html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: They wore fedoras with lingerie tops and multiple belts. I would just look silly.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

They wore fedoras with lingerie tops and multiple belts. I would just look silly.

I am not “cool”. I am friendly and enthusiastic and animated, but I am not in the least cool. I am at my best in domestic situations, making breakfast for a crowd, welcoming people at my door, keeping the music playing and the snacks interesting. Doing cool things like going out to see new bands sounds dangerously like staying up past eleven and poses terrible questions about what to wear. I’ve known for a very long time that cool is not an option for me and instead I rely on genuine.

But here’s the thing! I have cool friends! My sister and her girlfriends do cool things at amazing places; if I listen in I get ideas that I can adapt to my own scale. My old friends from the hippy co-op do things like become culture editors of smart online magazines before going off to film school in London. My friends in LA who keep up with music fill my iPod with bands I’ve never heard of, but that come up in conversation three months later. So perhaps because we go back a long ways, or perhaps because they know they can always spend a very comfortable weekend getting fed on my porch, or perhaps because they are cool enough that they can afford to include a country mouse in the mix, I sometimes get invited to where the cool people are.

On Monday, some folks from the co-op threw a party at their loft in the Mission. My friends and I debated whether to go. I was intimidated because the hosts are so beautiful and are all programmers by day and lesbian dancer/choreographers by night, even the men and straight girls, and their clothes are all ironic and wouldn’t look good if the wearers weren’t so stunning. But I swore I would try new things this year, and the hosts have never been anything other than welcoming and nice, so as long as I got a solid nap, I thought I could manage it.

And it was fun! I didn’t talk to anyone besides the people I came with, and I noticed we were the only people who ate food. My clothes were sincere and covered way too much of me. But the music was so great (you know, just DJ’s who are friends of theirs, and of course the band likes to come over to project their films) and I’ll tell you something you wouldn’t guess from my appearance. I am a better dancer than my staid clothes would suggest. So I danced hard (soaking through my shirt, hips fully loosened, delighted at the beats but not quite reaching an ecstatic fugue state) for a good couple hours. I didn’t try the stripper pole, but this isn’t the first party where the only place I found room enough to dance was up on a table or the go-go platform.

For once, I wasn’t the first person in my group to want to head home. Today I am quite proud of my bravery and pleased that trying a new thing turned out so well. I should do that more.


Blogger bobvis said...

Congratulations! It sounds like you grew.

Incidentally, genuine is cool. To us non-cool people, it appears to be the clothes or the music. But cool doesn't exist without sincerity.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That kind of life doesn't leave a lot of time for athletics, or outdoor adventures, it would seem. I think I could do without ironic clothes, and obscure bands. Of course, I've already spent a lot of time in clubs and whatnot, it doesn't seem like fun anymore.

Maybe the key is to just do a lot of different things, so you come out with the most happy memories. Once something kind of becomes routine, it tends to stop being memorable.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I bet they think you are cool because you play Ultimate and garden and do other stuff they wouldn't know how to approach.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Dubin said...

Nah, they do that outdoorsy stuff too, and garden to boot. They wear lingerie tops and ride around on trashy bikes and look awesome and then they go help children and climb rocks and make hummus. That's why they're so indisious, and why living in the bay area is so annoying. Here in Philadelphia, there's not so much competition for the "polymath crunchy hipster" category, so it's a lot more relaxing. Kinda like Sacto.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

It is hard for them to find time to read their original works for children in between teaching pilates and designing structurally sound, multi-story, singing sculptures for Burning Man, but they do it.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I suppose SF isn't the only home of cool people, and when I move to Amherst my sense of being acceptably intelligent, competent and versatile will be vastly diminished.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep trying not to read your blog. You are, as you put it, an imaginary person, and I have enough imaginary people internally without adding them externally. But I cannot help it. The structure of the writing and the cats and martial arts keep pulling me in.

By the way, could it be that you are "cool's cool"? That is, people who are not hip recognize the hipness in others, but what do the hip find cutting edge? Perhaps, in some way, you are it (at least to your friends)?

7:27 PM  
Blogger Sweet Coalminer said...

Good for you! That sounds wonderful.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I HAVE AN IDEA! Maybe you should spend less time telling strangers abour your odd, random experiences on blogs, and more time making actual friends, and developing actual "social-skills." Just a thought.

2:19 PM  

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