“You always look so cool,” she repeated. She had told him that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw. He was astounded. His mouth opened a little, and he looked at Gatsby, and then back at Daisy as if he had just recognized her as some one he knew a long time ago. — The Great Gatsby
I’ve received some interesting comments about “the quest for cool” in recent days, and here’s a story that resonates:
“When my daughter transferred to her new school, a bunch of girls gathered around her that first day to ask, ‘What kind of music do you like?’
She is an honest if somewhat naïve kid, and she responded with, ‘Country.’ I don’t need to tell you what the reaction was… When she got home that night, I tried to console her by saying, ‘ Look. You could have said heavy metal or reggae or new age, but you were honest, and that made you vulnerable.
Then I thought about it before admitting to her: ‘Look. I was an uncool guy. Your mom was an uncool girl. You’re from a long line of very uncool people. We can’t even fake it. So we might as well accept ourselves’.”