The Evolution of Cool

October 2, 2012

It might be hard for you to believe, but I wasn’t cool in high school.  I hung out in a group about two tiers down from cool, with some newspaper staffers and theatre nerds.  During break, the cool kids stood on the balcony overlooking the common area.  I usually stood underneath it.  Sometimes I’d wander up there and say hey to a few select people, but I didn’t usually stay long.  I felt self-conscious amidst their Abercrombie hoodies and Citizen jeans.  I was tall, too, so it was hard to disappear, to stand unnoticed in the crowd.

My best friend’s name was Lauren, and she was like me.  We spent most of our weekends hanging out at one of our houses, watching that scene when Dawson and Joey finally kiss overandoverandoveragain (I can still sing the song that played during that scene).  We ran lines for whatever play we were in at the moment, talked about the future, executed ridiculous schemes to walk the six miles from my house to hers (and then get her mom to feed us cake and drive us back to mine again).  We picked up sweet potatoes out of the harvested fields behind my house and put them in all my neighbours’ mailboxes.  We thought we were hilarious.

Right before I got married. Getting cooler.

There’s something those cool kids had in high school that we didn’t have.  But when I come home to visit my mom and dad and I see them in Wal-Mart, I can’t for the life of me figure out what it was.

In 2012, Lauren lives in Washington, DC and has a pretty legit job with a political science organization I can never remember the name of.  She’s just as hilarious as ever, wears really great shoes, and dangit y’all, she is hot.

Smart. Sexy. Lauren.

In 2012, I’m married to a man who works really hard at marriage with me.  My son is sweet as pie.  I am part of a community I love.  I do work I enjoy and am good at.

As far as I’m concerned, whatever we thought we lacked in 2000, we’ve more than made up for in the 12 years since.

In 2012, we are cool.

14 responses to “The Evolution of Cool”

  1. zensouth says:

    Funny how cool changes as you get older. Or maybe you just feel more comfortable with your own un-coolness, which inherently makes you seem cooler. I used to be a nerd. That translated to not cool in high school. I still am a nerd, but I hang out with mostly nerds, and we’re all nerdy about the same thing, which makes us feel way cool.

  2. kriscia says:

    A great post for all of us once-uncool-now-way-cool people everywhere! Just goes to show how important it is to have a wing-man or woman, a kindred spirit, to keep it real and save you from enacting cringe-worthy antics just to get into the in-crowd. Your sweet tater gag is hilarious!

  3. Anna Altman says:

    Faith and Lauren, y’all were always “the cool kids” in my book. I totally looked up to y’all , and I still do. You are both incredible gals, I’m thrilled to have known you since high school. 🙂

  4. Right on Faith…I love this story. I would never go back.

    J.

  5. Shout out from a fellow newspaper geek. Personally, I think you were ALWAYS cool baby doll. You were and remain one of the hippest chicks I know!

  6. katiejo42 says:

    Ha Ha! I used to try and hide my nerdiness from my husband before we got married, then once he was trapped I slowly let out my secret inner geek. Turns out, he likes geeks too!
    Also, “I still am a nerd, but I hang out with mostly nerds, and we’re all nerdy about the same thing, which makes us feel way cool.” Is possibly my favourite blog comment in a long while. So, so true.

  7. mdith4him says:

    This describes me exactly. Love it. Also, we both had the same floral green shirt (Old Navy, I believe?). That is all.

  8. Rin says:

    You sure have.
    I think the cool people were the ones who thought they were cool and everyone else seemed to get along fine apart from them.
    Our cool people ended up fighting endlessly and developing terrible addictions.
    I was happy to be uncool.

  9. nikilee30 says:

    Damn right you are! You and your friend look sexy, cool and fun! Thanks for the read

  10. Never part of the cool crowd myself but that’s OK. B/c now I’ve got an awesome hubby, two great pups and things couldn’t be better!

  11. Jorie says:

    Man, is the cool kid crowd overrated or what? I couldn’t agree with you more, Faith! When I visit my hometown and see them around, they all seem a bit down. Or on facebook, there is something depressing about pics of them in the same townie bar, something that I can’t quite put my finger on. I think it’s hard to maintain that era of “coolness” for so long, and if you peak at 17, you’re in for a long decline.

    I just wish I knew in high school how much it wouldn’t matter in the long run whether I ever earned those kids’ approval or not. I plan on telling my future kids this often!

  12. Never a truer word spoken – but try to tell this to a 17 year old at West Johnston High School – it still matters so much to them! Anna has a personal mantra that we have to keep repeating “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”. It helps a bit but high school is still so tough….
    Homecoming tomorrow will bring more drama. 10-4-12

  13. That’s right. As kids we all make those years out to be more than they need to be or are.

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