I’m not about to claim that I’m a cool guy or that I’ve ever been. But I am about to claim that there were several times in my life that I totally thought I was the absolute coolest dude in the room. Now that I think back on it and what I would have thought had I been someone else in the room watching me, I realize that I was very, very, very wrong.
5. The Date in the Van
Once you get your learner’s permit, you automatically feel a lot cooler, especially if you have friends that don’t have theirs yet. After all, you can legally drive on the highways (with a parent) with all the other adults and cool people. One summer Saturday I had made plans to take a pretty girl out to the movies because that’s all we really did in high school for fun. Since I had my learner’s permit, I thought I’d drive. In my Mom’s Chevrolet van.
We drove to the movie theater practically in silence. The only sound was the video coming from the tv in the van playing the Thomas the Tank Engine movie (the one with Alec Baldwin because of course he’d do something like that). So rather than sitting in the back with my date, I was driving. My mom was in the passenger seat, and my date was in the back beside my little brother.
But I didn’t really care at the time because I was driving. She didn’t have her permit yet. And because I got us to the theater without much incident (I did almost sideswipe someone), I thought I was the man. I wasn’t, and I rightfully lost out to a series of much cooler guys.
4. Doing Stand-up in 7th Grade
Every morning before science class started, our teacher would let me take a few minutes and recite a Bill Cosby bit because he was wholesome and it wasn’t widely known that he had been raping everything with an unconscious pulse. I did all the classics – The Dentist, Chocolate Cake, all the Fat Albert stuff – and most of the students were quite fond of it (even if it was only because it killed 15 extra minutes of us not actually learning anything.
But looking back on it now, I realize just how insanely weird that was. A kid going in front of the class and reciting stand-up comedy routines? Seriously? It was a miracle I ever dated anyone in school because that’s just not natural behavior.
3. Dressing Up for School Events
One thing I’ve always done is take pride in cleaning up real nice, so whenever we had Parent/Teacher Assemblies or special events at school, I would always make a special effort to take the most thorough shower in the history of hygiene. I’d wash literally every square inch of my body – even the soles of my feet – at least twice because why not? But even after I got out of the shower, I’d make sure I covered all the bases.
I’d make sure I put deodorant on and my teeth were brushed. Then I’d shave with fake shaving cream and a plastic razor because I was eight but I felt like an adult. I’d then throw on a concoction of every kind of aftershave and cologne my father kept in the cabinet (which was way too many). I’d arrive at the event smelling like a group of old men at a poker table and looking as dapper as humanly possible. In reality, my scent was likely quite off-putting and I probably looked ridiculous.
2. My Early Music and Poems
Sometime around 9th grade I discovered writing and music. I had big dreams of being in a band and having my songs played to literally dozens of people. I used to post my lyrics on my MySpace page for my friends to see. That didn’t last long because somebody screwed up and we almost all got expelled from school for various reasons, but mainly because technology is scary.
I also toyed around with music even though I had very little musical ability. What I did have was patience and a ton of time to kill, so I started mixing loops together to create my own instrumental tracks. I thought they were great. They weren’t. In fact, they were often disjointed and didn’t even stay in the same chord structure. I still have a few tracks on my computer, but no one will ever hear them. They’re pretty much there for the sole purpose of allowing someone to blackmail me in the future.
1. Writing Blogs
When I made my first website I started a personal jihad against everything I was taught because I realized how backwards and wrong it was. I’d sometimes post every single day and it was often quite militant and combative.
Now I realize how annoying that was. I’m honestly surprised no one hunted me down and slapped me across the face for being an annoying little prick. Sometimes you just don’t need to care so much about stuff because literally no one else does – either that or they’re smarter than you and realize the things you’re crying about just aren’t that big of a deal.