How cynical you are is how cool you are.
I’ve found in literature down the ages characters who luxuriate in their own sense of being worldly and jaded. To be cynical is to know all there is to know, to be a person of the world. One who belies a sense of enthusiasm about something new is somehow vulgar, a cad.
And this is a very true to life. I have been a few places by now, done a few things. And from college onwards I have encountered a species of people (who usually travel in packs – the ‘in crowd’), who seem so booooored with the world. Like if something didn’t happen soon they’d just dieeeee of boredom. And the more gauche among us would watch them and wish they could be as bored as them. Because like it or not—it’s cool to bored. Cool to slump in your chair with a pissed off expression like you’ve seen all of that before. Run to them with something you find novel and exciting and they’ll look at you with sleepy eyes and sneer ‘Oh thaaaaat.’
Brrrr…it was so cool you could hardly stand it. But somehow try as you might, you could never manage to be half as unimpressed by the new stuff that happened around you. Especially in college, everything was so new, so exciting. ‘It’s OK not to attend classes? ARE you freaking serious? Am I actually using the word ‘freaking’ without being beaten to a pulp by my teachers?? It’s so wonderful I can barely think straight!!!’ Relay such sentiments to the one or two cooler people you knew and they’d stifle a yawn with thinly veiled contempt.
But on some level, I’ve always pitied them. Though not the most cheerful person at the best of times, I still can work myself up to a high pitch of excitement if something seems interesting enough. Almost a decade after I attended my first class in college, I still get all obsessive about a new book (most recently – Harry Potter) to be released, wait breathlessly all week for the next episode of whatever serial catches my fancy at the time, gush endlessly about how much fun a particular holiday destination is regardless of how passé it might have become. I still go into rustic tourist mode and gaze at famous landmarks (ask my friends and family) with my mouth very frankly open.
I pity them because these are the moments which make life worth living. If I couldn’t be thrilled about a good looking guy across the room giving me the eye, or my husband (I hasten to add) making a sweet gesture unasked, then life truly would be banal and brain-numbingly depressing.
If I refused to enjoy the fun moments of life and smothered it all with ‘Oh my God, how passé is that!!.’ Then I might as well blow my brains out before boredom did the job for me.