedy
Organizing Notes - Comments from Maine peace-and-justice activist Bruce Gagnon
Portland Greens - Updates from Portland's Green Party
Portland on Wikipedia - See what the crowdsourcing crowd is saying
Where There's Wil, There's Always A Way - winner, The Best Blog, Portland Phoenix, 2007
Portland Museum of Art blog -
Have Faith In Worthless Knowledge - The SPACE Gallery blog
Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition - Activists for prisoners' rights
About Town Archives