I was folding clothes the other day when I objectively looked at a pair of my sensible, Spandex, industrial-strength underwear and thought, Ew, yuck. These are NOT cool. These are so UNCOOL they make Betty White draped in a gansta hoodie and pajama jeans look cool. No way would you ever see these lame-o granny panties on a 25-year-old NYU grad student who lives in the East Village and makes extra money by crafting trendy jewelry out of the e-waste she rescues from the local recycling center. (I’m sorry, but that’s just how my mind works.)
Exactly when did I stop being cool? Because I assure you, at one time I was very cool.
Well, if you ask my kids they’ll tell you I’ve never been cool. Even though I’ve been on TV, done stand-up comedy, written books, and directed films, I’m still not cool. That’s because I’m the one who makes them eat their peas and cries foul when their rooms start to smell like a Limburger cheese factory. To them I’m the drill sergeant, taxi-driver, mess hall cook, human ATM-machine, cranky housekeeper, slave driver that they have to tolerate in order to get beyond that pesky law that says they have to live with a responsible (a.k.a. liable) adult until they’re 18.
As I tossed the offending panties into a drawer full of old underwire bras, control top panty hose, and Spanx body shapers, I thought back to see if I could pin down exactly when my coolness morphed into self-aware dorkiness.
The Evolution of Cool to Uncool
Let’s see… Could the transition have taken place just hours after my first son was born when neither of his pathetic parents knew how to correctly put a disposable diaper on a baby? (Nurse to the stupid parents as she takes the backward diaper off the infant: Um, the animals on the waistband go in the front. If you’re not sure, the shape of the leg holes is a dead giveaway.)
Nope, I was still cool then.
Could it have been 16 years ago, when I when I went to a Director’s Guild awards event, only to discover hours later, after dinner, in the ladies’ room, that I had dried spit-up cascading down the back of my silk designer dress, along with a static-y, dried baby wipe clinging to my elegant wrap?
No, I think I was still pretty cool then, especially since a well-known sitcom actress took pity and helped clean me up.
Could it have been when I showed up to my third grade son’s parent-teacher conference in my pajama bottoms, slippers, and a T-shirt, even though it was 3:30 in the afternoon? (Hey, at least I brushed my teeth.) Only to discover that his P-T conference had actually been scheduled for 3:00?
Leaning closer to dorkdom, but not quite there.
Could it be when I served “healthy” pepperoni and nondairy cheese on the homemade pizzas at my son’s 10th birthday party? And then the kids all secretly went to McDonalds after their parents picked up the ungrateful little brats?
Yeah, I’d say that’s at least on the doorstep of where geekiness lives.
Or could it have been more recently? Like yesterday. When I told my 14-year-old to turn down that offensive noise that poses as music under the guise of rap, in which some obnoxious idiot babbles on about bitches and “ho’s”, just like my mom told me to can it when I cranked up Led Zeppelin or The Who so I could listen to Robert Plant or Roger Daltry sing about sex and drugs?
Yeah, I’d say I’d definitely arrived at the house of uncool by then, but in reality I probably got there long before that. I’m guessing it happened somewhere around the time I gave up stiletto heals in favor of Sorels (which is Eskimo Inuit for “ugly-ass footwear that’s extremely comfortable and warm”) so I could shuttle my kids around in inclement weather without breaking my neck on the ice.
And let’s not even get into the physical aspects of uncool, like cellulite, sore knees, yellow teeth, failing eyesight, hair in unwanted places, and more wrinkles than a Shar Pei dog. And for once I’d like to get through an entire night without running to the bathroom a bazillion times to empty a bladder that must be the size of a walnut.
Okay, so suffice it to say that I have no idea when I became uncool, but I think it had something to do with having kids, as this hysterical short music video called The Parent Rap so eloquently points out. Hey, it may not be Stairway to Heaven, but it pretty much sums up how hip young adults can go from cool to drool in just 18 short years.
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Stacy Dymalski is an award winning keynote speaker and stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.
For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon.com.