Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Death of Cool

I don’t mind getting older. Really, I don’t. What I find difficult to handle is the fact that I’ve become a yuppie. I don’t even know if people still use that phrase, but that’s what I am. I used to be cool. I used to live in a hip (I hate that word) neighborhood, I used to go to all the popular clubs and bars, I used to sleep until noon, and I used to only wear shoes of the chunky heel variety.

Yesterday I went back to that neighborhood like I do every other month or so to get a cup of coffee or to eat lunch or maybe just to get a dose of culture. I was walking down the street and it hit me: I am 32, I live in a cookie cutter development in the suburbs, I drive an uber safe car, I wear sensible shoes, and I carry Purell hand sanitizer in my purse. What the fuck? How did all this happen? It's been 10 years since I reached the pinnacle of however cool I’m ever going to be.

I went into a store and almost choked on the incense. I stared at all the people with facial piercings and tattoos, at the girls with their skirts pulled down and their fat stomachs hanging over the waistbands. I marveled at the Jesus bobble head dolls and Jane Eyre action figures. I walked across the street to the seedy news stand where I once--on a dare--bought the issue of Playgirl featuring Brad Pitt. I watched the panhandlers walking around asking for money and was accosted by a group of kids smoking clove cigarettes. Then I’d had enough. I washed the experience off my hands with the Purell, started up my Saturn, and drove back to the suburbs. I’m happy now, but I wasn’t 10 years ago. I guess giving up being cool was worth it.


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