Cool Opotamus

Is a hippopotamus a hippopotamus, or just a really cool Opotamus? ~Mitch Hedberg~

Does anyone ever believe they are truly hip or cool?

I suppose the egotists of the world do.

(No, no, that’s not you.)

A friend recently texted me that her boyfriend thought I was “a pretty cool person,” which set me to pondering about what this means. I don’t necessarily consider “cool” as a word that defines me.

A Star Trek Nerd? Yes. A gangly girl who trips over her own two feet? Yes. A blogger and Facebook socialite? Yes. A cat mom? Yes. A daughter, sister and friend? Yes. A lover of dark chocolate  and bacon and an orange bicycle? Absolutely yes! But cool? As the not-popular, tall girl in school, it doesn’t seem possible.

What is the how, why, what, where, when of this supposed cool? How do I…how do you earn this moniker? Are there rules to follow or guidelines on how to be cool? Are there pictures?

Yes, I included a photo of my mother. She’s cool. If you are a Facebook friend of my true self, you may have recently come upon the following status.

Mom’s Social Worker: “Hi Pauline, how are you doing? You look good!”

Mom: “What?”

Social Worker: “You look really good!”

Mom: “I’ll give you a nickel.” *smirk*

The Social Worker also thinks mom is cool, even after she asked him if he was a man. (She has been used to seeing female social workers, so I imagine she was a bit confused by his presence.)

In determining what constitutes “cool,” consider these definitions:

Fashionably attractive or impressive.

synonyms: fashionable, stylish, chic, up-to-the-minute, sophisticated, trendy, funky, with it, hip, big, happening, groovy, phat, kicky,fly, styling/stylin’


Calmness; composure.

synonyms: self-control, control, composure, self-possession, self-command, calmness, equilibrium, calm, aplomb, poise, sangfroid, presence of mind


As I look at an unadorned face in the mirror and the funky “Almoose Asleep” pajamas (adorned with moose, of course), I am calm and composed. I have command of the moment.

According to definition, I am somewhat cool.

Are you?

Before you answer, consider this: Self-deprecation aside, we are all cool in some way. We do not need shades or the intelligence of a Harvard graduate or the body of Heidi Klum, although I would never turn down the latter. We don’t always have to be fashionable or poised, calm and collected. We don’t need to be tech savvy or know current tech lingo or understand “the cloud.” We don’t have to fit into unachievable parameters designated by the rest of society.

We ARE cool.

It’s the endearing, user-friendly, admirable qualities that exist in every human that makes them cool. Take my boss, for instance. I want to be more like her: Intelligent, inspired by faith, empathetic toward others, always knows the right words to say, and is seldom frazzled. These qualities ooze “cool” in my eyes. In return, my boss once told me that she admired me for my willingness to experience new things, to seek out new life, to boldly go…

Sorry, there’s that Star Trek nerdiness.

There are others in my life that I consider cool for differing qualities: Natasha, for her service to country and determination to get the job done; Red, for her holiday decorating and MacGyver-like abilities; co-worker Kris, for her awesome sense of humor; friend Sharon, for her caring heart; to many fellow bloggers, whose writing abilities are exceptional, funny, provocative and entertaining; and my brother, who shares the same love of Packer football and super-weird Christmas ornaments.

Cool people

What I intend for this post to say is that no matter the bad habits or occasional bad behavior that exists in us, we have redeemable and often beautiful assets that lay the title of “cool” upon all. We don’t always see them, but they are there. It’s the cool of one’s actions – as in those that volunteer on a regular basis or engage in a Tough Mudder or simply give a helping hand to a neighbor without looking for anything in return. It’s the cool of one’s personality – being honest, smiling in good times and bad, showing calm in the face of Chicken Little and his pals. It’s the cool of one’s hobbies – running marathons, knitting sweaters, performing in community theater, crafting, antiquing, sewing, etc. It’s the cool of who you are at work – the one who always meets deadlines, the one who’s always willing to help, the one who brings home-baked treats to the office once a month, the one who is respected by all of his/her peers. It’s the cool of your aura – the way you hold your head high with a positive spirit and open mind or how you react to an Uno “draw four” card after a few glasses of wine.

Be still and cool in thine own mind and spirit. ~George Fox~

Right, George, I just said that.

Fellow bloggers, readers, followers, Facebook friends, and anyone else reading this post, I want to know one thing.

What makes YOU cool?

