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?