I’d like to propose a hypothesis:
We spend our lives gradually becoming less cool, while trying harder to be more cool, until finally one day we give up trying to be cool altogether and just start living.
EXHIBIT A: I bought a kimono today.
This is either a flagrant attempt to hold on to some semblance of semi-ironic, next-level cool, or it is me throwing up the flag of surrender; finally at peace with the fact that I am not cool anymore, and maybe I never was—or at least I haven’t been since like age 12.
All I know is that I was sitting in my apartment, drinking some coffee, reading a book, wearing some dumb-ole sweatpants when it dawned on me: this activity would be way more amazing in a kimono.
So I hopped on Etsy and bought a men’s knee-length, silk, floral kimono which will arrive in approximately 7-10 days.
I can’t fully determine whether this is simply an attempt to attain peak comfort, or some secret attempt to harness the aforementioned ironic-cool. What I can tell you is that definitely not cool. I am at least self-aware enough to admit this.
It may have been actually cool to have a kimono back when I was around eight years old or so (the same age when things like ninja throwing-stars were cool), but it is certifiably not cool to have a kimono as a 32 year old bachelor who lives alone.
It might in fact be a sign that things are about to get a whole lot weirder for your pal Lucas. A kimono purchase feels like the beginning of a real slippery slope doesn’t it?
Let’s face it, it also might be more than a wee bit problematic in terms of cultural appropriation for me, a blatantly white man, to be purchasing a piece of traditional Japanese clothing. However, in my defense, I will say that I definitely do not plan on going out in public wearing my kimono—in this is a behind closed doors kind of activity.
By the way, I am openly willing to have a friendly, open-minded debate with anyone about whether or not it is ok for me to wear a kimono in my apartment. I am sincerely not sure where my opinion falls on the topic. But be warned—I will be debating you while wearing my kimono. And if you win, I will disrobe. So it is a bit of a lose-lose situation for everyone honestly.
Anyway, I digress. My point is that whatever my kimono purchase is—an attempt at comfort, simple retail therapy, a slippery slope, or cultural appropriation—one thing is sure: it is not cool.
EXHIBIT B: I’ve been working on an album for five years.
I’ve been stuck in a limbo that should be familiar to anyone who’s ever attempted to create some kind of art for the public eye (or ear). Namely, that terrible, stagnant battle between overconfidence and insecurity.
At its most extreme it is that dual sense of 1. “I am secretly an artistic genius and everyone will acknowledge this as soon as I release my art,” and 2. “This is not good enough and people are going to think it sucks or disregard it entirely.”
And what the heck does any of this have to do with being cool? Well it all reeks of an inflated-ego that is trying too hard. And that my friend, is the complete opposite of cool.
What is encouraging, is that I am finally getting around to releasing these songs this year, insecurity and overconfidence be damned. It is time to get my little song babies out into the world of other people’s ears and brains and see how they might grow, flourish, and falter.
I have not decided on the release date just yet, but mark my words it will happen this year. Go ahead and consider this vulnerable little ditty of mine a down payment:
Again, at age 32, I think I find myself right at the point of still trying to hard to be cool, yet also ready to stop trying. Both my kimono purchase and my album release are vivid examples of both. Both are both.
EXHIBIT C: This picture of my niece Emily.
If you are reading this, you will never be as cool as Emily is in this picture. And it is precisely because, by her very nature, she is not trying.
Sure she looks cool with her sunglasses and stripes on, but she doesn’t care to be. She’s wearing those sunglasses because the sun is in her eyes. She’s wearing those stripes because they contain an in-swimsuit floatation system and she cannot swim! Doesn’t care to learn either. Also, look at that little shovel full of sand. She’s here to dig, and you literally cannot stop her.
In conclusion, all of us can posture and try a million different ways of making ourselves look cool. You can buy a kimono, release an album, or even ride a penis-shaped rocket to space while wearing a cowboy hat. But you will never be as cool as a two year old with sunglasses on. So don’t even try.