I want you to be unashamed and tell me about your coolness factor. Remember that coolness doesn’t have to be about rainbows and ponies and fairy dust. Are you cool because you know how to swear without ever offending anyone? Are you cool because you go shopping in your pajamas? Are you cool because you collect every single Doctor Who piece of memorabilia known to man? Are you cool because you wear your mullet with pride?

Are you a Cool Opotamus?

26 responses to Cool Opotamus

  1. This is a very cool post! Made me smile and nod and shake my head. I was also the tall girl in high school who never ever felt cool. Never wanted to be either. For some reason, the coolest senior boy (BMOC) asked me for a date. Suddenly, I was cool! It was quite a shock to have kids talk to me who never before acknowledged my presence.
    I would never call myself cool now, but to address your call to arms, I am cool because I walk at sunrise, I talk to good friends for over an hour, I kiss dogs on their noses, and I read really cool posts like this one.

  2. joannesisco says:

    I think you’re right. We are all cool and it is our quirks that give us our unique cool factor.

    I perceive myself as a hippo in a tutu.

  3. Relax... says:

    LOL @ all the above. I’m cool because I know all the words to every Beatles and John Denver and Janis Joplin song. I can wiggle my ears, and can whistle down a neighborhood without using my fingers, though I do show off from time to time with a blade of grass between my thumbs. Also, I am cool because I admire yodeling. (I will be one mightyfine addition to my someday nursing home, right?) Your mom is cool — imagine asking a guy if he’s a guy, I love it! — but I’m a bit disappointed that so far, no one here has spoken up about their mullet.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m disappointed too, but there’s still time for mullet exposure. In the meantime, while we wait, let’s sing…Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happeeee yodelayeehooo…

  4. I had to take breaks between reading the comments because trying not to laugh was killing me. You have some very cool and funny followers to this Oh-So-Cool blog, my friend.

    As the always dorky and weird girl, I’ve never associated the word cool with myself. And it’s hard to feel cool when you get hospitalised by a 1cm moth.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      When I was writing about my cool friends and family, I thought of you. H, the master of almost everything, except killing those damned moths! But then I thought you’d laugh and I’d feel guilty for making you laugh, but I guess I made you laugh anyhow. Sorry cool girl. Yes, you! Cool girl.

  5. A @ moylomenterprises says:

    I don’t recall ever being grateful called “cool” but I was recently called “spunky” and “bubbly” by two different people and like you I couldn’t understand why.

    I started digging around for answers like I always do, then decided to leave well enough alone as I have grown quite fond of my new description.

    Have fun being cool. You can do one of 2 things a) prove them wrong or b) live up to your “new reputation”. 😊

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m choosing option B and I believe that’s a good option for you as well. “Spunky” is absolutely cool (like my mom). Adding in “bubbly” is a bonus. Go forth and enjoy your new title, Cool One!

  6. Dan Antion says:

    I enjoyed this post. I could try to play to your vanity and say “I follow your blog, therefore I am cool” but I doubt that would work.

    I think back to a moment at dinner when my daughter was about 12. I was talking about selling my Triumph Spitfire (needing so much time and money to get/keep it on the road). She had visions of owning that car some day. She blurted out “that car is the only thing about you that’s cool!” I kept the car long enough for her to be stranded with it at the side of the road, but we did part with it, so I guess “I got nothin”

    I’ve never considered myself to be one of the cool kids, but it’s never really bothered me.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Dan, Dan, Dan, my fellow Star Trek nerd. You most definitely are cool because A) You have a wonderful blog, B) you take great photographs, C) you’re an awesome dad and father, D) you owned a Spitfire, and E) you owned a Spitfire long enough to teach your daughter how to stand on the side of the road while her cool dad came to the rescue. I would give you cool points, but you already have enough.

      • Dan Antion says:

        By the way. Awesome job by the Packers. Longest game winning – game ending Hail Mary pass ever? Now that’s cool !

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Rodgers to Rodgers. What could be better. I have a big smile this morning because they needed that win ever so badly. And it shows the team they are cool enough and good enough to win games. Go Pack Go!

  7. LB says:

    “What I intend for this post to say is that no matter the bad habits or occasional bad behavior that exists in us, we have redeemable and often beautiful assets that lay the title of “cool” upon all” – Mary, these are wonderful words.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the comments section!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      And you, my dear, are Cool Biker Chick with a Harley and a camera. That calls for a million cool points 🙂

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