The Cool Club

9 days to 50.

I posted yesterday about the challenges surrounding admitting your age. In writing that post I realized how much being a part of the Cool Club has factored into lying about my age.

I have always wanted to be a member of the Cool Club. In high school I was unfortunately ostracized from the Cool Club. As a member of the Academic Decathlon, my fate as a super geek was officially sealed and no self respecting member of the Cool Club would talk to me.

By the time I got to college I figured out that the Cool Club was just a front for people to escape their own insecurities. Freshman year I went to a small Catholic college in Helena, Montana. I came from California to attend this school. I had purple parachute pants and a rainbow t-shirt and I jumped up and down a lot at the dances. I was instantly accepted as a member of the Cool Club. People thought I was sophisticated and hip when really I was just an insecure lonely girl trying to make it in the world like every other 18 year old girl in that school.

All my life I’ve tried to keep up with the latest technology and gadgets so people would think I’m Cool. Even now I try to pass for Cool. I read Tech Crunch. I fund multiple projects on Kickstarter. I buy every single product Apple makes. I have several pairs of Toms shoes (and sunglasses). This MUST make me hip and cool.

But really, trying to keep up with the Cool Kids is exhausting. Please do not tell me about another 20-something who started an internet business in his mother’s kitchen to turn around 2 years later to sell this business to Facebook or Yahoo. I can’t take it.

I’ve tried to be Cool my whole life. 17 years ago when I bought my first Mac ( this made me a rebel at the time, Apple was NOTHING) I also bought a dial up modem to go on the INTERNET. When I bought the modem it was so hip and cool that AOL (yes AOL) didn’t have access codes published to interface with this modem. It took me almost 4 hours to hack the codes and figure out how to get the modem to work with AOL (in retrospect I maybe should have considered a career in computer science?) But being able to go on the INTERNET ( at dial-up excruciatingly slow speeds) made me the hipster in my neighborhood.

Now I try to keep up with Hipster technology but really, I wouldn’t be considered a hipster in any reasonable person’s demographic anaysis ANYWHERE. Why is this so important to me? Probably because I equate being a member of the Cool Club with being young. If I don’t know which hip internet company just went public or got round 2 financing then I must be OLD.

Brene’ Brown gave a great speech at last year’s World Domination Summit. She quoted a line from the movie Almost Famous-

The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you say to someone when you’re being uncool.

Then she made us stand up and dance and sing to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” Everyone in the theater got the point. Who cares about being cool? What matters, what is important, is that we connect with one another- with our True Selves, not with our Cool Selves.

I’m finally rescinding my membership in the Cool Club. I’ll take real personal connection over looking cool any day of the week.

Post Navigation