Tuesday, May 13, 2014

On Coolness and Cruelty



Linda and I were talking about why people hang on forever, and we found we thought very differently about it. Her take is simple...she doesn't get it. "If they don't want to be with you, why in the world would you want to be with them?" she says. "And if they've demonstrated even once that they can't be trusted with your love and vulnerability, why would you ever trust them again?"

"Life's too short and there are too many fish" she adds, as paraphrased by me. I could only applaud her good sense but as an example of a fellow raving lunatic, I found her lacking.

My part of the conversation as you might guess, was quite complex and anecdotal; filled with "and then ya know what happened"s until I was a tad blue in the face. I'll try to summarize 'cuz people sometimes yell at me when I go on too long.

When I was an adolescent I was a strange combo of geek and badass. My appearance was geek as I was too big and too poor anyway for reasonable clothes, hair too thin to comb stylishly, slightly overweight but enough to notice, eyes deepset and dark; very Nordic in a very anglo neighborhood. And due to the crap I suffered because of my appearance, I angrily put on the badass routine which in retrospect only made things worse. It seemed such a good idea.....

In spite of all this, I actually thought I was pretty cool all in all: intelligent, intellectual, cultured, creative; and yet daring, physical, a rules breaker and all around swell guy.

The rub was that no one else saw my coolness and certainly no chicks, who as a group thought me least cool of all or let's say, totally uncool.

It was lonely being seen as uncool, and I tried at various times to prove my detractors wrong. But in the end, I always failed to show my true self; Mr. Cool. And the punishment was frightful as not only did I have to suffer geeks as friends, but I never had what could be called a "date" as females shunned me as a conversation partner.

Oh I had sex, but it was of the bump and run variety; self gratifying but no walk on the beach the following morning, which is what I really wanted, as uncool as that may sound.

And then I met Anita...and she saw my coolnesses. She not only saw them, but she reveled in them, shouting them out for all to hear. To her, I was the "coolest" and so worthy of love as to force her into my arms with the sheer will of my animal magnetism. Ok, I'm exaggerating, but you get the idea.

She was the first human being to VERIFY what I'd known all along but that the huddled unwashed masses had missed; that I was "lovable" beyond that snuggly teddy bear crapola or that "hey bud gotta buck you can loan me" stuff.

AND, she was so incredibly attractive both physically and ...well physically anyway....that she could have had any guy she wanted!! and she chose ME!!! I was dumbstruck! And obviously, grateful...a truly horrid combination.

I turned over full rights to my coolness to my first wife, and the longer we were together, the more cool I became as each verification pushed me ever higher; and I must admit, the more important being cool became.

Then one day, she admitted to me that she didn't think I was so cool after all; that in fact she'd never really thought I was cool in the slightest but had just said that once she'd noticed my googoo eyes, so as to not hurt my feelings. She was just being kind for 4 years she told me. and now, she couldn't pretend any longer.

What happens when one day you're cool and the next day you're not? Well fuck Sherlock, you do everything in your power to get your coolness back! But as this woman had the verification rights to what was in fact my "beyond merely functioning" self worth, how else could I accomplish my goal without getting Anita back?!?! "Where's my Verifier!!"

Each time it's happened the resultant pain has been lessened, but only because as I've gotten older, my once large collection of coolnesses has been naturally whittled from me. It's a fact kids, get ready for it. The older you get, the less cool you are. But there's an upside; for me and the huge percentage of mortals that have played this same self defeating game.

Though your former lover (now adversary) still has control over the verification of cool, you have so little of it that it's not such a big deal anymore, and the time it takes to recover is severely lessened!

Now if you read this and get what I'm saying...and you find yourself in a similar sieve-like rubber raft as I, you can use this essay two ways. You might re-read it every few years and chuckle about how right I am, waiting until you're as old as dirt and so uncool as to not give a rat's ass that Billy or Suzy told you to take a flying leap;

Or you can stop this bullshit right here, and re-understand what you've known all along; that no one can tell you how cool you are but yourself.

And so you might remember that unless you give the verification rights to your coolness away, you'll be just as cool the day he/she leaves as the day they arrived, cuz you know as well as I...you have lots of coolness on your own; and then you'll be much better equipped to ...just...walk...away...and...never...look...back.


But then I didn't; three times over as I recall...so why should you? Just think of me as one of your parents and do as I say like a good kid.

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