It’s hard to write a story about being cool when you’re not cool.
But I’ll try.
I used to be cool. I think.
Dyed my hair black. Wore green contacts. Tried to make my skin look lighter. Hey, Snow White was cool.
So, what is cool now?
Well, as someone who has been on the receiving end of the rolling-of-the-eye looks from an 11-year-old, I can tell you, I am not.
I can also tell you that eleven is the new 16.
And 16 is the new cool.
If you are not 16, there are of course ways you can still be cool, at least this is the optimistic way in which I prefer to view this.
Case in point …
Recently, my boy and I went to McDonald’s.
Don’t judge me.
(That’s not cool.)
It was midnight. Nothing else was open. And I wanted the only fast-food, semi-food item I will eat at this place, ice cream.
I remember back in the day, when my friends and I would hang out at this joint. Every Saturday night, everybody wearing Doc Martens, in every colour and style: Black, cherry, blueberry, six-hole, nine-hole … a-holes.
And then there was me, wearing my burgundy Doc-wannabes from Sears or wherever. I would lie and call them Oxfords, in hopes of sounding fashionably advanced. Clearly, I didn’t know what Oxfords were, and neither did my friends, because they all liked my “Oxfords.” Some even “heard” of them before and wished their parents would buy them a pair.
Still, I never felt cool enough to hang with those cool kids at the McMecca – or even in its glorious parking lot.
But this night, things would be different.
I looked way cooler than when I was 16.
For starters, my face was not pale, my now blonde hair was not ironed, and my eyes were left to their natural hazel devices.
I wore my favourite rocker-chic leather jacket. I had on awesome shoes, because, well, I only have awesome shoes. I sported (one of) my highly coveted Betsey Johnson purses, slung over my shoulder. And had a pretty darn stylish boy at my side.
All the accessories I needed.
Finally, I was dressed for McDonald’s.
We walk in.
The boy walks in. I strut in. All five feet of me, plus the three inches from the shoes, plus the three inches from the ego, plus the four inches from the 'fromantic 'do.
Practically a supermodel.
Ha! A supermodel in McDonald’s. How cool is that?
Well, on a scale from lame to cool, it weighed in very lame.
Yes, for the first time ever, a supermodel actually registered on a scale. Too bad, it was just a lame one.
You see, the place was filled with teenagers, or pants-on-the-ground, whatever you call ‘em.
Still, I wasn’t yet defeated. Amongst this new a-hole generation, I had my own a-hole, short for ace-in-the-hole – my boy. He had just come off the set of a documentary shoot – about him! A virtual celebrity, just without the fame and the money.
He would up our cool-quotient, or at least quote somebody cool. Seriously, the information he stores in that noggin makes Triviality jealous.
And, as is inevitably the case, the boy knows somebody in the restaurant. Well, not just “somebody,” but the Fonz.
Like, totally, like, the coolest kid from all the pants-on-the-ground.
He is at the best table in the place, with about eight girls surrounding him. (Or, as I saw them, once I approached, 16 rolling eyes surrounding him.)
Effectively, this kid, Tyler, is like my BFF, because my boy is his goalie coach, and even gives him rides sometimes.
So, I’m in!
I’m in dreamland, that is.
When surrounded by his minions, Cool Tyler’s powers are elevated to unimaginable heights. This in turn, not only diminishes any cool factor my boy may have, but in effect, serves as Kryptonite to his near Superman cool powers.
Needless to say, when my guy spoke to Cool Tyler, the conversation was brief, one-sided, and more uncomfortable than contorting your neck over a table to iron your hair.
Then, after we shamefully ate our ice cream cones, in the corner, and after I accidentally tried to leave out of a door that was not actually an exit, the boy went back for more.
He went to say goodbye.
Not so smart.
Little did he realize, goodbye was said a long time ago – when we walked in.
As we left, my not-so-smart boy redeemed himself. McDonald’s was running its annual Monopoly contest and had a sign that read, “59 Winners Served.”
“They should have taken two off when we walked in,” he surrendered.