I am not cool. I’ve always been peripherally aware of this, but it is something that was really brought to my attention with a jolt back in 2006 when I went to have coffee with a group of women I knew. At some point, one of these women declared that she was going to order a cappuccino, because she likes them, and since it’s “just us girls” it doesn’t matter that they aren’t cool. There were then several minutes of discussion on the relative cool merits of various types of coffee and coffee-drinkers. The cappuccino drinker then declared “I’m going to be one of those people who is so cool that they don’t care what is not cool.” It was not long after this statement that I realised I had hit peak confusion, and the level of emotional scarring is made pretty clear by the fact that I still remember this four years later.
My level of cool has not improved in the years since. I’ve been known to wear clothes with holes in them out in public (as far I’m concerned, if the hole doesn’t reveal too much the clothes are still wearable). I wear trakkydaks down to the local Coles. I’m completely incapable of recommending good bars or restaurants because I prefer to spend time at home. I’m still unaware of the correct protocol when it comes to ordering caffeinated beverages.
Here’s the thing about being uncool: I don’t care that I’m uncool. In many ways, it’s very liberating. I have an amazing group of friends (my Friday night ‘family’) who I can feel completely relaxed around, because there’s no expectation that I have to follow some set of arbitrary rules to be accepted. I like to think that my acceptance of all things “ridiculous and dorklike” (to quote the West Wing) has allowed me to attract like-minded souls. There are still times in my life where I pay attention to my appearance, but for me looking good is quite separate from being ‘cool’. My philosophy of cool is probably best summarised by something I said to @sunlightandsnow on twitter yesterday: “At some point, I just decided that the opinions of wanky people aren’t worth the attention I would need to pay to them.”
So there it is: my confession. I am uncool, and proud of it.