Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Rumination on Hipsters...or maybe it's just ME

This is what I am talking about.  The way it looks is EVERAYTHANG!

I've been paying a lot of attention to HIPSTERS, as of late, and they fascinate and intimidate and infuriate me all at the same time.

I guess when I first heard the term, I interpreted the root word HIP to mean what it has always meant...LAID BACK, and I was wrong.  WAYYY wrong.  Hipsters are the antithesis of the soul searching, experimental HIPpies of yesteryear and their subsequent posers, they are downright UPTIGHT.

They are so FUCKING smug, right? I guess I am going to lead with infuriate.  Who knew?  I did, and if you've ever read this blog, shame on you, if you didn't anticipate my intentions.  Ha!  "JAYYYY KAYYY," as Mills would say, after pretending that she lost my coat I let her borrow. File that under "INFURIATE" too, but I digress.

He's so boss.
 I don't know if it is the handlebar mustache or the craft beer flights, or the tweed vests, but I have a PRECONCEIVED NOTION about a hipster, long before they open their mouth to me, because they don't have to.

And they have a stereotype of me.  I'm right.  I have done CASE STUDY after CASE STUDY and I am ready to yield my results.  I see this as entirely random sampling, according to the shoes you are wearing and whether or not you know where OYO and Watershed are distilled.

Perhaps, my findings are skewed, based on the fact that the majority of my subjects were unaware of the study, and that most of them either reside or are employed in the Short North.  No worries.  I have been paying attention in San Francisco and Portland.

I encountered my first hipster several years ago in Oregon.  I went to an Inn, where I had seen NOTHING like it, and everyone was all IRONIC and they coveted draft craft beer and whiskey and I was intrigued.  It was about 2010, and Brad talked me into going on this work trip with him to Oregon, which was as foreign to me as Colorado, when Brad invited me to live with him and his roommate in Boulder, after college.

Outside of the incredible cliffs and natural wonders, Oregon boasts wineries specializing in Pinot Noir.  Apparently, the landscape and temperatures were perfect for importing grapes from France and then it just TOOK OFF, Yo!

I'm not gonna lie, y'all, I LOATHE Pinot, but it was my first foray into "wine country" and it was completely awe inspiring.

This is how it USED to be done, y"all.
Embarrassing enough, at one point, a vineyard owner tapped on our rental car window, as he stood in the rain with his French investors, and I was too afraid to roll down my window all the way.

True story.  He had to ask me questions through the  semi-closed window of our rented Hyundai about which vineyards and tasting rooms we had been to that day.  I thoroughly humiliated him in hindsight.  I must have looked like a total buffoon, because I was, and continue to be.

This summer, I was in Europe with my friend Jen, and her brother gave us the most glorious advice while we were in Paris.

"If someone approaches you, no matter what they want or need, say 'No.'  But, if YOU need something, it is OKAY to approach other people.  That is the way it works here.  You are on the Champs De Elsyess.  There are opportunists EVERAYWHERE."

PREACH! Now, I'm not saying that this is not completely out of bounds, it is just AMERICAN, you know? Point Blank Period.  (And he was RIGHT. But, that is a different study I am conducting.)

(Writer's Note:  I wrote this two weeks before the terrorist attack on Paris. I don't believe that anyone who experienced their tragedy was given any notice, but in ANY congested area, especially one you are unfamiliar with, I think it is wise to stay on your guard. Unfortunately, that is the World we are living in today.)

And by AMERICAN, I mean, statewide, or at least regional prejudice will suffice.  And therefore, I was leery of my "farn" Oregonian wine merchant.  As well I should have been.  What could be more threatening than a wealthy landowner and his Fraunch investor friends standing in the rain, expounding on the history of Pinot Vineyards in Oregon?

Ummm. Those are from Forever 21.  Your eyes are fine.
ANNYWAY, back to annoying Hipsters.  So, I was at this Brewery or rather,  DRAUGHT HAUS one weekend, and my bartender was all "hipstered out" with his thick barbershop quartet moustache, while he delightedly procured flights of alcohol enhanced "craft drafts" served in midget cognac glasses on a specially made wooden "flight board".  And by "specially made" I mean driftwood from the SAME ship that was in the movie "Twelve Years a Slave."  Authenticity is EVERAYTHANG.

This would not have been a surprise if it had not been a reenactment of the scene I was privy to in San Francisco, only you substitute BOURBON for beer.  This place had an entire WALL dedicated to bourbon, with a stainless steel ladder/wheeley thing that scooted across the glass shelves.

Welllllll, the seats around the bar had "RESERVED" signs on them and the gargantuan "HOST/BOURBON BOUNCER" would literally put one of those signs on your spot when you got up to go to the bathroom, even though he had just directed you to said bathroom, which was located outside of the bar.
See him on his ladder?  Absolutely DELIGHTED that someone ordered a shot, I mean flight of rare bourbon from the top shelf.  It was from Kentucky, natch.

