I always wanted to be the cool kid.
Instead, somehow I was the popular kid. I was the cheer leader captain, the cross-country runner, the band geek, and the ballerina. I was on my high school’s homecoming court. I did coolly protest against it by initially refusing to accept the nomination, but my principle convinced me that people of good character should represent high school royals. Plus my two besties would be paraded around with me, so I caved.
I was pretty and bubbly enough to get attention from the boys, but I was inwardly awkward and angry, often feeling alienated by the girls. I still hid in my closet and listened to Stone Temple Pilot’s Creep over and over and over. I still felt gravely misunderstood and once protested life itself with a stint of not eating, but I did not feel cool.
My first love was a guy I met in English lit class when I was sixteen. He was the new guy, and his sideburns were too large for his handsome, delicate features. He listened to The Doors and wrote poetry. He had cool friends from his old school that smoked pot and went to laser light shows and said fuck the po-lice. As soon as I started dating him, a rumor was spread around school that I was on drugs.
I wanted to be like them. I would tag along, never taking a drag or drink myself, but I wanted to be snarky and witty like they were. I wanted to say F you to the world like they did. But I was brought up nice, and I wanted to be well-liked.
My second love made the first look preppy. I would adoringly watch him disassemble plastic baby dolls and paint them mint green, adorning them with feathers. I would gaze on him for hours painting something that looked like my nightmares. I was fascinated with his dark perception and fell in love with his brazen rebellion of sugar and spice and everything nice.
He eventually broke my heart repeatedly by chasing after cooler girls than me: ones that were arty; ones that stole his heart on a day’s notice with their awkward, mysterious beauty. I finally realized it was damaging me and left.
I now read the wittiest blogs from the coolest of bloggers, and I torture myself with their wackiness. I too want to draw hilarious stick figures and craft brilliantly funny sentences and get a hundred likes on my post. I want to be authentically A-mazingly cool.
I think it’s safe to assume that you’re well aware that I would very much like to be the cool kid. (Now Jami, shall we move on?)