Don't Touch The Vinyl: I'm Worried I'm A Hipster

I will probably judge you for wearing a band shirt you bought at Urban Outfitters.
Publish date:
May 20, 2013
existential crisis, damn hipsters get off my lawn

I’m worried I might be a hipster.

This makes me a minority, since this poll found that only ten percent of folks of identify as being such. I snorted upon reading that statistic. “Pfft, if you’re saying you are, you totally aren’t,” I said, cleaning off my oversized glasses and fantasizing about the new speakers I was buying.

We have an idea of what a hipster is, and isn’t anything awesome. If you live in New York, to spot a hipster, get on the L Train, for lo, it rife with ironic youths who seem cool and withholding. A Hipster looks capable of telling you where to go to buy the best, organic, fair-trade pour-over in the city. But you would never bother asking them, because you’re scared that they would laugh at you and then cycle away on their fixed gear bikes to go wax their moustaches.

As they go they might yell over their shoulder, “Oh my god, I can’t believe you’re listening to that!” You’ll feel confused. “I’m not...listening to anything?” You might say, but you’ll still feel schooled and ashamed.

A hipster has the sort of job that indicates they come from wealth. Sure, they might work at a part time vaudeville-themed barber shop sweeping up hair, but they use that hair later in art projects and they don’t have to worry about paying their rent because they sleep in a bathtub in Crown Heights and also if shit gets really bad, their dad, a successful litigator from Philly, will totally help them out.

I wish when people called me out for being a Hipster they were talking about the Jazz-era Hipsters of the 1940s. That way I could be like, “You mean you know me to have a passion for music regardless of the race of the person making it, interesting clothes, weed, humor, and casual sex? THANK YOU.” Because that doesn’t make you sound like a douche. It makes you sound like a non-racist, intelligent, artistically savvy broad who possible rouged her knees to attract aforementioned casual sex partners, and has been known to keep gin in her bathtub.

Sure, there are some folks I would call Hipsters based on appearance who do things that do not suck, like make candies, or build gardens for their communities. Still, those folks are rare enough that to call someone a Hipster is an insult. Because hipsters suck drunk donkey dong. They are ridiculous, callous, try-hards. But to judge someone by the cut of their skinny pant alone is unfair, prejudicial, and in general, baloney.

I have a friend I adore -- ADORE. He is a professional acrobat, and once we were on a train to go meet some other friends to do something not-Hipster like, I think it was to a wine tasting. He was wearing suspenders and a panama hat, and out of his backpack he pulled a mason jar full of a mysterious liquid.

“It’s Kombucha,” he said to my horrified gaze.

I slapped his hands and the jar back into his bag. “Jesus Christ, I love you, but people will think you’re a hipster!”

He was equally aghast. “Oh my god!” he whispered-screamed, “you’re right!” After a moment’s consideration he looked at me. “If I took off the hat maybe?” He really, really wanted to drink that kombucha.

If you’re in your twenties or even your thirties, sometimes the weirdo traits or charming eccentricities you’ve developed over a lifetime can make you seem just like a hipster. I’ve got the guts from a piano in my apartment as art. I wear big glasses because they are awesome and also I can’t see for shit so the bigger the frames the more normal my eyes look beneath the glass. I will used the phrase locavore in earnest because in New York practical hobbies are few and far between and foodie culture is one I’ve adopted. I’m glib and can be ironic, but I’ve doing that long enough that kids used to call me Daria.

In a weird way, if someone were to see me walking down the street (I don’t ride bikes because I was in a cycle accident in Providence and never dealt with the mental trauma of it, yeah, I know.) and called me a hipster, I’d be angry because I feel like it takes away a lot of who I am, the person I’ve earned a right to be everyday. I’m a hustler, I bust my ass for the handful of pennies I have. I don’t like crowds or plaid -- I got enough of that in catholic school, thank you very much.

But mostly, it's that hipsters and irony go hand in hand that gets to me. Sure, I can appreciate some sarcasm or humor based on the notion that something in fact exists in opposition to its literal meaning, but at my core I am exceptionally earnest. I love to love things. I love to care. I’m big a believer that if something makes you happy, and doesn’t hurt other people, you rock on with your bad self. Which, you know, makes me a hippie, if any annoying subculture at all.

Are you a hipster? Do you own a unicycle? Do you feel like you are getting too old for concerts? Because I think maybe I was born too old for concerts.

Have you ever had a guy tell you that you doesn’t want to see you again because you aren’t “with the scene?” Yeah. That happened. Hit me up in the comments, fools!