I don’t know if you are like me and still ponder in those wide-awake moments at 3 am. whether or not you actually sat at the ‘cool table’ in high school, or were relegated to a bunch of misfit Leonards, Howards, Rajs, and Sheldons with not a Penny in sight.
I, for one, will never know at which table I would have been stationed since I went home for lunch as I only lived a block away from that horrible school. But, that notwithstanding, we are left with a residue from those days and it is an insecurity that pops up from time-to-time in which we wonder if we were ever deemed ‘cool’.
Where did I fit in the social morass that is the average high school? I’ll never be quite sure. I think perhaps I was ‘cool-ish’, or ‘cool-lite’ and at least a good solid c-plus cool. I mean I did date the head cheerleader once and was also good friends with her (“I like to regard you as a really good friend”) and had to disregard the fact I wanted to take all her clothes off and enter a life of wild sexual abandon with her, but at least we were tight at a certain level. I think that fact elevated me (not the fantasy frustration fact) pretty close to B level cool.
I mean, I wasn’t a rich kid and I didn’t drive a flash car or dress in the latest fashions, or play the guitar. But I did sing for a while in a small group and we actually performed at a sock-hop and we weren’t awful. We weren’t particularly good, either, but better than awful and people paid a tiny bit of attention to my buddies and me.
But, that was then. There are times later in life in which the ‘cool’ aspect raises its head. I might mention that I did once teach high school and I am not falsely aggrandizing myself to say I was regarded as a ‘cool’ teacher. Granted there wasn’t a hell of a lot of competition in the coolness department, it being a school staff and all. But it was still kind of nice to get a second round of high school and one in which I was considered actually cool.
Elsewhere in adult life it’s not quite the same, yet there remain in every organization I am aware of a certain hierarchy in which some people are deemed more equal than others and I don’t know what the formula is to join such ranks. But, you know, as time goes by and maturity bites you in the ass a bit, you begin to march to your own drumbeat and give nowhere near as much of a shit how people regard you. And eventually, if you continue to grow you will divest yourself of all considerations as to how you appear in the pantheon of cool. That’s freedom. “You don’t like the cut of my jib? That would be your problem.”
I can’t be Jeff Bridges as The Big Lebowski, and why would I try. Bob Mitchum has come-and-gone, and Nicholson is getting awfully long in the tooth, and I am increasingly content to just be me., If you aren’t impressed, I am not much bothered.