Where Did My Cool Go?
by Gina Valley
I’m not cool.
I realized that today.
I suppose, on some level, I’ve known it for a while, but today it became glaringly clear. Because today, I realized I have become my father.
Don’t get me wrong. There’re a lot of cool things about my father. My dad is a great guy. He’s funny and smart and giving. I’d love to turn into that part of my dad. But, I didn’t.
I’d just finished installing a new kitchen faucet.
We’d had to get a new kitchen faucet, because the old one had fallen apart. You had to use a pair of locking pliers just to turn the thing on, water temperature was a gamble, and it vibrated so much when the water flowed that dirty dishes kept bouncing off the counter.
So, we’d headed to our friendly, neighborhood, giant home improvement store (I’ve always thought running water in the kitchen improved any home) to get a new kitchen faucet set.
Some of the faucets were so expensive I wondered if they magically cleaned dishes all by themselves. The Professor took one look at the wall of water wonders, and announced he refused to pay more for this faucet than he did for his first car.
We picked the one that was in our budget, and looked like it could handle having our kids tie the dog to it without breaking off. The fact that it supposedly had an anti-fingerprint finish just made us giggle. I was sure our kids would accept that challenge. They’re very competitive. No faucet was going beat them.
So, there I stood in our kitchen, putting away my tools and looking at our newly installed faucet when I heard someone say, “That’s a beautiful faucet.”
I looked around, and realized I was the only one there. And, not only had I said, “That’s a beautiful faucet,” I really thought that faucet was beautiful.
I flashed back to holding the tools while my dad installed a new kitchen faucet in my childhood home when I was a teenager. I remembered him saying, while he polished it with a cloth, “That’s a beautiful faucet.” I remembered thinking how that was further proof my dad was totally uncool.
And, here I was, decades later, riding the same train of uncoolness. Today’s stop was “Admiring household plumbing fixtures.” I could only wonder whether tomorrow’s stop would be listening to Muzak, wearing sensible shoes, or buying high-waisted, polyester pants (as I typed that I thought, “at least those things don’t ever wrinkle,” and felt myself drift ever further from cool).
When did this happen? When did I lose my cool?
I related my tale of uncoolness-woe to my friend, Vernice. I told her that I felt disheartened and aged beyond my years because I found new kitchen plumbing fixtures exciting. I wondered aloud if it was because I have children. Had they taken my cool as well as my last functioning brain cell? Vernice nodded along, sympathetically.
“Well, you know…,” my wise friend began.
I can always count on Vernice, and her sage advice to keep me on course. I knew she’d know just what to say to help me get my cool back.
“…that really is a beautiful faucet.”
Apparently, Vernice has turned into my father, too.
Laugh Out Loud!
What makes you feel old? Have you surprised yourself lately? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.
Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission