Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To thine own self, be true.



For such a long time, I tried to be cool. God, I tried SO hard. In high school (so I've been told) I walked around all aloof, acting like I knew secrets no one else was privvy to. For heaven's sake. On the inside during high school I was simply a miserable mess, but apparently good at bluffing. Hmmm.

During early adulthood, I taught myself to drink espresso (can you imagine how bad "espresso" was during the early 1970's in Kansas City? Ewww.) I ate raw oysters (hate them - but cool people eat them, so ...) I tried to stay up all night, smoke cigarettes, etc. I learned how to drink hard and act cynical even though in my heart of hearts I am always hopeful and optimistic. You could even call the real me sweet.

I tried NOT to be sweet. I practiced being non-chalant about sex and love (ha! so not me), I did all kinds of drugs, though in hindsight I see that in that particular endeavor, I was looking more for anesthesia than cool. I wore black clothing, extreme make-up, dyed my hair every color you can imagine, sometimes all at the same time.

Finally, during my 30's, when I married my ex-husband, I gave up the good fight. He actually IS cool - stays up all night, smokes cigs, eats raw oysters, watches the most esoteric films you can imagine, reads all the cool books, plays saxophone, and can even call people "cats" without sounding stupid.

My essence is fiery, passionate and impatient in most things (working on that last one). I'm an unashamed enthusiast about the things and people I love. I like to read nerdly books about geology, history, physics and such. I love to watch NCIS. I cry at dumb Hugh Grant movies. Might as well admit it: I am SO not cool.

This morning as I was practicing the bass, I realized I might be the only totally NOT cool bass player in the world. Ah well, such is life.

20 comments:

ellen abbott said...

Now Reya, it's all in how you define cool. I think you are very cool. Your ex and that type...not so much.

The Bug said...

Welcome to the "not cool club" - which is actually peopled by some pretty cool people - including you!

glnroz said...

all those "bad" things dont fit you. and yes, you are not the only UNcool bass player although I think MY bass is cool. '68 VOX violin shaped. But I DO think its COOL that you are learning to play bass. (nice outfit,,bass)

Expat From Hell said...

People who play their own bass lines, and make the world around them create a "lead" line that matches that rhythm, are the real trend-setters. And they are very, very cool. Thanks for being out there, Reya. And get that thumb nice and calloused, OK? No bass picks for you, my friend. EFH

Reya Mellicker said...

I do use picks, because my hands need to stay soft for bodywork. See? I'm not cool.

Glenn - verrry cool! Wow.

C.M. Jackson said...

I'm with Ellen--you are soo cool woman!

Amanda said...

i'm with ya on a lot of this, reya. and of the many things on your list i'm a physics reading nerd too.

you are so not not cool.

Kerry said...

not cool=So Very Cool.

As a middle school teacher, for some reason I feel like I have special insight into matters such as this!

Meri said...

I think being authentic is cool, so you're definitely cool. But I'm laughing at thinking of your with your hair a Joseph's Coat of color. Reya and the Amazing Technicolor Dream-Hair.

Reya Mellicker said...

The two worst hair colors (I found out the hard way) are platinum blond and Superman Bluish Black. Oh man. My skin looked dead until the color grew out.

I used to get red, blond and dark brown high/lowlights mixed into my already reddish hair. That was cool, probably but since I've always dressed like a hippie, i.e. no style whatsoever, I couldn't really pull it off.

Not cool. Ok.

Cyndy said...

The "real" cool people are the ones who are not trying to give everyone else a false impression of their coolness. So once you stop trying to be cool, your coolness quotient goes up, in a too cool to care kind of way, or at least that's what I've always thought. It's a very ironic word, isn't it? I even heard someone say one time that uncool is the new cool. So we're all cool in our own way.

Linda Sue said...

It's hip to be uncool in fact it is the coolest! But I must say dressing in black is the only way to dress- it's affordable...

steven said...

hey reya! it's funny about being cool. there's a spectrum of cool and it runs from the person being entirely themselves to the person being entirely not themselves. that's cause cool is about presence. it's about the substance of the presence. it's about being inside the substance of your presence and believing it. now, lots of other people might look at that and say oh that's so not cool. but who really gives a rat's ass?!!! i say laugh cry play bass colour your hair drink martinis heal bodies be funny angry spin your dc spin take your reflection photos and all the bazillion other details of youness that don't make it up onto your blog!!! you're cool without even having to work at it. how cool is that! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Steven, how cool are YOU? I needed some Steven wisdom today. Ta-da! Here it is. Thank you so much!!

Tom said...

it's hip to be square.
everyone else said it just about as well as could said, and they're all just agreeing with you. Reya, you are as insightful and cool as they come. Rock on!

Reya Mellicker said...

Tom it is NOT hip to be square. Is it???? Wow.

Gary said...

Cool. Not cool. I think you are pretty amazing either way.

Pauline said...

hey wait - anyone who reads nerdly books for pleasure and likes Hugh Grant movies is way cool in my book!

Tessa said...

I eat raw oysters...straight from the rocks. Obviously that makes me startling mega-cool, right? Seriously though, 'To thine own self, be true' was my father's mantra and one which, as a family, we hold close to our hearts.

Incidently, you are one of the coolest cool peeps I've ever met. Rather in awe, aktually. Humpf.

Jen said...

Um, Reya? You are totally freaking cool!