Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Cool Reception

Yesterday my son got given a helicopter ride as a birthday present from his doting nan. Said ride happened at a Country Show at a stately home in Yorkshire, a weirdly posh-but-not-posh event. By chance he ended up getting the helicopter ride with the children of the people who owned the helicopter. I suppose this means they were rich, but they didn’t look it to my untutored wouldn’t-know-a-designer-label-if-it-bit-her-on-the-arse eye. They were wearing jumpers and jeans. Anyway. After the ride, the father of these other children asked my son what he thought of it. “It was cool,” said my son. “We don’t use words like that,” said the man. So I laughed heartily. I assumed he was joking.

His face said he wasn’t. I struggled to take any of it seriously and had to exit quickly.

People are weird.


Jen said...

What a great gift to be given!

I don't think there's anything wrong with 'cool'. 'Simply splendid' is not an appropriate response for sproglets, no matter what sort of jumper they wear.

Diana Parkhouse said...

I've just read your comments over at "Stan's" new place. And I just wanted to say I feel the same way. So we can feel like that together. I'm actually a bit sad that there are so few of us who are 'hurt'. What's the world come to , eh?

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

"I'm actually a bit sad that there are so few of us who are 'hurt'."

Good point! It is kind of sad. And made me feel extra stupid, that so many people were so blase about it all. But I bet those that feel hurt are a lot less likely to say so in public. It's one of the reasons comment boxes can be intimidating places though, because everyone is trying so hard to outdo each other's cool rating. And sadly I have to confess I'm one of them. I hate myself for it, but it's true.

Diana Parkhouse said...

I'm trying to work out if you hate yourself for trying to be cool in comment boxes, for not being cool in comment boxes, or for not commenting in comment boxes for fear of being intimidated.

I sense the more integrity the world loses, the more rabid I become about having some myself.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

For trying to be cool. For playing that game.

I'm not sure the world ever had that much integrity. Loss is something often experienced, but very hard to quantify. The cause is sometimes our own progress through life.

Luka said...

Don't be hard on yourself. We all want to be liked and we all tend to have chameleonic qualities in comments boxes.

Oh, and getting back to your original post, I have no idea why anyone would have a problem with the word "cool". Unless they misheard it. But even then it's hard to see how it could be misheard as anything rude.

JoeinVegas said...


Anonymous said...

I'm not cool and I felt exasperated by all the people going "it was obvious, man!" and "I can't believe anyone could be hurt by this!"

I really felt for Stan and emailed him a couple of times after particularly harrowing posts (like the school reunion). Never got around to buying the book, and I'm thankful for that.

Yeah yeah, I'm stupid, I believed what a random on the internet said. Oh well.

Diana Parkhouse said...

Anon, I'd like to think that we're not stupid. Maybe naive, but not stupid. And what exactly is wrong with being upset that someone deliberately mis-led us, deliberately lied? I think it's healthy to a) take people on face value and, b) be angry with them if they betray that trust.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's true. We're not stupid, I actually like to think I'm quite savvy most of the time! But Stan's writing spoke to me and made me FEEL something - empathy, sympathy. I know hardly anyone is who they seem on the internet but Stan just rang true, somehow.

I like your view that it's healthy to take people on face value. Why SHOULD we look for ulterior motives or try to peer under a mask?

Anyway, thanks for speaking out, it's comforted me a little. Take care and I'll be back to read your wonderful blog. x