Friday, January 25, 2008

Coolness is relative

I've always thought of myself as cool. In elementary and high school, I didn't have any problems with being ostracized or getting "kick me" signs on my back. I was not the Queen fact, I felt sorry for the elitist girls who felt that they had to be so perfect and so accomplished and so looked-up-to. The people I hung out with were on the "middle ground"...not the Elite, not the Geeks. We were friends with people from all the groups, but part of none of them. It worked for us.

Cool used to mean something that other people saw in me. At some point, that changed into viewing myself and seeing that coolness was in the eye of the beholder.
If someone had told me back in the dim 1980's that I was going to be a good mom, be proud that my whites were really white, know all the words to "The Wheels on the Bus" and be a birder, for chrissakes, I would have thought they were mental. I mean, a birder? (Or that antiquated term, birdwatcher) One of those tweed-wearing dudes? Or like that pompous old lady in The Birds? Come on. I have been in mosh pits. I have patent leather thigh-high boots. I've been tossed out of a Waffle House for dancing on a table.
I have a tattoo, for goodness sake!

But here I am. I have fought anyone who wants to label me, to pigeonhole me (excuse the bird pun there), to say I am only this or that. But if you want to call me a birder, feel free. Because that's what I am. Call me a Mommy. Because that's what I am. But if that's all you see, then you don't see me.
What I think is cool and awesome is that it's popular to be into the environment and get out to the forest and care about what you see. I like that. It makes it easier for people to change their ways.
If anyone thinks that being into birding and nature are uncool, I give you Julie. Now, you tell me that woman isn't cool.

Now, a bit of Gary Larson....I miss that man. Don't you? Why isn't he still doing comics???

And me getting my tattoo (the artist is spraying my punctured skin with disinfectant...ow.):

I want another one. Geoff is 50/50 about that. He'd rather I didn't, but I tend to be a bit headstrong. My next tattoo? Something drawn by the Divine Ms. JZ. Maybe a falcon? A great blue heron? Anyone have any ideas?
I can sense Geoff up in his office as he reads this, getting pale and vaporish.


Anonymous said...

My husband doesn't like my tattoo but too bad -- I didn't do it for him. (Sorry, Geoff!) However, I won't be getting another one. I love my tattoo but it was so incredibly painful that . . . no thanks, I'm done. :)

For the record, I totally think you're cool!

Mary said...

No tattoos for me. But I have three piercings in each ear. Does that make me cool? Nope.

Susan, YOU are cool, with or without tattoos.

Dave said...

Patent leather thigh-high boots? Yeah, you're cool. :)

crazyforcinema said...

You've accomplished a lot and are justifiably proud of this! I want a tattoo also but I haven't yet figured out a subject or design. Where do you want to place your next one?

Island Rambles Blog said...

I love the cartoon!! Birds of Prey are cool to me anyway.

RuthieJ said...

Susan, you're still young. I got tattoo #6 at age 47, so you've still got plenty of time! Geoff will probably get used to it, after #1 my spousal unit almost kicked me out, but by #6, I think he realized it doesn't change the person you really are--it's just body art!

Amy said...

I heartily agree with asking the Divine Ms. JZ to create your next tattoo. She created my AMKE. It drew "ooh"s and "aah"s in a room of birders in Cape May.

BTW, are 6-inch patent leather stilettos as cool as thigh-high boots? ;)