Cool Factor

Music by Salvatore Vuono
“Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono /”

I might be antagonizing some people by writing this, but I’m going to do it anyway and try to be diplomatic about it as much as I can. Also, I promise to get to the point of this whole post once I air out a few of my suddenly disruptive annoyance.

You see, I’m sick of seeing people pretending to be someone else and obviously failing miserably. AND, the most irritating part is — they’re not aware of it. No one would even dare to let them know about it, too, which amplified the whole delusional belief. Therefore, these pretentious people continue to make a fool of themselves, making me cringe every time in turn.

I am prone to over-analyze stuff. I’ve been guilty and convicted by friends and family about it. But, I couldn’t help myself. The need to understand and grow from it drives me to discover the ‘why’ and later on give a solicited suggestion and offer a ‘how-to’.

Being acquainted to some pretenders, I guess I should have set them straight a long time ago, but who am I to be sure that the pretense isn’t a pretense at all and is actually part and parcel with their personality? Who am I to sit down with them and burst their bubbles when I am guilty of pretending when it suits me as well?

But I was never guilty of one thing in my entire life — being someone I’m completely not. I may pretend to get along with the general norm, but it’s just another layer of my multidimensional self, and not be a method actor and completely change my personality to suit the company I’m with.

Which leads to the topic of being ‘cool.’

That word had been bandied about and thrown at me countless times and I’ve never even considered myself as one. I almost always feel uncomfortable when I’m labelled as such despite the smile I offer because deep down, I don’t consider myself cool. I am — in my own way — just an ordinary person with a slightly demented perception of a quotidian life and who liked (recently past tense) having funky hair.

Honestly, what is cool anyway?

  • Is it being the center of a fawning crowd, admiring your designer clothes, mile-high glittering designer shoes that carry a name that is hard to pronounce and the weighty bling covering your neck, arms and other unmentionable parts of your body?
  • Is it being the center of a brainy group, admiring you for your intellectual prowess and enjoy dropping names of Pulitzer prize writers that has absolutely no bearing to the conversation?
  • Is it being an original — the one that stands out with body tattoo, pink hair and multiple piercings among a sea of black-haired, conventional folks?
Image courtesy of stockimages /
“Image courtesy of stockimages /”

I could go on and on, but one thing’s for sure: the definition of the state of being ‘cool’ is quite subjective.

For me, there’s no such thing as ‘trying to be cool’. Either you are or you’re not. Being cool is something that comes naturally. It’s effortless. You don’t have to be labelled a rebel or a princess to be cool. 

Being cool is a subtle reminder that you are not mediocre that you are not cut from the same cloth like everyone else in a positive way. Like Pink Floyd’s lyrics, being cool is not like just being another brick in the wall‘.

Being cool is more than fancy stuff, being opinionated, smart, outspoken and often in the spotlight. If you are trying so hard to be cool, it means you obviously are not.  

Being cool also comes with a price. Like a business, you build your image and reputation around maintaining your ‘cool factor’. If you can’t, you’ll soon find yourself a fodder for gossip and ridicule. And you’ll lose about 70-80% of your supposed friends.

Judging Rosey

Wooden Judge Gravel by Kittisak
“Image courtesy of Kittisak /”

As what one of my closest friends pointed out, I can be a freakin‘ mascot at times (and I’m not talking about donning the whole suffocating, stuffed costume).

People are (eye-rolling) naturally drawn to me after getting past my intimidating (eye-rolling) looks. Frankly, I can’t do anything about my looks and I’m not willing to go under the knife just to placate weak-hearted people. Anyway, the “mascot” thing is about the way people are entertained whenever I’m around, because apparently, they think I’m cool. And by being my “friend”, they’re cool by association. (Let’s roll our eyes together.)

Do you want to know what I think of this?

It’s one big bull crap.

IMO, I am not cool — at all. Just because I fix myself nice sometimes and have an actual brain inside my head doesn’t mean I’m above an ordinary folk.  It just goes to show that people’s perception of what is cool differs from mine. Like what I said — it’s subjective.

So, because these people have inadvertently put me on a pedestal with stars in their eyes, I suddenly feel like I’m living under a microscope. They expect me to behave in a certain way, trying to emulate the things I say or do, which is flattering in a way, but completely uncomfortable nonetheless. They expect perfection. The worst thing about this scenario is when I do something unexpected, I am considered as someone who’ve wasted their hero-worship time and suddenly becomes a villain, like it’s all my fault that they hang on to whatever I’m about in the first place.

I would accept such expectations if I’m f*cking Angelina Jolie or a member of the British royal family. But, I’m not and do not aspire to be. All I am is this opinionated, thirty-something who is a study of contradictions. I only have my wits and a contagious laughter that leaves a somewhat good impression. I am not an elite, champagne-swirling, designer-label toting person who won’t be caught dead eating street food. No. Contrary to public opinion,  I just happen to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Apparently, the majority of my acquaintances believes I am elite and cannot rough it like the rest because of this preconceived idea that just because I have a wonky way of speaking the Lingua Franca and have refined tastes sometimes, making me farther up than the common folk and therefore ‘cool’. I politely beg to differ.

People assume things so fast  — a true testament that most people are judgmental. I’m sick of it and I’ll be cleaning house soon. I’ll be sifting through those who see me and wants to be with me or around me because the only benefit they can get is my company and nothing more — not because they think I’m ‘cool’. Maybe if I develop a big enough ego, I can withstand the fawning and the ego-inflating worship. But that’ll probably take about fifty years from now — when I’m 6 feet under.

As far as cleaning house goes, I’ll share [here] the type of friends that MUST be kept and those you can do without That’ll be coming soon.


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