Today’s post is dedicated to all those times I thought I was being cool, but really just ended up revealing to everyone how dorky I actually am. Hopefully you can sympathize and relate. If not, so be it. (SIGH)
To start off, though, I’d like to quote one of the dumbest “cool” things anyone ever said to me. (It’ll make me feel better; like I’m in good company.) This was actually thought… and then spoken aloud with a straight face and (supposedly) well-meaning intent… by a guy I used to work with. We were chatting in his office one day when he suddenly asked me for my advice:
“Hey,” he asked casually, “I need some good ideas for a birthday present I have to give this weekend. What should I give to a girl I’ve been dating and plan to break up with in a couple of weeks?”
I choked in horror and then responded, “Uhh… her FREEDOM from you — immediately.” I then informed him that I was “pretty sure she’d rather spend her birthday with her girlfriends talking about how much of a jerk you are than another evening with you lying to her face, going through the motions until the timing of the break-up becomes more convenient for you.” 😛
My coworker ultimately conceded, realizing how stupid his question (and situation) was. I guess sometimes you really do just need to say things out loud to other people to realize how crazy the thoughts in your head are.
Now, back to me.
Too Cool for Music. I’ll start off with an easy one. Years ago I told a local Pittsburgh musician — who I had seen perform only once, and who later emailed me, asking me what kind of music I like — the following: “I only like deep, dark moody music; nothing too cheerful or happy. It’s too shallow for me.” I said this because the realm of music he played was shoegazer. It, therefore, made sense to me to sound like I was on his same wavelength. Uh, yeah. Never heard from him again. 🙂 And the stupidest part is that I really do like cheerful, happy music AND deep, dark moody music. I just thought he’d think I was a dork if I confessed to being remotely happy in life. (ha)
Too Cool for School. In 7th grade, I liked an 8th grade boy. He rode my bus, but we never talked to each other and had no classes together. Then one magical day, my algebra class required me to take a survey and chart it somehow. I saw this as a fantastic opportunity to get to know the older boy better, so I crafted not one, not two, but about ten different surveys and made all my friends fill out each and every one of them so they’d look legitimate. Then, one day on the bus ride home, I approached the boy with all my surveys in hand and finally spoke to him, asking him to fill them out “for my math class”. He smiled as if he knew exactly what I was doing, and actually did fill out all the surveys for me. I don’t remember all the questions or all his answers, but… guess what?! He liked grape Bubble Yum just like me! What are the chances?! (We didn’t talk to each other again till I was a sophomore in high school and no longer interested in him.)
Too Cool to Drool. See that photo above? It’s been cropped. It was taken the last day of 6th grade… back in the early ’80s. I make note of this merely to explain why I’m wearing a blue terry-velour dress with rainbow detailing. Those were my favorite shoes, by the way. ANYWAY… what I’ve cropped out of it is the image of a boy. (I’ve cropped him out so as not to embarrass him should he or anyone he knows ever navigate their way here. For you body language experts out there: I’ve turned my body away from him in the photo.)
Every day after recess, I’d come back to my desk and stress out because there’d be another love note from this boy waiting for me. I’m not sure how long it took me to figure out who was writing them, but I felt pretty awkward when I did find out. Not only was I not too interested in boys, I wasn’t particularly interested in him. I don’t mean that in a mean way, either. He simply wasn’t my type. But all the girls in my class repeatedly prodded me to “go with” him because he was popular. I finally caved in, but didn’t go out of my way to spend any time with him. We talked on the phone a little now and then… and when he went to visit some of his family in Costa Rica, he brought me back a pretty bracelet made of simple wooden beads (which I still have somewhere). As you might imagine, it didn’t end well… but it was for the best. The next time I “interacted” with him was in my 12th grade Physics class. He sat in the desk behind me all year and never said a word to me. 🙂
[Side note: He wasn’t the first boy to leave me love notes in my desk. The first one was in my third grade class… in another town… in another state. Hmm.]
So Cool I’m a Dancing Fool. Apparently, in 8th grade, I wasn’t quite “made for dancing all, all, all, all night long.” Nevertheless, I have always considered myself a decent dancer. So… imagine my surprise when, in the middle of a dance routine — on stage, before a small crowd — I totally forgot the dance steps I was supposed to be doing. Well, in my defense, it wasn’t all my fault. After all, we’d already performed the dance at our annual recital; this performance was merely a summer recap outside, under a tree on a “stage” made out of (essentially) what seemed like picnic tables that had been bound together. So, pardon me if I forgot that the teacher changed the steps for this particular performance. As it was, instead of doing step-ball-change 4 times in one direction, we did them 2 times to the left, then 2 times to the right. (Or was that right, left, right, left?) Anyway… the point is: I did it wrong. And when I finally thought I’d caught onto the new moves, my sister (who was on the stage dancing beside me) looked at me and said, “We’re going the other way now.” Thanks, sis. 😛
Too Cool for Words. So, in college, I had to take a lot of lit and writing classes, since writing was my major. One day, one of my professors was saying something about how people act, and I decided that this was going to be one of those rare moments I actually spoke out in class. I mumbled out loud something about how I do things a certain way because I’m a Capricorn. Apparently, my classmates weren’t into astrology. They all looked at me like I was out of my mind, a freak… some even snickered and laughed at me. All but one — a young man I admired (not romantically, but only because I thought he was smart and interesting) who was sitting across the room. One might’ve hoped he’d have come to my defense, but no, he did not. Instead, he rolled the bus right over me, “Well, I’m a Capricorn and I’m not like that at all.” (Clearly being MY kind of Capricorn was the uncool way of being a Capricorn.) Oh, well…
[Later, he asked me to be an Extra in a student movie he was creating (he was studying film-making)… so, in the end, I couldn’t have been THAT bad. (I wonder if he ever became a famous movie director? Hmm…)]
Okay, that’s it for today. But I’ll be sure to share more of my dorkiness another time… whether I mean to or not…. 😉