When I was a young lad I wanted to be “cool.” I think everybody did. I dressed in the latest fashion, at least as much as I could afford and wore my hair as close to Elvis as I could. I wore white buckskin shoes because Pat Boone did. I had a thin black belt because it was “cool.” I just wanted to be cool.
Well, it probably didn’t work that well. It turns out that cool has a way of changing from time to time. What was cool yesterday is not so cool today. I just learned from a news report that today’s Republicans are not cool or “trendy.” For that one must be a Democrat. Unless you get your news from Facebook, tweets, or the Comedy Channel, you are not cool. If you think like a traditional American, believe in the Constitution and the rule of law, accept the fact that there is very little nuance between right and wrong, believe that we must have borders and enforce them, you cannot be cool. If you think public bathrooms should be reserved for the gender one is born with, you cannot be trendy. I guess that all just lets me out.
I have decided that from now on I don’t want to be cool. I don’t want to be trendy. I prefer to be an American with traditional values. I prefer to be responsible for me and for my actions.
When I see men with pierced ears and huge earrings hanging from them, I wonder, by today’s standards, are they cool? When I see a gorgeous young girl with tattoos all over her beautiful body, I ask myself, “Is she cool?” When I see young ladies going to the mall with so little clothing on that very little is left to the imagination, I wonder, are they cool? Are same sex couples walking arm in arm showing public affection trendy?
Back when I was a young man, I prepared myself for a life of earning a living. I got what education I could then I joined the Army, not because I was particularly patriotic but because I knew if I didn’t join, they would draft me anyway. Later on when I got out of the service, I got a job. Still later I was fortunate to find a young lady to share my life with. We went on to have a couple of children and then tried to get them ready for a traditional life.
As I think back on it, by today’s standards there was not much cool about earning a living and being responsible for three other lives. There was nothing trendy about paying your bills and trying to save up for a rainy day. Oh and it seemed to rain a lot back then.
Over the years my life has taken some strange turns. It probably didn’t turn out the way I thought when I was a kid. But, it has been great. It has been the kind of cool that many people I know dream about.
Today my hair isn’t quite like Elvis’s. My once wavy hair has long since waved goodbye. I don’t wear white buckskins anymore. I don’t want to have to keep them white. I prefer elastic to belts now. I read newspapers and the internet and get my news from several sources but not the Comedy Channel. I listen to the experts but in the final analysis, I decide what the truth is. I guess by today’s standards my life isn’t cool. It certainly isn’t trendy, but it is a great life. I’m pretty sure I won’t be remembered as being cool or trendy. The biggest problem in my future however is going to be finding an undertaker who can wipe the smile off my face for the life I have lived. Now that’s my kind of cool.