Nathan and the Unending Search for Cool

English: Cee Lo

Image via Wikipedia

I am, without a doubt, one of the nerdiest people I know. I have been all of my life. I was never the cool guy with a leather jacket, receiving lustful glances from all women I came into contact with. I was more like the guy in a windbreaker who received attention from the cool girls because I could do long division and understood the difference between an adverb and a regular adjective.

As a kid, this was very concerning. While all of my classmates were wearing the latest and baggiest blue jeans, I was stuck in sweat pants. I was never had the right shoes or watched the right shows. I was just a nerdy kid in nerdy glasses.

I would try to be cool, but it wasn’t going to happen. I had no idea what it really took to be cool. I still have no idea.

At least I didn’t until last night.

As I was watching TV with my wife last night, singer Cee Lo Green appeared on the screen. Cee Lo is not a cool looking individual. He is a perfectly round human being with a giant, shaved head. His arms are not proportional to his body, instead looking like they belong on a preteen. He is, undoubtedly, weird.

Yet, somehow, he looked cool.

I sat there, transfixed by his image on the screen. He wasn’t really dressed in a cool fashion. He didn’t say anything excruciatingly cool. He just sat there, stroking a white cat like a James Bond villain.

That’s when it occurred to me. He looked cool solely because he was stroking a white cat. It sat him apart from other, less abnormal human beings that I see on TV everyday. No one except for cool guys or, as we have established, a Soviet criminal attempting to destroy 007, would be cool enough to pull off the giant cat petting.

It seemed all I needed to be cool was the correct prop.

First, I tried my own cat. Unfortunately, my cat is just fat and is, himself, not cool. I thought that I might get my cat a prop to make him cooler, thus making myself cooler in return. There doesn’t seem to be any way to make a cat cooler, though.

Since cool cat petting was out, I went through the other options. Maybe I could get a hat, I thought. Unfortunately, my head is roughly the size of Cee Lo Green’s entire body. It’s very hard to find a hat big enough for my head and, unless, ten gallon hats come back into style, I knew I would just look ridiculous.

I had seen many people, including Brad Pitt, one of the coolest people ever, enhance their coolness with a cane. I don’t know where you get cool canes. I had seen canes at my local CVS pharmacy, but those all required tennis balls on the bottom of them and seemed more geared for the elderly. Old people and tennis balls are, decidedly, not cool.

I knew for a fact that capes weren’t cool, so I didn’t go there. Plus, they seem very impractical and prone to getting stuck in things. Nothing is less cool than trying to get your cape unstuck from the automatic door at the supermarket.

A lot of cool characters in movies carry guns. They are dangerous, though, and I don’t feel like I am great with danger. It worries me and I don’t like being worried.

I pretty sure there is no prop that is going to make me cool. I am destined to be my regular, nerdy self for the rest of my life. That’s fine. I’m not under some delusion that I could be hanging out with _______ (Insert whomever is considered cool at this very moment). It’s not going to happen.

I will, no doubt, continue to try to look cool, most likely embarrassing my wife greatly. Someday, I will try to be the cool dad, embarrassing my kids greatly. Further down the line, I’ll try to be the cool old guy, embarrassing my kids and grandkids greatly. There are years of uncool embarrassment I have ahead of me.

Fortunately for me, leather jackets don’t look all the comfortable to me. They seem very stiff. I much prefer the flexibility of a lighter jacket. The same goes for sweatpants. They are infinitely more comfortable than jeans, no matter the bagginess. I, apparently, don’t have any interest in looking cool.

I may not be as cool as Cee Lo Green, but I’m probably more comfortable than him. Plus, I don’t have to stroke that cat all the time.

That would get old incredibly fast.


9 thoughts on “Nathan and the Unending Search for Cool

  1. Oh, I can relate to the childhood uncoolness problem, although I did never quite get the full nerd-treatment, seeing that I was a girl and didn’t have to wear glasses. So don’t expect any helpful tips on how to enhance your coolness factor from me.
    On a side note, what’s wrong with embarrassing your wife, kids and grandchildren? After all, it won’t be you who will have to deal with the uncool embarrassment, will it?


  2. I think I need a white cat! “He looked cool solely because he was stroking a white cat.” was my favorite line in this post. Thanks for the laugh this morning.


  3. Yea, I didn’t know who this guy was until after Super Bowl and they had that show on…something he judges. The kids wanted to watch it, but Christina Aguliera just bugs me and so does he. I like the country guy and the rock guy.

    Petting his cat? What is he Dr. Evil with Pigglesworth? Bigglesworth?

    If that’s cool, I’m not. How about a toothpick? Or a piece of straw? You’d have to wear a cowboy hat though…hmmm…

    Lake Forest, CA


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