On Being Cool in a Car Full of Teenagers

Coolness eludes me. I care too much about most things to be cool, but attempts have been made: mysterious silence, leather jackets, sunglasses. Nothing has worked so far.

When I’m teaching it’s easy to be cool because I’ve developed a quirky, hopefully endearing persona that my students get along with pretty well. But that song and dance is just a carefully cultivated shell that houses my soul. I can’t be in Zoe Deschenel mode 24/7. At some point I have to surrender control and put away the ukulele.

I get especially anxious before hosting or attending events that are supposed to be fun. I check and double check my official list of fun things that could happen and try to refresh my brain with cool stories and jokes. Though in my own life it’s easy for me to go with the flow, I usually don’t trust that others will come along with the flow. When I try to force fun, I come across as a sad little robot.

I’m thinking about these things because tomorrow I’m spending 9+ hours in a car driving three very cool teenagers to a charity event. What are we going to do for that long? I don’t want to force any lame driving games on them, but, I dunno, maybe there are some fun ones out there? Is it okay to let them introvert into their electronic devises the whole trip? Can I introvert into my own thoughts? Is that cool? Internet, I NEED YOUR HELP! Your comments are very appreciated.

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