I used to want to be cool

I stood against the wall during gym, that first day of public school, sent there by the teacher. “You know better than to wear shoes like that!” she’d crowed, looking down at my red t-straps and green cordorouy dress. So there I stood, waiting until class was over.
I never wore a dress on gym day again, but I wore them every other day. I wore my tstraps and Mary Janes, too, when other girls were wearing jeans and sneakers. I wasn’t in the cool group, so I hung out with the outcasts. And I was ok with that.
I’ve never been one of the “in” group. I was too good, too nice, too studious. I could answer all the questions in Bible Trivia, pronounce the hard names, wore weird clothes, wasn’t boy crazy, liked talking about books more than movies, liked to sing with my siblings, and taught character at public schools in my spare time. All in all, not “cool person” material.
Yet now I stand on the other side, having somehow crossed the line from uncool to cool–maybe in my sleep?–and realizing there’s another side to this, one I never saw before. When you’re cool, people do what you do, say what you say, wear what you wear, and laugh at your jokes, and that’s dangerous. Because it means you have influence, influence you may not want, but it’s yours nonetheless. Because unless you’re willing to follow authority blindly, you’re dangerous to that authority. I don’t want to hurt my authorities; I love them, support them fully, believe that they’re doing what they believe is right. But neither will I follow anyone, save my Saviour, blindly. I cannot. So here I am, balanced on this knife edge, wanting to love all, and yet somehow hurting them instead.
I wish I could go back be that little girl in the green dress and red shoes standing against the schoolyard wall.

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~ by wildeyedwonder on March 24, 2006.

4 Responses to “I used to want to be cool”

  1. i remember those shoes. i wish i had a pair now.

    i’m still not cool. and i suck at being cool and making friends. i’m still the little girl who teachers love and classmates hate. i don’t look up words in the french dictionary to call the little boys who throw rocks at me. now i just flick them off.

    i was nicer when i was little.

  2. I was the weirdo who didn’t like candy so they would tell me how weird I was. And then eat my candy.

  3. i think i was cool occasionally, but only because i mostly hung out with people even more uncool than i was.

  4. the other day i randomly met a girl who turned out to be from the same little town as me. strangely enough, she also went to the same church that i did growing up.

    she didn’t remember me.

    i was glad, because i was sooooo not cool.

    actually, i’m still not cool.

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