Rory McIlroy has been the talk of the town since he won the US Open with a record-setting performance at Congressional Country Club, and with good reason. The kid is only 22 years old, plays with the calm demeanor of Jack or Tiger in their primes, but is just a nice young kid. More important, he’s cool. I mean, like canonically cool. He’s good looking. He’s got that big fluffy hair. He wears super cool Oakley sunglasses. Only, sometimes he doesn’t wear them. And, that’s where this story becomes all about me. When Rory doesn’t wear his Oakleys on his eyes, he wears them backwards and upside down on the back of his golf cap. Oh yeah, and when I’m playing golf and the sun goes behind the clouds, I also wear my ($9 Walmart) sunglasses upside down and backwards on MY golf cap. Rory does it because his sponsorship by Jumeirah Hotels requires that he never cover up their logo on the front of his cap. I wear mine that way because Rory does and….because I’m cool.
And, that’s really my point. OK, I’m not 22 anymore (though I can act like it on a moments notice), but I am only incrementally less cool than the average 22 year old. I feel like I need to make this case because my kids seem to think I’m not cool.
I took my son to a Nats game last weekend. Somehow the topic of my coolness came up. He said, “oh, you mean with your golf shirt tucked in and those ancient old man running shoes?” Whoa, slow down a sec. I don’t think this boy knows what uncool can mean for a parent. My own father was one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known. I miss him every day of my life. And, in some very subtle ways, he was very cool. But, he was cool in the sense of really cool to hang out with, not in the Fonzie type of cool (shit, I’m pretty sure I just hurt my case for being cool by using a Happy Days reference, but onward ho). Example: when my dad played tennis with me as a teenager at the local high school, he would wear baby blue chinos with a white button down oxford shirt (sleeves rolled up above the elbow), black socks, and those blue sneakers (he never used the term tennis shoes, which was equally uncool) that you would only wear to the yacht club. THAT, my friends, is uncool.
My kids have no clue how lucky they are to have a dad who wears cargo shorts with a nice golf shirt (even if it is tucked in), white anklet socks and Asics running shoes. When we go out on our boat in the summer, I’m wearing a bathing suit with a tee shirt (usually Under Armor), cool shades (either on my eyes or backwards and upside down on my cap), and brown flip flops (like the ones the cool kids wear). When my dad went out on boats, he wore the same damn baby blue chinos, white oxford, etc. Plus, he wore one of the old-school big orange poofy life jackets. The point here is not to bash my late father’s dress code. To his credit, he was 100% comfortable in his own skin. The point is to make it abundantly clear to my children that their dad is super cool, not the cause of abject embarrassment.
I’m sure I have you readers convinced and those of you who already know me (I think you both do) know that I’m cool. I am just hopeful that my kids will now see things my way. More likely, they’ll fall back on the dictionary definition of uncool.
adj \ˌən-ˈkül\Definition of UNCOOL
1: lacking in assurance, sophistication, or self-control
2: failing to accord with the values or styles (as of dress or behavior) of a particular group: not accepted or admired as cool or proper <driving an uncool car> <an uncool remark>
3: anything one’s parents do, wear, say, or believe in