It was at that moment that I realized that being cool was a thing of the past.
Though, let me rephrase that. It was at that moment that I realized I could never think of myself as being cool anymore. Chances are I was never really that cool to begin with.
After quickly digesting this revelation, I really had no problem with it. For my money, dads really shouldn’t be cool. I’m also pretty sure that when Ava gets older, she doesn’t want her dad to have the same interests as she has. She probably doesn’t want her dad going to the same concerts she would go to, or shopping in the same stores she shops, or trying to use the same lingo she uses, or pretty much mirroring her life in any way.
This is fine by me. I don’t want her sharing some of my interests either. Say, for example, like my taste for Jack Daniels or my mastering use of the word “f*#k”.
My perceived coolness will probably never coincide with Ava’s perception of coolness anyways. Chances are she will never care about the vast selection of my movie collection. To her, movies like Goodfellas, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, and The Usual Suspects will be boring and dumb. She probably won’t see Sinatra, and Dean Martin, and all the other crooners in the same light as I see them. That’s A-OK with me.
Now, when I say dads shouldn’t be cool, I am really just talking about the perception of coolness. Trying to LOOK cool and being a dad are two things that really can’t go together. Running around a store like a horse is not cool. It’s being a fun dad, but cool it is not.
I am now regularly doing things in public in front of people that I would have never done before we had Ava because I would have been afraid of not looking cool. I make funny faces and fart sounds. I walk around with a Vera Bradley bag on my arm. I hold conversations with myself by talking in a high-pitched, cartoon character voice that is supposed to be Ava’s as if she is talking to me. I have spit and drool on the shoulders of my sport coats. I have no problem doing a little dance in a crowded restaurant just to get a little giggle from her. And I have no problem taking a big whiff of her butt to check for poop.
These are all very uncool things if seen from an outsider’s perspective. Screw them. The only perspective I care about now is Ava’s. I very much care. Some say being cool means not giving a shit. Now, I give very much a shit. Tons of shit really. It’s easy to be cool when the only life you care about is your own.
You still see them out there. Those dads that are still desperately trying to hold on to a past life. They may still wear their old motorcycle jacket or wearing the latest trends. Come on man. We all know car seats don’t fit on a motorcycles. Take the jacket off and only wear it around the house, if you must, where people can’t see you.
And look at this guy. Skinny jeans? Really? I bet your wife is happy one of you can fit into those right after the pregnancy. Take them off now, you are only making her angry. Anyways, dads need to be mobile. If you are wearing skinny jeans, you might as well be wearing heals too. Good luck when you have an explosive diaper and need to run to the bathroom.
Plus, who really wants their parents to be cool? Would you of liked your parents to be considered cooler than you? Hell no. High school is hard enough without having to be known as the least cool one in the family.
Think about when you were growing up. Everybody had the friends with the “cool” parents. The parents that let you do stuff at their house that you could NEVER do at yours. They let their kid roam free and had little to no rules. These parents were a convenience for you, that’s all. Secretly you were glad they weren’t your parents. You may have hated some of the rules your parents put in place for you, but at least you understood they were there for your well-being and security.
Not being cool anymore doesn’t mean I can’t be fun. Hence the horsy rides, odd noises and funny faces. Being a fun dad usually means being uncool. A cool dad is not fun. They are too wrapped up in themselves to give the kids what they need. “Sorry little buddy. I can’t give you a piggy-back ride. I need to sit here and sip my cappicino while wearing my over sized sunglasses and tight jeans in order to look hip.”
Piss on that guy. Shoot me in the head if I ever put my perception of coolness in front of Ava’s happiness.
Plus, doesn’t me not caring about being cool make me cool by definition? Ah, who cares. (see….told you I’m cool)