The cool people

The people who think they’re far cooler than they actually are, or those who try desperately hard to be so, don’t bother me in the slightest. I know better, and I almost feel sorry for them, in a way, because they seem so perfectly unaware that everyone can see how hard they’re trying.

A Christmas guest speaker at my church one year gave a one-man re-enactment of the Nativity story, and it was nothing short of impressive, but… he went through the entire performance with his fly wide open. I feel much the same way about the would-be-cool-people as I did about that performer.

It’s the people who I know full well are, in fact, cooler than I can ever hope to be who test the limits of my charity. Stop being so much cooler, I want to tell them. Stop being wittier and less awkward and better-spoken and more thoughtful than I am.

It’s silly, of course. None of those people, I realize, have set out to intentionally make me feel inadequate. If I’m being honest, my irritation is probably far less toward them and for more toward myself  for being so (in my estimation) uncool. Which is also silly, because there are better things in life I should want, but also because if I really want to be “cool,” I think the first step is to, well… stop wanting it.

The cool people

6 thoughts on “The cool people

  1. So true!!!!! I always get mad at myself for not living up to other people’s coolness. But in the rare situations where I manage to act cool, I always feel like it’s pissing someone else off. . . . . so maybe we’re just wired to hate cool people.

  2. Bethany, I stumbled on your blog through the similes post, like most everyone else, I expect, but I really like it. You have a great voice and sharp insights, especially for someone so young.

    Maybe I’m also drawn in by the fact that you’re a budding journalist, which has been my profession/life for the past 30 years. We need more cool, smart journalists today, not fewer, despite what we see in the media.

    Normally I wouldn’t point out a small thing like this, but because you say you love copy editing I feel compelled: There is no such word as “towards.” So your irritation in this post is “less toward them” and “more toward myself.”

    Sorry to be as irritating as an old fat gray-bearded guy on the copy desk, buy, you know, I’m kind of like an old fat gray-bearded guy on the copy desk.

    Good luck with you cool blog and your promising career.

    1. As an aspiring copy editor, I certainly can’t be too annoyed by that kind of comment. I tend to be a little more casual in my blog writing than I would if I were writing for a publication, but thanks for the reminder!

  3. Hmmm… so, if you are, in your own belief, uncool, by what standard do you measure that those who try hard to be cool are not? I can’t feel sorry for someone who is trying their hardest at something, even if it is not something I personally agree with, except that they may be judged by others for their efforts.

    When writing about the Christmas guest speaker, is it perhaps significant that despite his commission of a veritable feat of memorization and creative performance artistry, the most memorable aspect was that his zipper was undone? “Well, it would have been amazing that you could do all of this, sir, but you just did it in such an uncool way, that it just doesn’t matter.” Something to that effect seems implied by the “but…” in your telling of the story. Something similar happened to me in… middle school, I think it was. I performed a scene in a theater class, only to be told afterward by a fellow classmate that my fly was open. I recall saying something like, “Perhaps it wouldn’t have troubled you if you hadn’t spent so much time staring at my crotch.” Pardon the vulgarity.

    And if there appears to be a combative tone to this comment, I also crave your indulgence. It is not my intention. I am almost certain you didn’t mean to imply anything negative about self-purportedly cool kids or people that fail to zip up. I do mean to point out, though, that the content of what we write is just as important as how well it is written. In my opinion, much more so.

    I also think that there will always be someone cooler, or more intelligent, or stronger, or faster, or better looking than you or I… but there will never be anyone else like either of us, and the unique blend of world-changing potential each of us has will never be duplicated. If you do what you set out to do in life, then no one will have any worth greater than yours.

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