I know that I totally seem like I've always been Mr. Cool Shoes, but I can assure you I have not. In high school I was not cool. Despite the fact that I was the quarterback on the football team, I was far from the coolest guy in the school. First, I wasn't a very good quarterback. Second, I dressed like, well… like you would expect a kid from Middle-of-Nowhere-Indiana-who-doesn't-have-MTV to dress. Third, I got grades like a nerd. Fourth, I was always very careful to never break any rule or get in trouble. Fifth, I never went to the cool parties. In fact, I was never invited to the cool parties. Was it because I was a nerd? Probably. Was it because I was a goody-two-shoes? Definitely. Was it because my dad was the county Prosecutor? Very possibly. Was I upset by this? Absolutely not. Would I have been upset by this had I known these parties were actually going on? Possibly, but probably not. Does it matter? Not really. I was blissfully unaware.
My point is that I was not a cool kid and I did not know how to party. In fact, I thought the coolest part of the party was the cheese ball. Man, I loved me some cheese ball. I'm fairly certain I had never seen another drunk human being until I went to a graduation party and saw some adults who were a little tipsy. You know, because I didn't go to graduation parties where my fellow students were getting drunk. Instead, me and my buddy Scott decided to go to the gas station and pick up some cheap cigars.
We took those cigars and sat on the hood of his car and smoked them. I'm pretty sure that Scott had smoked a cigar (and possibly even cigarettes!) before so I did my best to play it cool. And I did. I was good at playing it cool, fitting in. On the inside I was all, "OH HELL YEAH! WE ARE LIVING IT UP TONIGHT. I BOUGHT A CIGAR AND NOW I'M SMOKING IT AND THERE ISN'T ANYTHING ANYONE CAN DO BECAUSE THIS IS WELL WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE LAW. HELL, I MIGHT EVEN TELL MY PARENTS." Then I went home and worked up the nerve to tell my parents because I WAS BECOMING A MAN AND IT WAS TIME FOR ME TO LIVE MY OWN LIFE. They said, "Okay. Goodnight." HA HA! I TOLD THEM!
I went to my bedroom and lay in my bed thinking about the evening because I was too wired to go to sleep. I'd graduated from high school and smoked my first cigar. My life had changed. Not because I had graduated from high school. I fully expected to graduate from high school. Even the dumbest dummies can graduate from high school. I had smoked a cigar. I had done something I never expected I would ever do. What else am I capable of? What other strange opportunities might I encounter? How far will I go? Do I even know who I am anymore? Might this finally lead to me being cool?
The jury is still out.