Saturday, September 27, 2008

has anybody seen my "too"?

I always like to think that everyone can see my inner cool. In my mind, if you are really looking at me then you can see that I am the fifth Beatle, crossing Abbey Road just out of the picture. I like to believe that those in the younger generation understand how cool I am, notwithstanding my outward appearance. Despite the fact that I can't have any kind of alcoholic beverage without feeling sick, I have only smoked pot once in the last 20 years, and my sense of humor ranges from bad to please don't repeat that, I like to pretend that the world perception of me is in keeping with my own fantasies.

That is why my slip up during a conversation with a family of friends last weekend haunted me. What makes this family so unique for me is the sometime multi-colored hair of their daughter, the goatee of the father, the ear piercings of the son (now a freshman in college) and, most importantly, the multiple tattoos of the mother. For me, they are the type of people, at least in outward appearance, who find me to be very unappealing. Thus, to be embraced by this group only served to reaffirm in my mind that the world can look past my mundane exterior.

Family tattoos, at least for some of their crew, were scheduled for this past summer. Last weekend, as we all gathered together over bagels, I brought up the topic that was of keen interest to me. "What new toos do you have to show me", I asked in my ultra-cool manner. I remembered that tattoo was a word that was shortened among those in the know. Unfortunately, as it turned out, no one knew what I was saying. "What is a too" I was asked? "You know, a tattoo". "Oh, you mean a tat" was the bemused reply.

It was as though I had been struck down. The fifth Beatle disappeared from view and never made it to Abbey Road. The person who throws up at the first hint of liquor stood before the gathered crowd. The long hair and the beard was replaced by a bald head and thick glasses. I was there naked and exposed.

Somehow, the rest of them just passed it off as another in the long history of reasons why I was a somewhat lovable idiot. While they laughed about my failed attempt at being something other than I was, and then they went on to the next topic, I was left behind in my own little world. I knew that never again would I be able to convince myself into thinking that I was fooling those gathered in this room of the fascination of being me.

But, I now realize there is always hope. I recognize that there is still a whole world of unsuspecting people out there. I can still go to the next wedding or bar-mitzvah , sing along with the band at the top of my lungs, and know that those gathered in attendance will be awed by the beauty of my voice. My ultra -coolness continues to reside within me.

1 comment:

Jared Alessandroni said...

Well, I still think you're cool. Plus, the deep, dark, scary hidden truth of all really cool people is that no one who is truly cool cares that much about anything - or thinks that hard. That's why I'm not cool, but it's okay - I won't admit to caring.