Cool as a Cucumber (that’s more lukewarm than anything)

I will never be cool. This, unfortunately for me, is a fact. I’m just not a cool person. I’ve tried to be cool and I’ve almost succeeded, but I’ve never sealed the deal. I like to think that although I tried, I never came across as trying to be cool either. Which is what really cool people do. They don’t try, they just do. There’s no effort, they just are.

For me my attempts at being cool would be seen as just trying to stay somewhat conscious with what is or rather was considered cool at the time. I was never very good at it either. I remember very much going to rec dances (I’ve long been under the understanding that “rec” stood for recreational and not rectal, which would be awful for a multitude of reasons) in my suburban town of Kenilworth New Jersey and most of the time I really just wasted my parents money and stood on the side of the cafeteria. I didn’t know the popular songs, or I should say, I didn’t really know the popular songs. It was more that I knew of them and I only knew of them because they were there being played at rec dances while I stood on against the wall and looked bored by it all. Which is also kind of ironic, because that is exactly what some cool kids did.

I like to think that there are two distinctions of cool and it all goes back to any club scene in America. You’re either on the dance floor knowing the songs and shaking it with some girl in a tight dress and heels (which is incredible if you think about it: it’s like doing complex dance moves with another, tighter layer of skin and awkwardly angled bones protruding from your feet) or you’re standing on the side thinking the whole thing is boring. You could be doing something better, but you’re friends had to go to this club when you really know that there are better clubs where you’d all be having more fun. Especially you. Because this place just sucks.

It’d odd because I’m one in the same with the guy standing on the side of the room bored with the whole thing. But for some reason, they make looking bored seem a lot cooler. We’re doing the exact same thing, drinking the same overpriced drinks, but they’re making not being involved look so much better than I am. And I have no idea why this is. I’m not doing anything different than they are. I’m standing with my group of friends, although some of them do get more involved in the circus like spectacle of the dance floor (really, go to a club and take in what the dance floor really looks like. Make sure you separate the “fun” of it all and just take it in with a completely voided sense of emotion. It’s ridiculous looking) and I just don’t look as good at standing around as some people.

Now this could all be based on looks. I’m not a very attractive guy by any means, but I’m also not awful. If you were to ask a female how attractive I was on the coveted 1 to 10 scale with 10 being A Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, and Channing Tatum hybrid and 1 being Bill Maher, I’d probably be called a 7 (which I would like to think would be Dan Rather on the scale). So, even my looks shouldn’t be what makes me less cool than the others doing what I’m doing. So that can’t be it.

Which means that the only thing that makes someone cool is perception (I’d like to make a point that this only applies for today’s world. A soldier from WW2 will always be cooler than a hippy, unless the soldier happened to be a Nazi, and even then he’d probably still be cooler, but more of a complete asshole). It could be that I mostly identified with a type of music which never was about being “cool” (mainly speaking of punk rock) and so my thoughts of what was cool was always what wasn’t. The anti-hero of what was “popular”. Of course, even this doesn’t hold up all that well because at those rec dances I talked about earlier they played songs from bands like The Offspring and Blink-182, a different kind of punk but still punk, and it was cool to like these groups. Probably because they were featured on MTV’s Total Request Live a lot. You know, the hippest show of 90’s after school programming. MTV, God bless them, are (or at least were) brilliant at “brainwashing” youth into thinking what was cool. All by providing a top ten countdown of music videos that made you want to be in the videos. They were fun, they were sexy, and they were cool. Even if it was all imagined and planned out, which I guess would make it really un-cool. Sort of like throwing yourself a surprise birthday party. It’s just lonely and sad. So maybe all those cool people who were so good at being cool are just that. Sad and lonely. Because being cool is only cool while you’re out and about. Eventually you have to go home and deconstruct the mask of what other people think is cool and you’re just you. Which is me. Which sort of sucks for the both of us.

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