Confessions of an un-cool Mom

17 Sep

This past weekend, I finally achieved a life long dream of mine. I was officially pronounced “cool.” Granted, the honor came from first graders, but I don’t think that should diminish my accomplishment.

Friday night, I took Danny to FisherFest, the carnival at his school/church. We were waiting in line for the Scrambler, and Danny found two other kids from his class. The three chattered excitedly and decided to ride together. Unfortunately, they were all well below the height limit to ride unaccompanied. No problem, I said, and squeezed all three in with me. Two minutes later, my ribs were aching and my head was spinning, but it was worth it as I heard, “Danny, your mom is so cool.

I have never, ever been cool in my life. It has always remained an elusive quality, despite my efforts to achieve it, along with its evil twin, popularity. I was forever doing or saying the wrong thing.

The most glaring, and embarrassing, example immediately comes to mind. Junior year. First day of school. Chemistry class. A brand new, very sweet teacher. She wanted us to go through the rows and say our name and our favorite tv show, and repeat the people who came before us. Simple enough.

I sat and racked my brain as another part of me kept track of the answers. (“Katie, Friends. Julie, Seinfeld. Ashley, Friends.”) I had spent the summer watching late night Doctor Who reruns on PBS. I recognized that, while it was my favorite tv show, this was decidedly uncool and an unacceptable answer. I raced trying to come up with an acceptable substitute. (“Shannon, Friends. Mary, Friends.”) I thought of another show I liked, and I swear, my thought process was, “It’s on NBC! That’s acceptable!”

And so it was my turn. I blurted out my name and favorite tv show. I will never forget the look on the face of the popular girl who sat in front of me as she turned around with what can only be described as horror, possibly revulsion, with a tinge of pity.

She repeated, disdainfully, “Sheilah … Homicide.” Even worse, it was repeated, again and again, as each person had to name everyone who came before them. Each classmate said my name, then paused, and repeated “Homicide” with disbelief, possibly even fear.

Sadly, my chronic uncoolness and awkwardness did not improve as I got older. It only seemed to get worse. At parties, bars, any social situation, really, you could easily find me by the small crowd backing away slowly. “That’s… interesting,” they would say. “Excuse me while I now desperately avoid you.”

I have been extremely lucky that I have found someone who not only tolerates, but embraces my uncoolness. My husband acknowledges and respects my quirks. He watches geeky tv shows with me, and has expanded my knowledge of the world of geek dom. I made a Star Trek reference without knowing how or why (I’ve only seen one or two episodes), and he was unbelievably proud.

Still, my husband’s acceptance and tolerance is not the same as recognition from the general demanding audience of first graders. I held my head high, proud of my new cool status. I felt confident, even happy.

And then I cried on the Ferris Wheel. I may be cool, but I’m still terrified of heights. And the confidence ran away like a blind date.

They say we live our dreams through our children. I hope Danny will be cooler than his mother, maybe even popular. But if not, that’s okay too. Another person to watch Doctor Who with.

3 Responses to “Confessions of an un-cool Mom”

  1. cartpsych September 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Cool post 🙂

  2. sohobbes September 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm #


  3. Dog Yoga September 29, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    I’d have to go along with with you one this subject. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!
    Welcome to my website

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