Tuesday, September 26, 2017

You Do the Hokey Pokey...

I was at a party over Labor Day weekend and didn't realize I was standing in the middle of the crowd, doing the hokey pokey until my friend Ryan pointed out that I had officially lost my last ounce of cool.

Cool has always been central in my life. I'm the youngest of two very cool older brothers, ones who listened to rock and blues and were continually named things like "Mr. Outgoing" and "Most Handsome." During my adolescence, having these two very cool older brothers helped launch my own coolness, a factor that led to seeing a lot of great music at a very early age. It also led to a lot of beer sipping at a very early age, which in retrospect really isn't that cool. But, alas, in the mid-90s Delta, beer drinking was the first commandment in the Book of Cool.

A photo of my cool self, c. 2006, at King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas. 

The Book of Cool, however, doesn't seem to have a chapter on how to stay that way with a little one in tow. I dare to say that reckoning with the loss of my old self, my cool self, has been the hardest part of parenting thus far. I can't remember the last time I've been to see a band after 9 p.m., and more disturbing than that, I think it has been more than two years since I danced with reckless abandon. You know that soul-cleansing, mind-erasing, sore-the-next-day sort of shake down. Remember that? Yeah, just barely.

I'm sure I can find a book or a blog post on how to redefine cool. But now that I think about it, is everything I need to know about this new phase in life written in the final stanza of the hokey pokey?

You put your whole self in
You take whole self out
You put your whole self in
And you shake it all about
You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what's it's all about

1 comment:

  1. This photo of you is how I still think of you in my head. You will always be cooler than me, and we should probably plan a rock-out session in the spring that entails a morning babysitter.