Upon your return, the Bourbon Host would then feign amnesia, hold his arm out to demonstrate his condition, and then you had to state your business and he would yank the RESERVED sign off of your purse and half consumed drank marker, and then march back to his podium.

This happened to me TWICE with him.  I shit you not.

He was a Jolly Green Giant sort of hipster, though, and his vest was clearly from some vintage big and tall warehouse.  His hipster vibe came from within, though, as though he had been repressed in some way, and it was all my fault.

I hate to be all Carrie Bradshaw but, "Are hipsters the new gay?"

If that is the case, then I oppose hipster marriages. FO' SHO'.

But, then again, I don't have to worry about that, because hipsters' sexuality is FLUID, and they only interact via Tinder, which does not include intimacy or procreation , just instant gratification.  Or maybe that's the IGeneration or the Millennials, or anyone who has a cellphone now, really.

But, let's just explore that you ARE a hipster woman and you would like to date, even casually.  Then why are you wearing a Mu Mu over a catsuit and sensible shoes to a craft draft bar?

I am told Hipsters are into being IRONIC.  Girls' Hannah (Lena Dunham) is apparently the Gloria Steinham of that movement.
Sooo flattering. She doesn't care.  She's being ironic...um and asexual.

Hipster women like to dress as if they are going to either a Witch Trial or a 40's baby shower (you are the guest of honor, natch) or a combo of that.  It's as if sexually is the last thing on their mind when they get dressed for the evening.  I wonder if they are feminists or lesbians, but even lesbians don't wear their grandmother's bra, or designer horn rimmed glasses.

I know that I am Southern, and that, as such, we are taught to color our roots and hide our fat at an early age, but What. The. Fuck.  What is wrong with at least showing that with decent posture, you possess the female silhouette?

It's all about making an effort when it counts, in my eyes.  This obviously excludes the leopard three piece suit that is my pajamas and robe as I shuttle my children to school or kick the ball with my dog in the front yard.  I wish I were joking.  Ask my neighbors.  No shame.

There is no STATEMENT behind my ensemble, though, unless that statement is "poor hygiene mixed with a healthy dollop of dontgiveashititis".

I guess the existential question is, "Are hipsters just embracing a style, or do they know EXACTLY who they are, and they want to shout it to the World?"

I'm not delusional, I have embraced every style from the all black, cowboy boot sorority girl who is shedding her Laura Ashley skin, to the Jennifer Anniston do',  winter mini skirt wearin' temptress who says, "Could you BE anymore ...fill in the blank" too much.  But, I was just embracing a style, or so I thought, or was I encompassing a "character' if you will - a lifestyle.

Not from what I remember. This seems different.  There is a thought process behind the hipster persona.  You are anti-establishment in a way that is less establishment and more social backlash.

You see, the establishment is the work out obsessed, botox laden, silicone implanted, spray tanned two decades before them, who clearly values YOUTH and beauty before intellect and self-discovery.

Just recently, TWICE I was rejected at a hipster bar.  Maybe it's not so much the bar or restaurant I was at, but the SERVICE which was provided by hipsters.  I could not get served.  They saw something in me that I obviously am not privy to, and deemed me "unfit to serve".  In all fairness, I was wearing sweatpants both times.  But, who cares, right?  I don't have a fucking fanny pack.  Now, THAT is something to rally against.

Sooo practical. Need to raid my girls' American Girl wardrobe for innovations like this.

Scenario One:  I am at a hipster bar in Franklinton.  They are having something called FLEA.  It is amazaballs.  We are sitting at the bar, and I sit next to a man eating voraciously that could have just emerged from the amazon, but his waxed beard is giving him away, and he is annihilating his  brunch.  The bar is fucking packed. He is throwing elbows and I am clearly uncomfortable on my backless metal stool and NO ONE WILL SERVE ME AT THE BAR.

I wait 10 minutes, and I wave the THREE bartenders down, twice.  NOTHING.  I force my friend to leave.

I long for the womb that is a Cameron Mitchell restaurant.

I just want an overpriced beer Gawddammit. Its a beautiful day and I have a wad of cash to spend on ALLLL of your hipster bullshit.

Except your grandmother's wool sweaters that you like to sport over Mumus.  It's very simple... I would not be judging you if you would just stop polishing your brandy snifters that you now serve IPA's in, and hand me a fucking Pale Ale without that smirk.

Oh, and that's another thing, if you order a pale ale, you might as well have a swastika tattooed on your cheek - apparently, pale ale is the new white zinfandel.

A sociological phenomenon happens when someone assumes that YOU, based on people LIKE you, represent a certain THANG.

Just as I am GENERALIZING hipsters, THEY are generalizing ME, and I don't like it.  SO I decided to make it my mission to get one to like me.

