Monday, October 8, 2007


Here's something I know for sure: I married someone way cooler than me. And before you adoring fans out there, jump to my defense (I'm mostly talking to Mom, except she totally knows I'm right about this), hear me out.

First, you have to know what it means to be cool. I'm not ugly. I don't dress poorly - most of the time. I usually know things about pop culture and sometimes even real culture (although not so much), and I definitely have a sense of humor. To understand what I mean by cool, I'll have to share with you the moment in my life in which I realized it myself.

I was on a bus going on some church trip or another. My friend Mark sat in front of me. My brother was doing his Forrest Gump impression in the parking lot - not the voice - the run, to which my sisters and I would stand and yell, "Run, Forrest, run!" in Jenny's southern twang from the movie. Mark chuckled along and then turned to me and said with a sad, condescending sort of fondness, "You Nickersons. There's not a cool one in the bunch is there?"

In that moment, I totally got what cool is. And I'm so not. I'm never aloof. If I try the aloof thing, it's obvious to everyone that I'm either very upset about something and introverting in order to protect myself or else I'm - you know - trying out the aloof thing. I'm a ham, especially when I'm nervous, which as we all know is a death combination to any attempt at coolness. I get upset easy, cry at commercials, freak out over the little things, worry what everyone thinks about me, all the time, worry about whether or not I'm thinking rightly about everyone else. It's really exhausting to be uncool. But I trudge on. Analyzing and re-analyzing life every thirty minutes or so, stumbling upon the secret to it every 15, announcing my age, my financial situation, my dreams, my emotions, and whether or not I have to pee, to everyone and anyone, anywhere, all the time, who will listen. It's so uncool.

My husband on the other hand, is totally cool. The real thing. Actual - I-was-homecoming-king, scored a touchdown on the starting kick-off, acted bored at school but got really decent grades anyway, rarely-get-upset-by-the -little-things, never start a joke I can't finish - cool. I'm not sure if he didn't really know me when he chose me, or if I had other qualities compensating for the lack of cool. I suppose it's possible that these cool people actually like having a little awkward exuberance around them now and then. Or maybe - I mean, this is just a theory here - maybe none of us are really all that cool.

This is a picture of my middle son, Drew. He's not cool either, and I so love that. Once you discover you're uncool, you gotta just embrace it. If you've never run like Forrest Gump, yelled like Jenny, posed on the lap of a statue of Ronald McDonald, started a joke you seriously could not finish but kept talking anyway in the hopes that you would stumble upon it eventually - well then, you'll just have to take my word for it.


Lori said...

Ummm, I don't know how to tell you this, but you really are cool. (And I'm not even your Mom!) Being uncool is, well, cool!

Matt Bowman said...

Embracing the uncool. I like it. I live it. I realized at a young age that I would never be cool in any way. This always kind of depressed me until I realized that it was a license to do pretty much whatever I want. I can wear silly hats; who cares? I'm not cool anyway! I don't dress like a "businessman." Doesn't matter--not cool. I would guess I'm the only yoga-practicing, bald-headed, sushi-eating, ukulele-playing, non-deer-hunting, fat guy in all of Knox County (or possibly northeast Missouri). It's kind of like getting to be an old curmudgeon without the old part (yet).

Embrace the uncool. Indeed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with embracing the cool. I have decided a long time ago it was NOT cool to be the forty five year old in the twenty two year old body, which is what i am, but hey we get to say things that everyone else can only think because they are to cool. We are allowed to dance for no reason, sing at the top of our lungs, and talk to any stranger on the street cuz it's just us...


Anonymous said...

Uh Seren, I agree with Lori. Hate to change your idea, but you're so cool you don't need an Air Conditioner in the summer. Know what I'm sayin?
And there you have it.

AmyB. said...

Matt and Seren,

Uncool is SO cool!!! :-)


love ya,