Truth be told, anyone that knows me in slightly more depth than my aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed and my strategic choice of Facebook profile pictures, may well take issue with the suggestion that I was ever, in fact, cool.
I’m just putting it out there… But possibly, (and I appreciate this may come as quite a shock to some people)… I was never actually cool.
Believe me! I hear ya! I know how unlikely this seems.
Historical evidence exists that I have always been cool.
My first mobile phone was a Nokia 5110. With a yellow cover.
I had a perm when I was 13. Didn’t see any other teenagers around me in private school chemically enhancing their hair in 1995.
Cool. Rebellious. Fashion forward.
I not only loved Hanson in 1997 when I was 15 (and all the other Hanson fans were 13 and not cool enough to perm their hair FYI), but I actually went on to meet them. More than once. On purpose!
Clear historical proof.
I’ve always been cool.
But what’s become clear to me now is that if I was indeed cool (which I’m actually starting to doubt myself even despite aforementioned copious evidence to the contrary), then I’m certainly not now.
In the interests of full disclosure and transparency I feel it pertinent to mention here that I have just deleted a full paragraph about a troll doll collection as it seemed extraneous to my overall message.
I must say, however, that never have I felt my apparent uncoolness more keenly than I did recently when I found myself amid a group of technologically savvy 20-something year old male shop assistants in Virgin Mobile upgrading my iPhone.
To be fair, quite possibly a bunch of technologically savvy 20 year old boys do actually belong in Virgin because they probably all are one.
Here’s what I discovered about myself in the 90 or so illuminating minutes I spent realising that not only do I not have a cool bone in my body, but that I also need to never go out in public. Ever again.
When I feel uncomfortable I overcompensate.
One might have thought I’d learnt this lesson already that one time my boyfriend of a few months professed his (unreciprocated) love for me and instead of replying like any self respecting person would, with “thank you” or “that’s nice” (much like my husband did the first time I said it to him) instead, I choked out the words “I love YOU. So much”.
That’s right, I don’t just love you, guy I’m only dating to make someone else jealous, I love you SO much. Mmmm. Good.
Anyway. In the Virgin Mobile shop filled with technologically savvy probable virgins that were still far cooler than me, I overcompensated.
Laughing too loudly for example. Multiple times. At things that were, it became increasingly clear, either not funny enough for anyone else to laugh at, or that weren’t actually supposed to be funny in the first place.
I made one joke.
And then learned not to do that.
Because when you’ve been loitering around for well over an hour and a half because their “system” is “down” and they can’t update your account until it’s online again, and you finally go to pay for your phone along with the pleasure of standing in Virgin Mobile wishing you were dead for 103 minutes longer than you had anticipated, and you make a joke that perhaps now the eftpos machine will be down too… That is in no way funny and you-are-dead-to-me eyes from a twenty something year old virgin is all you deserve you complete and utter fucking loser.
And then one of the virgins played a little joke on me.
And I failed at that too.
Because when a technologically savvy virgin, who makes it abundantly clear he doesn’t think your jokes are funny, tells you that you now have to pay him $815 up front to secure your new phone, you blithely take him at face value as you suffer in silence the symptoms of sudden onset cardiac arrest, instead of recognising it as the hilarious piece of comedic genius as it was intended.
And when he did tell me he was kidding? Oh how I laughed. Too loudly. The guy could’ve been Michael fucking McIntyre for all anyone knew, I was so loudly appreciating his hilarious joke that I owed him money that I, in fact, did not.
Did I mention the point at which he informed me that because my account was not registered in my married name, I would have to go all the way home and bring back my marriage certificate before he could update my account and authorise the purchase of aforementioned new phone? Something I had already done four years prior but that had not been entered into the “system” (the “system” that had been “down” for three hundred and forty seven minutes at this point)?
And here is where I dropped my dignity on the floor and straight up BEGGED HIM to let me email it to them when I got home.
There’s no other word for it. I checked thesaurus.com, there really isn’t. It was clear cut, shameful, unadulterated begging. Not quirkly, likeable, puppy dog eyed begging either. It was ugly, desperate, I might need to be medicated begging.
I have three young kids at home!
I never get out of the house!
It’s a miracle I’ve showered today!
(If I even have!)
Please don’t make me go home and come back!
I beg of you!
I’ll do anything!
Well not ANYTHING, virgin boy, but ALMOST ANYTHING.
Please, I can not go home and come back. I just can’t. It was hard enough to leave the house the first time!
I SNUCK OUT. So they wouldn’t notice! Out my sons bedroom window! PLEASE!
My husband (that guy I married five YEARS ago, hence rendering me with a different last name, one that I told you about FOUR YEARS ago) is a shift worker! This is his last day off before forty thousand and three quarter hours back on shift!
He’s a fire fighter! One ladder rung away from death at any moment! That’s the kind of stress I live with on a day to day basis! If your house was on fire, he’d be the one saving you!!! Remember that!
No of course that wasn’t a threat!! I was just SAYING…
Did I mention all that?
But that is a thing that also happened.
He stopped me just as I was retrieving photographs of my children from my wallet as proof of their existence and yet further evidence that were he to send me home to get my marriage certificate THAT I GAVE THEM FOUR YEARS AGO, I would almost certainly have a nervous breakdown in the middle of the shop and it wouldn’t be pretty for anyone involved.
Was he prepared to give me mouth to mouth if it escalated into a seizure and subsequent lack of consciousness?
I wasn’t convinced he would.
And I hadn’t cleaned my teeth that morning so I couldn’t really blame him.
And in those rare moments when I wasn’t laughing too loudly or having a heart attack, or almost crying, or begging like I was in prison and someone was about to put something cold and hard and shaped like a doodle up my bottom, I filled dead space with witty observational banter like “every time the automatic doors open I think someone’s coming in”.
Genius. Absolute, unequivocal, undeniable, genius.
Not to mention insightful. Where does one even ACQUIRE that kind of insight?
It’s a gift, that’s all I can say.
Jesus Christ. I am so uncool.
Even if I did meet the creative geniuses behind international number one smash hit, Mmmbop. Even though I was the president of the first official Australian Leonardo DiCaprio fan club. Even though I owned not one, but TWO pairs of tencel jeans.
The glory days are over.
I’m no longer cool.
Maybe I never was cool.
What’s left for me now?
There’s really only one thing that comes to mind….
And my kids are gonna LOVE IT!