Gonesville Cool

Way back when – when I was young and beautiful or maybe just young – there was an awful lot of attention on the cool factor. Who was cool, why they were cool, how to be cool like them, if proximity to cool made you cool too, what clothes, sunglasses, makeup, boots, music, activities, attitudes made one cool. Yep, that was really what we all studied in high school, wasn’t it? Well, I know I did. And to be honest I’m not sure I ever really learned what true coolness was.

But as life went on and I escaped the monstrosity known as high school, my view of cool changed. No longer was it about who was on the Varsity sports Teams or Cheerleading league but more about who had some special talent or stand-out-ability. A maverick even. Somebody who basically wasn’t me but whom I could hope to emulate and again, be cool.

I bought all the current fashion mags, duplicated the looks to the best of my ability – made my hair as big or sleek as the trendsetters suggested, wore the stilettos or espadrilles when and where they said, went curly, went straight, skirts then trousers, highlights then lowlights – brown is the new black – green is the new blue – hats are in and hats are out and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And I guess this just went on for years – most of my life to be sure. But lately I’ve noticed something. My desire and ability to be cool, or even slightly fashionable has completely disappeared. And to tell the truth I really don’t care. I am no longer ashamed to admit that there are some Barry Manilow songs that I like (I Write the Songs & Mandy), that I do in fact, wear brown loafers with my jeans and black sweater, that I often go without makeup, that I will no longer wear shoes that pinch my feet, or jeans that cut off my circulation, no longer have anything waxed (what the hell was I thinking?) and only actually wear sunglasses when it’s sunny outside. I also will not pretend to understand something that I don’t, or nod in agreement about some piece of ‘art’ being amazing when I think it sucks, I have no compunction about walking out on a movie and asking for my money back or am I intimidated by someone because they have more money than me. In short, I am just not cool anymore. I don’t want to be cool anymore.

I suppose I should lament the passing of my cool – if I ever had any (which is doubtful) – and feel a little like the parade is passing me by. But in truth, I don’t lament it at all – it really is like getting rid of a freeloading relative – one that never pays you back for all your trouble. It’s freeing to stop worrying about what people think of how you are dressed or walk or talk or any of that crap. And really it gives you so much more time to do other things like walk in the park, take amateur shots of the nieghborhood, read, listen to music, write – many, many things. So I say – be gone cool. Let the living begin.

How about you? Still got your cool?

14 thoughts on “Gonesville Cool

  1. Hi WC,

    I was cool back then, and I’m cool now. While this wasn’t and isn’t generally recognized by the people around me, it doesn’t alter the fact that I’m cool. For instance, I have walked into a formal dress function, held on our property, wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt, and been the center of attention while the suit wearers stood off to the side. What makes me cool in that instance wasn’t the attention, but the fact that I couldn’t have cared less.

    What I have learned over the years is that “cool” mostly equates to a good self image, which carries over into how you display yourself to the world. For instance, I’ve had several encounters where supposed intellectuals have been whipped with an appropriate literary quote, and a couple of encounters where offers of physical violence have been fended off by counter offers of death and destruction.

    The key to this is knowing that most people are twits.

    the Grit

    Hey Grit,
    So you are sort of a Rebel without pause? I just don’t know what to make of this as far as I’m concerned. Either I have a poor self image or I am a twit. Either sounds about right, actually. πŸ˜†


  2. Cool shmool. Who cares? You got class lady and I like your style. While young thoughts desired to be thought of as cool, I now know that there are more important things. Cool is superficial and just what people may judge you on from the outside. But to have someone get to know you better, from the inside, and want to hang out with you, that is infinitely better.

    Hey Teens,
    Yes, I agree that really getting to know someone is the really cool thing, isn’t it? Cool schmool – lol.


  3. Were I encased in the ice of an ancient glacier, I wouldn’t be cool.

    And I’m okay with that. It may cost me some street cred, but I don’t play in the street.

    So your point Chaz is that there is just no way to make you cool? πŸ˜†


  4. I think when worrying about cool gives way to not caring about cool is when we truly develop our own style and flair.

    I think you have a point MB – very much so.


  5. Hey Stranger,

    Glad you made it to the east coast, glad you’re settled.. about the cool stuff….

    I was never cool before. I guess in a way I didn’t really care, or if I did, I knew I could never be ‘cool’ the way others were cool. I discovered years later that cool is all about self-image and self-confidence. It finallly occurred to me that cool was not about what the magazines tried to sell you on – cool is what you make it to be.

    I think I’m pretty cool because I like who I am. My son thinks I’m pretty cool too, and I guess that’s all that really matters.


    Hey to you stranger. πŸ˜‰ Well if your son thinks you are cool then I would have to say you are. I think you’re cool too – so there. πŸ™‚


  6. Nope. Don’t give a shit.
    Never did much.
    Well, except back in Jersey, in 8th grade, when I desperately wanted a pair of Z-Cavaricci pants. I cared then.
    But recently? Over myself. Once your kid tells you in front of dozens of people that your hair is “crazy”, you kind of have to get over it.

    Hey Jess!
    Yup, children seem to be the universal humiliators, eh? I remember z-cavaricci pants – yeah my ass was never going to fit into those. Like never. πŸ˜‰


  7. I knew that deep down you were a Fanilow. Now I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that. πŸ˜‰

    Just as you secretly love KC and the Sunshine Band, eh? πŸ™„


  8. I’ve never thought I was cool, but my son thinks I am. That’s good enough for me.

    Yup, that would be good enough for me too. Unfortunately, my children are the furry variety and can’t verbalize what they think of me – I wonder if they think I’m cool??? πŸ˜‰


  9. I’m cool “in my own eyes” – ha! ha! But, seriously, I think cool is somebody marching to the beat of their own drum-
    And like, PT, my kids think I’m cool (well, at least one of them I know for sure, the other two? * 1 out of 3 ‘aint bad when you’re talking about teenagers, right?).

    Yeah you are cool Bella and you definitely march to the beat of your own drum – which is also cool. Teenagers? I know nothing about teenagers… πŸ˜‰


  10. I don’t think I was ever cool, LOL. Now I get to watch my two “tweens” struggle with what is cool and what is not. I like being an adult and not having to worry about it anymore.

    P.S. Brown loafers are the best! I prefer Eastland penny loafers myself. πŸ˜€

    I know, I love brown loafers too. They are the best – don’t think I know your brand though. May have to check that out. πŸ™‚


  11. When I was about 18-19 yrs old there was a program on TV for one season called “Then Came Bronson” played by Michael Parks. He was so cool to me. He had that air of James Dean about him as he rode that motorcycle around with a leather jacket and toboggan (no helmet for this guy). I had to be like him. I went out and bought a motorcycle and dug out one of my old toboggans and rode everywhere around home I knew I could go without getting caught with no helmet. Today, I just sit deep down in the seat of my Corvette, but I don’t get the sense of “cool” about it anymore. Life has other more important meaning than to be cool. So, all that said to say, I know what you mean πŸ™‚

    Oh, I remember that show. Yeah – I had a big crush on that guy. You’re right, he was so cool – such a sexy loner with no helmet and the motorcycle. These days the producers of a show like that would be sued for possible future negligence, eh? πŸ˜‰


  12. Cool. Never thought I was cool in high school but years later my younger sister said all the teachers wondered why she couldn’t be more like me. LOL! Now — that proves it. If the teachers liked me — I was definitely not cool!!!

    Oh my Libby, what a terrible discovery. LOL. πŸ˜‰


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