I am not cool. I have come to accept this fact of life.
It’s tough to say when this realization came. For those that are slowly aging, you may know when this defining moment happens.
It’s like when your car turns over 100,000 miles. You know that something has changed, that the future will get more complicated, but you just can’t seem to accept that fact.
There was a time when I had hair. Great hair, Brad Pitt type of hair. It was beautiful hair that stood in a natural spike. It waived gently like amber waves of grain in the wind. God saw it in his wisdom to make me bald by the time I was 24. I did not become uncool at that time, but something had changed.
There was a time when I knew all the current music acts. I was grunge, full bore, with boots and flannel. I had a goatee and delivered pizza. I always fancied myself as the “Pizza Boy” that you see in the Adult Movies that shows up with Sexy results. Somewhere grunge music got to be “classic” music and I realized that I didn’t like any of the current bands. My wife explained that now there is “Emo-rock”. Music that is based on feelings and ballads. I hate it. I have now switched over to talk radio full time. I remember that my father used to listen to this and it bugged me to no end. I understand Dad, I understand now. Something has changed.
There was a time when my biggest concern was that my girlfriend may be pregnant and what in the hell am I going to do. Now my wife is pregnant, and I did it on purpose. There was no praying to god that if she wasn’t pregnant I wouldn’t ever have sex again and go to church all the time. There was no proposed deals with the devil to get me out of this mess. And there was no relief when she wasn’t pregnant. There was only excitement when she was, when I would have another minion in the Hossman army. Again, something has changed.
I used to dream that I could afford a car that was a “muscle” car, that would drive the chicks wild. I would dream that I would go cruising and honk at random ladies on the street, fully expecting them to hop in my Mustang for a ride. I would dream that if only I had that muscle car, the world would love me as much as I love it. Now I can afford that car but instead I am seriously considering buying a Mercury “old man” car because it is reliable, spacious, and above all—safe. Something has changed.
I used to think that when I turned 18, I would be free. I got a tattoo and bought smokes just because I could. I used to think that when I turned 21 I would be able to drink anytime I wanted and that it would be great. Let’s get the party going, let’s party hard. Then I thought when I turned 25, it sure would be great that I could get that insurance break. Now I think it will be great when I retire at 65. Something has changed.
I always thought how great it would be to be Elvis. To have hordes of women throwing themselves at you and having a “mafia” to support you.
Ok, that hasn’t changed. That’s still pretty damn cool.
But now I think how great it would be to be Alan Greenspan and be able to predict which way the economy is going and how to plan for my financial security. Or how cool it would be to be Mayor so that I could finally fix that damn pothole on my street. Something has changed.
I don’t know when the change happened and I became uncool but I know when I fully and truly realized it.
I was cruising around with my daughter. The windows were down, the wind blowing but not through my hair as there is none. No women were giving me lustful glances. I was in a sensible SUV, with a good warranty and good safety features. I was not reviving my engine. I was not taking risks.
My daughter was in the back, singing along with me to a Neil Diamond song. That’s right, Neil Diamond. Sweet Caroline was blasting, and we were happy. I looked over and saw a young kid in a Mustang. He thought he was cool. I had pity on him, knowing that one day, he would be looking at someone like this one day. That the hair, that was once cool, will be gone.
He will realize that he can’t go to Vegas and look up anymore because they have mirrors on the ceiling that show him how bald he really is. He will realize that having a good retirement plan is more important than spending 200 bucks a month on beer. He will realize that the word “gout” is an actual condition and not a punch line to a joke.
And he will realize, that hey, Neil Diamond is not so bad after all.