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Human Qualities that Truly Endure Essay examples

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Human Qualities that Truly Endure


Puberty first sneered its cynical smirk at me early in seventh grade. That always-tortuous awakening came even more cruelly to me than to most. The boundaries of my coming-of-age world were defined by "cool" and "un-cool." I for one was hopelessly beleaguered by the yoke of un-coolness, but had not yet given in to it. I desperately fumbled and stumbled in my attempts to be numbered among the cool, oblivious that it had already been deemed unattainable to me by the social conventions of adolescence in middle-class Jewish Chicago.


In truth, I was every mother's dream. But I knew deep inside that I was, in fact, little more than a victim of my own ambivalence: My desperate yearning to be cool, and my even more compelling desire to please parents who expected their son to be obedient, neatly groomed, respectful of elders, academically superior, in a word, the very antithesis of cool.


The path to cool could not be paved with science fair victories, prize-winning essays on Americanism, sharing a bedroom with one's grandmother, a wardrobe determined by a mother's definition of good taste, a father's insistence tha...

... middle of paper ...

...d dirty bucks.


The only part of the fantasy to come true was the Rambler. There had been no call, no picking up, no dropping off, no Robin, no dance.


I returned to my place not angry, but humiliated. The humiliation lingered like most pubescent dreams until it dissipated into deeper, more circumspect wisdom that I would never admit sounded conspicuously like the advice my mother would prudently dispense: The virtues of inner charm, the deceit of superficial beauty, the fleetingness of popularity, the preciousness of a good companion, the human qualities that truly endure.

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