I had a rude awakening a few months ago. I'm just not as cool as I thought I was. Though I charge through life in a 30++ year old body, I've always thought that in mind, in health, in spirit, in curiousity I was just as young as the best of them. To illustrate my "coolness," I have an ipod touch, I text message like a fiend, I IM/skype/twitter like there is no tomorrow, I have a blog (though not exactly a hipster, cool, music blog), I play "Rockband" like an Austin-indie rocker... OK, so I try -- try hard even.
In fact, I am so cool, I even started my own Web 2.0 startup using cool technologies with cool acronyms (RoR, AJAX, etc.)So in my fantasy life (or rather, misguided world), I am cool.
Or so I thought until that afternoon, when I walked into an Abercrombie & Fitch store. Seriously... I felt like I was 15 again, school nerd, walking into highschool cheerleading practice. Upon entering the store, the first thing you notice is that the music is loud and pulsating. I think this is done intentionally to intimidate and discourage the 30+ from entering the store.
But I forge on. The store is bustling as it prepares for the pre-holiday rush. There are teenagers running around with clothing and labels. I am here to find inexpensive sweat pants which leads me to the second floor, where the music is even louder than downstairs. It is upstairs where the clearance/sale clothing hides; here I sheepishly ask a 6-foot-4 "boy" where the "women" sweatpants (darn, should have said "girl") are to be found. Though, he says something to the effect, "Oh, sure... they are over dere..." he is really thinking "Ma'am, are you buying for your daughter or son?" and "Who let you in?"
Now, let me step back and set the scene for you. A 30++ woman in running pants in a sea of pencil-rail thin girls and just post-pubescent boys whose voices had just recently changed. Even though I liked the techno music, I was keenly aware of my "old-person" neck-pulsing and toe-tapping - soooo UNCOOOL...
Let me explain that I have worked with many high-powered investment bankers/venture capitalists and CEOs in my professional life, but no situation has made me feel so out of place than buying sweatpants at Abercrombie & Fitch.
So back to the original title of this posting "Internet makes me cooler than in real life." I have never been one to change my identity on the Internet -- never tried to be the 5-foot-10, Brazilian, aerospace post-doc, human rights activist, model/actress, humanitarian. I've always thought that my online persona matched my real life persona pretty closely.