Friday, May 07, 2010

Missing Joe Cool

I was in a funk this evening. I hadn't seen one of these in awhile, but I was feeling sorry for myself in a big way. It hadn't manifested itself as clearly as some of the past cases, but that's what it was, I can see now, now that I'm on the other side of it.

I had a particularly rough day at work. I don't think I necessarily did anything wrong and if I'm pushed any further into the corner, I know there are people who have my back, or more importantly, will stand alongside me and push back. The problem is, that it was problem interrupted - some people are not even yet aware of the problem, so first thing Monday morning, it's pop up and say "Remember me?" I don't need that hanging over my head all weekend. So I'm really hoping at least one person in particular reads their email over the weekend and realizes that action needs to happen. I guess I know somenoe who works for them, but they'll be unreachable all day tomorrow, so I can't even ask them if their boss reads email on the weekend. Hopefully they do.

But here's the deal. During the drive in today, I was feeling good. The iPod was doing its usual coolness, going from Let's Dance by Sara Evans into Chim Chim Cheree off the Mary Poppins soundtrack and then right into EMF's Unbelievable. I was feeling good, especially by the end there with that loud beat, clear blue skies and the sunroof open. The drive itself was annoying, but no more so than usual. A few months back I decided that I was going to drive the speed limit no matter what. Well, except when the cars in front of me are going slower. I have to say, that's really freeing. I can put on the cruise control, lean back with one arm on the steering wheel and the other on the ledge of the door where the window is. If I had a baseball cap in the car, I could wear it backwards. I'm pretty cool, in the sense that I'm calm, collected, don't have a care and I'm not feeling aggressive or frustrated by the traffic. And then I've got a really rocking song on the radio (Unbelievable, not Chim Chim Cheree). I'm definitely Chill. Dope. Cool. Because it's a state of mind.

Well, this evening, not so much. The day was tough, I failed once again to get a point across to my coworkers about something I believe strongly about. (As near as I can tell.) And then I was dragging and we had to go to small group. It's a no-shoes house (which I can totally get on board with) but a lot of people then are just completely barefoot. I cannot stand feet. They're smelly, ugly, dirty, disgusting and I'm repulsed by them. There are some people who have a foot fetish. I am one million percent exactly the opposite. I think feet should be covered at all times. I have never seen a bare foot ever and thought "That's an attractive foot." Anyhow, so I was distracted by that. Anyhow, I could probably talk about my dislike for feet, or all the things I like better than feet for hours, but that would just make this post show up more often when people were searching for feet, so I had better stop.

I was also feeling bummed tonight because I'm going to be losing my car soon. It's not a great car, it has windows that don't roll down and are way too expensive to fix, but it's my car. When I got it, it had 45 miles on it. It's now 11 years old and it only has 72,000 miles on it and I've driven most of them. It still looks in pretty good shape, though right now it's filled with unread magazines and the outside is a little dirty. And underneath the hood a 3.2 liter 305hp engine lurks waiting to pull the heavy car to speed in very short order. It's had some expensive repairs, so I know it's not a great car or even a well-built car. But it was sleek, a design I had fallen in love with in a Silo (remember Silo?) parking lot back in high school and by the time I was buying a brand new car for the first time some 9 or 10 years later, I did a lot of research, looked a lot of cars before ending back on the car I had liked so long before. At first I wasn't sure, but in time I came to appreciate that the design changes over the years had made it into an even nicer car. But soon, we'll say goodbye to my car, I'll start driving Lori's handmedown and she'll get a minivan. Not soon, soon, but still enough time for me to start mourning. I've tried other car types and as impressed as I was with the Trailblazer and Mountaineer we've had as rental cars, I always come back to the large four-door sedan with sleek styling as my preferred car type. The day I say goodbye to my car, I will start counting down the days until I get my new car. Hopefully no more than 1,826 days. 43,824 hours. Hmm... that seems managable.

I was also feeling bummed about something else. I had volunteered to research a project. Lately, Lori had done all of the projects, which mostly dealt with finding a portable DVD-player and a Blu-Ray player and pretty much everything to do with most of our vacations for I can't remember how many years. I had tried to do one other project in secret, but ran into a brick wall with a very unhelpful company and some serious funding concerns. But this was a project I could work on. But then that kind of got messed up when Lori moved on to the next step too soon. I would later learn that it was entirely by accident and that she hadn't intended to, so I felt a little better, but I was still a little bummed. This was my one chance to contribute and to still show I knew something about something and that was mostly snatched away from me.

Which led me to feel uncool. And then when I tried explaining it to Lori, I must have failed miserably because she said "Well, hon, I think our days of being cool are behind us." I know, I know, there are some who are thinking "Dude, you were never cool."

That was a sad thought. But, I quickly disagreed. That's not possible. Granted, I am an overworked underpaid overweight 36-year-old middle-management employee who has trouble gaining the respect of my peers and supervisors because I do such a poor job of conveying ideas verbally, and in time, my kids will be old enough to definitively label me as uncool, but I don't believe my days of being cool are past. Lori did suggest that we could look forward to being cool retired empty nesters, but I derisively shrugged that off. (And now I've bummed out the only two people who have read this far. Sorry, mom and dad. Not saying you're not cool, just saying I'm not looking forward to that point in my life as the next time I can be cool.)

Now, I don't mean the type of cool defined by the retail stores and bought by teens who think they're smarter than the retailers. (They're not.)

I mean the kind where it's a state of being, That you cannot take from me. It just comes and goes, and tonight it went, and I need to get it back.
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