I’m Not Cool, and I’m Totally Cool With That

I can remember being about 7 years old when Officer McGruff first came to my school as part of the D.A.R.E. program to warn us all about the evils of drugs. I can also remember thinking that I was definitely going to try anything that anyone ever offered me (excluding the use of needles. I don’t do needles.). My attitude towards sex at twice that age was pretty much the same. I was one of those kids who felt completely ripped off by childhood and was convinced that grown ups got to do all the cool stuff. I wanted to experience life, and anything that adults tried to convince me not to do was probably the only stuff worth doing.

So I wound up being the first of my friends to smoke and to drink and to have sex (as far as I know). A few of my childhood friends were forbidden to talk to me, and all of that stereotypical “bad girl” stuff. Really, I was a good kid, on the inside. I just lacked patience, boundries and any real respect for authority. I mean, it’s only wrong if you get caught, right?

We have eerily similar lives. Just kidding. I don't smoke.

Here’s the thing, I’m in my mid-thirties now. I’ve got 2 kids, with another on the way, and the life I lead is not the life I ever would have pictured for myself. We roll up off the couch between nine and ten PM and watch an hour of Netflix in bed. We go out once a week, usually with my husband’s friend, for curry and maybe a drink. We go to my in-laws’ house every Sunday for a roast dinner. I am legitimately excited by a trip to the library. Free books! What’s not to love? If we’re standing in the queue at Burger King, I am probably shooting eye daggers at the group of teenagers being all loud and teenager-y. I am, most definitely, what they would consider old and boring and past it. And you know what? I’m fine with that.

I don’t want to be the cool mom who lets her kids get drunk at home with their friends when they’re 15, or teaches them how to roll a joint. First of all, have you ever been around teenagers? Second, have you been around drunk people when you’re sober? Yeah, combine those two things and congratulations! You’ve come up with my personal idea of hell.

I have friends who are still partying all night and living at home with no bills and no responsibility, and I do not envy them in the slightest. I worry about them, sure, but I certainly don’t want to live like that. I suppose I’m meant to be regretting my lost youth, or sorry that I’m no longer spending my nights drunkenly slurring what I think are witticisms at my friends until I black out, but I just can’t get worked up about it. I’m both prettier and wittier when I’m sober, and I haven’t got the time or the inclination to waste entire weekends nursing hangovers.

I guess now that I’ve finally arrived at the place I was in such a rush to get to, I’ve realised that all the things my preteen head thought were “cool” are just ways of escaping myself and my life. The truth is, I like myself, and I like my life. I don’t need to escape. I just want to slow it all down and enjoy.


Shannon claims she isn’t cool, but I disagree.  Check it out.



  1. We had C.H.I.C.K.E.N. Cool, Honest, Intelligent, Clearheaded, Keen, Energetic, and Not Interested in Drugs, Alcohol or Tobacco!

    I apparently took this to heart considering I never did drugs or smoked and I’m 27 and still don’t drink. And I lost my virginity to the man I’m still with after 11 years.

    So… at least you were cool once. I was destined to not do crazy things 😉 Though I still don’t consider myself boring. I mean, I still remember the CHICKEN logo.

    • shannonhumphreys says:

      I envy you! Being cool is overrated. It wasn’t even especially fun, and I ruined my chances of getting into a good college after high school to boot.

  2. missysux says:

    I was right there growing up with u Shan and the parallels are a bit insane. My mom was the one showing us how to roll joints,but God help my daughters if and when they try to sneak in drunk. Hell I don’t even drink which is nuts. I guess we did all our ‘living’ at such a young age,we now get to slow down and really enjoy life instead of remembering the blur of our teen years.

    • shannonhumphreys says:

      I still drink! A little. When I’m not pregnant, obviously. It really doesn’t take much these days to get me drunk anyway. We had fun, but man, were we stupid. At least I was. Do you know, that summer I was 15, I had no less than 3 rape attempts on me? I am not one for blaming the victim under any circumstances, but I don’t think I’d ever have gotten myself into a lot of those situations as a relatively sober adult.

      I still love your mom, though.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I completely know I was NEVER cool and am completely fine with that! As a matter of fact, I remember you when you were “cool” in high school and I have the pleasure of knowing you now! I completely agree with your statement about being prettier and wittier now! I loved your article; many parts made me literally LOL!!!!

  4. I’m not even in my mid-thirties (I’m almost 29), & your social calendar sounds busier than mine! I fully embrace that I prefer a quiet night catching up with our DVR to drinks at a bar after work, or a night of board games & snacks with a small group of friends to getting wasted at a party. I was the good girl in high school, & a wild child in college-early twenties, & now I’ve come full circle back to [mostly] good girl.

    This is all to say that you sound totally cool to me. Pretty, witty & cooler than she admits!

    • shannonhumphreys says:

      Aw, thanks! I think it’s about time that we take back cool. Why is cool always about getting wasted and making an ass of yourself, anyway? Buffy marathons are cool. S’mores are cool! I don’t know, it’s totally past my bedtime right now.

      • Buffy marathons are seriously cool, & yes I own the series boxset. S’mores during a Buffy marathon are even cooler. Brewing a nice cup of tea & curling up with a book to read before falling asleep at 9:30 PM? Sold.

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