She’s a NAH, a NAH

Some people are born cool. Just deep down in their bones cool. Whenever I meet people who I think are really cool, they are almost, always, not like me. They don’t get TOO EXCITED. They don’t write in caps. They don’t indulge their guilty pleasures to the point that they actually become their pleasures. (cough, Dashboard Confessional) And they have the gumption to stay vegan when they go vegan. (cough, six months) They never say words like gumption.

I wanted to be cool for a long time, but never quite enough to fight what I biologically am: melodramatic and just a tad bit corny. Sometime after my mid-mid life crisis, I completely embraced myself, and was able to appreciate those inherently cool people, without feeling sad that I was not one of them. And now I appreciate them the same way I appreciate anything, with lots of gushing praise and a lot of inner squealing, while they sit coolly and nod in semi-disinterested acceptance.

And to me, that’s just the way it is. Blame your parents, blame your genes, blame your past lives, but I believe you are born one of two things. It’s a theory I concocted; I think I was around 14. And the two things you can be are: a NAH (nerd at heart) or a CAH (cool at heart). I, my dear friends, am a total and complete NAH.

It’s what you are at the deep down core of you. Not what you’ve become over the years, not what you’ve tried to make yourself, but who you were when you were five. When no one was watching, when no one cared enough to judge you. Not if you were cool in school or dorky. But rather, were you the NAH who watched musicals with your mom, and always shared too many details about your shortcomings or the CAH who wrote music more mature than your mom, and managed to keep your flaws to yourself?

Now a NAH is not better than a CAH, and a CAH is not better than a NAH. And even though I might glibly describe one as such, a CAH does not have to be an elitist, or boring, or rude…they just know how to keep their cool and usually don’t dance in the middle of restaurants, department stores, grocery store lines or movie theaters when they hear a song they love. No, they have more restraint than that. And I applaud them. They spot trends early, or shun trends all together. They are not necessarily a hipster—they can run in any crowd. But like a hipster, they probably won’t audibly admit what they really are, a CAH. And I mean CAH’s can be fun too. I think my husband is a CAH. And he is a blast! He’ll be zany and wacky, just always with perfect timing and in the right situations.

I think it’s good to know what you are deep down. I mean, who doesn’t like to think about themselves? I joke. Not really. This weekend I was thrilled and elated to discover that the lead singer, John Darnielle, of my favorite band, The Mountain Goats, is a total and complete NAH too. He was AWESOME. Such a treat. Sigh. And I am 100% sure he was smiling at me. I KNOW HE WAS.

Anyway, I leave you with a Monday challenge to psychoanalyze yourself and determine your true stripes.

So, what are you people, a NAH, or a CAH?

As always, I reserve the right to totally disagree.

I LOVE YOU ALL! I tripled my followers! (A CAH would never ASK for followers) I hope you have a great week. I hope my blog in some way contributes.


Alison the NAH


  1. chris almond

    sorry about your cough. get well soon.

  2. courtni

    I love that I read the title to this and in my mind knew you were pulling out the nerd at heart vs. cool @ heart philosophy! I love you and miss you and loved seeing you for .5 seconds while Jett wasn’t raiding the dance floor.

    at least 2 nahs, maybe one cah

  3. JenErik

    you already know what i am. mei li is CAH

  4. Matt and Jennae Porter

    When I was younger I thought I was cool because I could do jigsaw puzzles super fast. If that’s not NAH, I don’t know what is.

  5. Jill

    Oh I am SUCH a NAH and I LOVE using caps 🙂

  6. diana palmer

    hi. insert the “i don’t know you comment but found you through so and so…”

    i have had this *exact same thought process, made the exact same categories, and came to the exact same conclusion. yet we are not the exact same person, or even close. i’m at a loss. its important to note that NAHs can pull off some things that appear to be acts of CAHs on their better or in denial days. but they will inevitably give you the back story which explains how it was all a fluke.

    *exact doesn’t exactly mean exact in this context.

  7. Katie


  8. caitlin

    i definitely agree with your hypothesis. but i would like to add that the cah will say they are nah because its cool to be nah. this makes it difficult to get a true reading of who is really cah and who is really nah.

    caitlin- nah (or could be cah, no way to know)

  9. Katie

    This totally inspired a post on my blog. Check it out.

  10. Alison

    Caitlin so true…like I said the CAHs will read and secretly know who they are. Let’s call one out… AMANDA CLEMMER. DONE!

  11. Liz Canaan Roberts

    the fact that i wanna be CAH makes me think i’m likely NAH.

  12. Angie

    Dido on Liz’s comment.

    And I think only nah say dido.


    Hey Alison, you make it cool to be a nah.

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