Which brings us to scenario TWO, last weekend, with my husband.  We decided to do a Date Night at a random foodie restaurant in Clintonville.    You know what I am talking about.  They run out of shit and their three piece suit wearing hipster bartender acts like you are invisible.  Good times.  Who wouldn't want to waste an uber ride on that shit?  We would.  Because WE are the UNDERWOODS.

This first drank took no shorter than 15 minutes.  We watched the manager polish 1500 glasses before the bartender finally took our drank request.  I shit you not.

It took another 7 minutes to get said drank.

We watched the hipster bartender serve homeless people old olives before he paid any attention to us.  It was an obvious attempt to snub.

My first experience might have been an oversight, but this CANNOT be ignored.  There is a PATTERN.  I  was both intrigued and infuriated - which can be a very complex juxtaposition of emotions, that I'm realizing is kind of specific to me, because I am perimenopausal.

OK, So I decide right then and there, to make the bartender like me.  It is a battle of wills.  This happened right after I literally snapped my husband back by his Vineyard Vines button-down, as he lunged toward the manager who was cleaning the wine glasses like, it was, well, it was his JOB.

Brad is never a dick at restaurants.  He knows my feelings about serving.  I WAS one for years in college and many years AFTER. I make sure my kids are on their A Game when they are ordering and exhibit the utmost respect for anyone who is serving us at a restaurant.  It borderlines on the obnoxious at times, but I KNOW what it is like to get your period right before a shift, so ALLL my servers get grace, no matter what.

What I am saying is that I am not overly sensitive or have unrealistic expectations, no matter WHAT restaurant I am at, and if anything I err on the side of the ridiculous when explaining away why a server might be having a "bad day".

This is different.  Its an attitude that is being thrown at me and I cannot for the life of me understand WHY.

Sooo, finally after we watch the bartender and Manager shine glasses until we can't stand it anymore, and serve everyone else in the restaurant, we get our dranks.  We order immediately.  I know what our future holds, but at the same time I compliment Hipster Bartender about his tie, that is skinny and ironic against his poly-blend ring around the collar shirt beneath his Grandpa's vest.

"Oh, you like this?" he perks up.

"I LITERALLY got this from a thrift store down the street." he boasts, unaware of the game I am running on him.

"EWWWWWW.  That's Amaaaaazzzzing!" I say, as Brad bores a hot hole into my cheek with those laser eyes of his.

"It's ACTUALLY French Silk!" he exclaims, so pleased with the appreciation.

"That is SOOOO cool!" I counter,  "Lemme see!" I reach for his tie and flip it over, which takes some stretching because it is buried deep within his ridiculous vest.

Ok.  The tag on the back reads BONJOUR.

The ASSUMPTION in his conclusion is lost only on him.  Brad is smiling now.  Our appetizers are arriving.

We got along swimmingly after that, and had an incredible meal AND service.  I OVERCAME,  y'all.  For REAAAALLLLL.

This is how Brad and I got home.  It's a hipster uber.

So, what is the lesson?  Know your audience?  Kiss ass when you are hungry and out of your wheelhouse?  I choose to look at Hipsters as worthy opponents.  They are EXACTLY like I was after college.  Full of bravado and stereotypes and bills.

I believe that the pendulum is swinging in the other direction with hipsters, and I am on the edge of my seat to see what the iGeneration does.

This is the label that has been given to our children. I am not sure who coined it, but I just discovered it in Vanity Fair.  Truly intriguing.  Look it up.

 I just recently took Hallie, my 14-year-old and her friend to see the movie "Steve Jobs", because as I explained in the car on the way home, as they checked their Insta accounts that "I wanted them to understand the HISTORY behind the social world that they have been thrust into, without their knowledge."

The movie "Steve Jobs" is not NEAR as informative as it's documentary counterpart by the same person who brought to you The Lance Armstrong Story.

Whether it is a backlash, or a trend, or a fad or whatever, I believe that Hipsters are fascinating. I have embraced many fashion and cultural phases, but I am not aware of ever having disdain for any of my predecessors, based on their inability to feel the way that I do, unless you count bigots, but that doesn't really apply here.

I APPRESH that they are making their own path, I just am trying to dissect it, if you will.  I did not have a thought process or a movement behind being me at any point in my life, but I feel that hipsters do.  Like Hippies, HIPsters have an agenda, only it's not Vietnam, it's...it's...it's...what?  a war against Miller Lite, I guess and cheese fries with bacon bits and fashion.  Hell, I don't know.

It's just a FEELING I get, when I am ordering my flight of malt liquor and they wince or nod in appreciation, depending on their mood.

And let's be REAL, y'all, flights are just shots...for hipsters.

Guidance Guidance:  Catch the Steve Jobs documentary and the Lance Armstrong one, if you are so inclined.  I was awestruck by both.

Oh, and if you are a hipster and some aging Cougar sidles up to your Bourbon bar and orders a Cabernet.  Don't tell her you only have Pinot, because you are full of horseshit.  And that's just mean.

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