Too Cool For The Room

For whatever reason, I have always been an extrovert. I’m not sure whether this trait is the product of my upbringing, if it is genetic, or  even a combination of the two… but for whatever reason, I have managed to develop a capacity to successfully engage within most social settings. This has translated in my adult years into a lifestyle conducive to experiencing things that most people only get to experience vicariously by watching TV. I have a pretty fun life. And I feel very fortunate in this regard.

As such, I have found myself in some pretty cool places. My very easy on the eyes wife have partied with porn stars. Our libertine circle of friends are affluent, and beautiful. We love going to Las Vegas, riding in limousines, eating gourmet food, drinking top shelf booze, and engaging in hedonistic debauchery.

Likewise we have many friends who are comedians, and entertainers. To put it lightly, the laughs that can be had in their company are frequent. We love laughing our asses off with our cringe-worthy, albeit hilarious pals.

Damn, our friends are F’ing cool.

But in our recent travels, my bride and I found ourselves amongst a group of people who I believe at least as “cool” as any of our other associations. In fact, it is us who are “fish out of water” when we are in their element. These people are most commonly referred to in the American vernacular as “geeks.”

Yeah, I know… it’s counter-intuitive. Geeks are supposed to be the opposite of cool. But that all depends on your perspective. Are they good at sports, or confident with the opposite sex? Do they dress in designer clothes? Do they get invited to all the great parties? Usually not. So if that’s your definition of cool, then no, they are most definitely uncool… but here’s the thing… if that is your definition of cool, then let me break some bad news to you, Skippy… neither are you.

But if you think that it’s pretty cool to be able to understand what Stephen Hawking and PZ Myers are talking about… of if you think it’s cool to be non violent — or even more important — to be yourself and not be afraid of what others think of you… then geeks are cool as hell. Because there’s a lot of good things to be said about people who believe it’s more important to stay true to one’s self than it is to adapt to what either Madison avenue or “cool kids” expect of them. In fact, that takes guts. That’s why I’ll throw in with them.

At a more nerd friendly event we recently went to,  we found ourselves amongst the type of people who society regularly makes fun of. Although many in attendance were indeed awkward, or even suffering from some degree of social autism, the reality is that for a large group of people, they were unusually nice, and polite. Yeah, I know, more “uncool” traits.

 The truth is, the world has a lot of problems… and none of them are caused by these types of people. In fact, many of them are so damn smart, and idealistic that I would venture to say that there is a concerted effort on their part to make the world a better place. There is a distinct possibility that the Doctor who skillfully saves lives, or the lab tech who matches DNA in a criminal lab is, or at least has been referred to as a dork. Geeks are the people who send rockets into space, and invent awesome things. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were geeks.  

Now that is cool.

So if you think that you’re cool, chances are you’re really not. The next time you come in contact with someone who is socially graceless, or whose idea of entertainment oscillates between board games and the ScyFy Channel, try cutting them a little slack. Better yet, try to get to know them a little bit. You’ll both probably benefit from the experience … and that is really cool.

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About Rich Woods

Rich Woods is the author of the critically acclaimed books, UnLearn Vanilla Marriage, and Yahweh to Hell. He is also a columnist, sociologist, and satirist who has performed seminars around the country. He's also made several TV and radio appearances. Transitioning from a blue-collar background has given Mr. Woods a unique perspective --and an even more unique elocution--among his peers. Raised Catholic, Mr. Woods is now a very public atheist who champions the separation of church and state. He's an advocate for non-traditional relationships, including --but not limited to-- negotiating non-monogamy, as well as being a vocal opponent of political correctness. Throughout his career, Woods has had colorful metaphors hurled in his direction from both liberals, and conservatives. To be honest, most of the vitriol comes from the Tea Party. However, he considers one of his greatest accomplishments having been called "Harry Reid's Lapdog" , and referred to as being "just like Rush Limbaugh" from two different sources within minutes of one another. Originally from Queens, New York, and presently residing in central New Jersey, Rich Woods is madly, and hopelessly in love with his wife Jane since before they were wed in 2002, and is the proud father of two successful, brilliantly creative, young adult children. Try as he might, he can't juggle.

Posted on May 17, 2012, in Recent Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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