The Slow Death of Cool

“Oh man. We are so uncool.”  That was Natalie’s first comment after we got home from an objectively* cool night on the town, sans kids, to celebrate our eight years of marriage.  Although she pronounces it “coo-ool” (and always has), that wasn’t the reason she believes we’ve lost every last ounce of whatever tiny amount of coolness we once had.  No, the reasons go much deeper, and no amount of speech therapy could correct it.

*That I must define possible instances of coolness “objectively” says a lot in and of itself.

My Instagram followers would know that we went to see Jim Gaffigan at the Warner Theatre this past Saturday.  We even went out for drinks beforehand.  Natalie’s mom came over to watch the kids, we got all gussied up, had a quick bite to eat, then hurried out the door for a fancy night of freedom!

We took the bus.

The D2 to Dupont Circle, where we planned to transfer to Metro for the rest of the trip.  We’re trying to save money whenever possible.

I am a stay-at-home-dad.

About ten minutes into the bus ride, Natalie asked if I remembered to bring the tickets.

I did not.

Thankfully, all was not lost.  We had the wise idea to go print the tickets at a Kinkos (or whatever it’s called now) at 18th and M streets.

That location was closed.

We took another bus.  This time the L2 a couple blocks down Connecticut Avenue.  It was around this time that Natalie suggested I tuck in my shirt if I could.  I obliged.  She was right, it looked better.  Eight years of marriage, over 15 years together in all, this was a perfectly normal exchange.  Then we hustled over to 20th Street to another Kinkos, where our plan finally worked.

Tickets in hand and still plenty far from the venue, we hailed a cab.

To the Iconic Round Robin Room! To sit where Mark Twain or Honest Abe once sat! For fancy drinks! For youwanthowmuchforacocktail!?

…fine.  We’ll pay it.  This is our big night out, afterall!  We’re hot shots!  My shirt is tucked in!  And also, would you mind adding a shot of coffee to this last drink before we leave? The show starts at 9:30, which is clearly past my bedtime, and I’d hate to sleep through it.  There. That’s better.

We decide we should use the potty before we head over to the show.  Great idea.  Very practical.  We actually said the word “potty” out loud.

Gaffigan was his usual hilarious self.  Equal parts self-deprecating every-man and Hot Pocket intellectual, he seems to grow funnier with each child his wife delivers.

The show over, my sides aching, we call it a night and cab home.  Before heading inside we stop by our parked car to grab a few items that I deemed too heavy to carry earlier that day with kids in tow.  One floor up and the elevator stops, a young couple steps in.  In our possession: Several reusable grocery bags filled with random junk, two rolly-suitcases, a giant 172 pack of size five diapers and a bazillion pack of baby wipes.  We are straining under the weight of our life.

“You guys moving in?” says our handsome neighbor, half in jest.  “No…not tonight…I mean a month ago sure…this is just who we are now…”

They are fun drunk.  We are tired drunk.

Bed cannot happen soon enough for us.  They are discussing Chinese delivery options.

They are young and free.  My mother-in-law is asleep on our couch.

They are cool.

“We are so un-coo-ool.”

And there is nothing – nothing! – we can do about it.

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5 comments

  1. Graham

    Dive bar in Minny that serves Jucy Lucy’s (cheese stuffed inside burger). I normally leave tipsy and covered in salt and grease. Last weekend, went with another couple and total of 3 children. Left sober and only covered in Cheerio dust. Kinda feel your pain.

  2. Teri Norquist

    I’m glad that we are not the only ones. It really really makes me feel better. It will get better!!! Right?

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