There comes a day in everyone’s life when we realize that it’s suddenly not worth the effort of trying to be cool. I’m not sure why it happens, but it’s inevitable – something like a rite of passage to adulthood. It must be written in some arcane study that self assured and confident people – those actualized through the process of self inquiry, simply don’t require being cool anymore. I guess it’s because “cool” is an outside barometer – a sociological litmus test. You pass the test and you’re welcome into a world of false hope.


Before you decide to chuck it, let’s understand why so many sign up for the Cool Card in the first place. There are lines of people, panting and longing for admission. There must be something to it, or so many wouldn’t want it, right? Imagine a world where you’ve been handed a card. Let’s take a walk through that world. You wear the newest fashions – so the salespeople at Neiman’s love it when you walk in the doors. In fact, not only CAN you wear them, you MUST wear them. Better get a sugar daddy or mommy to loose up the credit cards, because it is pricey to be cool. Nothing says downer like a fake pair of Gucci sunglasses, or last year’s styles — no ma’am – gotta have the real thing.


When you’re cool, you have to be seen at cool places. And cool places mean long lines and crowded venues. You know the kind of crowded that you have to scream to the person next to you. It’s that kind of crowded that you have to fight your way to the bartender who sits smugly behind the bar, and then yell out your drink order. I remember those nights, coming home with no voice and smelling of cigarettes and booze. Being cool also means networking with not-so-cool people who hold clipboards and phone wires in their ears so you DON’T have to wait in lines. So you have to kiss a lot of butt to be a cool person.


Being cool means having a big budget for hair, makeup and nails. If you show up looking sub-par you will be the object of ridicule. That means no spontaneous trips to the grocery or drug stores. You might see someone you know at the local Piggly Wiggly and if you’re not wearing your Jimmy Choo’s, or Manola Blahnik’s you’ll slip a peg on the cool ladder. Being cool also means sacrificing comfort for style at all costs.


What you drive says worlds about your cool. You can’t valet park a beater, or even a 3-year-old auto. It’s so passé. That means a new lease on a nice import is imminent – and we’re talking Lexus, NOT Toyota or VW or even Honda. Unless you just got the latest model that no one else is driving – that can be categorized as cool. Cool people have to have the latest – the newest or the most novel. And that goes for relationships as well. Who you date may have the biggest impact on your cool register – better reconsider. You may like the person, but if they’re not cool – ditch em. Getting someone who’s on the radar means tolerating a rolodex of “exes” – but hey, you wanted to be cool, didn’t you?


This sounds cumbersome. Is anyone else getting tired? And yet, this is how we live our lives and define attractiveness.


Part of being cool is bringing others down. I mean, the lower everyone else, the higher your own head, right? Ignoring others is another way of making them “less than.” So you better brush up on your Machiavellian moves. Study wit – become bitchy and know enough in art and language that you can toss it around gleefully at fabulous gatherings. “C’est bon” is always a good one. Says you’re international and have cultural dimension. Study Italian, and French to be cool – maybe a bit of Russian as well – that’s a chic language. Being monolingual is SO last century.


Most importantly, develop the knack for NOT concerning yourself for anyone else’s well-being. Nothing says UNCOOL like someone who demonstrates vulnerability and compassion. In this world, wear all the armor you can get – show them no weakness. Bottle everything up. Hey, you can pour a drink or two or three when you get home, to calm your shot nerves. You might light up or puke your guts out – that’s part of the price of being cool – just do it at home where noone can know that you are human and broken hearted.  Because being human – well, it just isn’t cool. And cool people don’t get broken-hearted -they get even.


So let’s do a brief recap of what a cool card gets you. You get to impress other people who slept with your boyfriend or girlfriend and who try to outperform one another. These are people you probably wouldn’t even want to befriend. And I think that’s about all you get, unless you include a big ego boost (even though it’s a momentary boost).


And what did that cool card cost you? You have bottled up emotions, which lead to breakdowns. You are leveraged and live paycheck to paycheck. You hang out with people you don’t like. You shun people who are real and authentic. You kiss butt to others pulling the strings. You create your own personal hell. You are self-indulgent and become blinded to the suffering of others. You strive to own a nice car, build a better body and develop a quicker wit. In short, you live in a world of “unacceptability” where nothing you do is enough and last year’s Prada styles just don’t cut it this year. Yikes.


I’m fairly good at math (so I must not be cool) and as I do the math on the cool card cost/benefit analysis, it’s a no brainer. Get rid of your cool card today and find liberation. And you might be surprised that there are some nice looking people with wonderful lives who aren’t really all that cool, but they sure are worthwhile. For the rest of my life, I’m pleased to say I will no longer stand in lines at the Office of Cool Cards. I have officially entered the world of adulthood, and I couldn’t be happier! Anyone care to join me?