They say the first step is admitting you have a problem.
You'd think I would've figured out long before now that I was a hipster. I'm 32, after all, and the seeds of hipsterdom sprout and blossom long before one hits ye olde 3-0. The research has found that hipsterdom usually presents early in one's 20s, after one has already tried on various teenage personae and attendant styles of pants.
For example, during my teens in the Nineties, I made an attempt at being preppy, followed by a more successful try at hippiedom, with a stop at Sassy-inspired alt coolness in between. In my early 20s, a period of teaching high school divested me of some of my hippie ideals (and a portion of my soul), and I began to display symptoms of a quality that would come to define hipsters: snark -- that wry, too-cool-for-school, sarcastic way of looking at the world that protects certain overeducated people from ever admitting vulnerability or insecurity.
That's when I became a stand-up comedian.
Stand-up comedy is not inherently hip or cool, unless –- maybe –- one chooses to ply one's trade in the subgenre known as alt comedy, where persons with humorous intent stand upon stages in the backs of dimly lit dive bars, making jokes about pop culture nostalgia to drunk people with bird tattoos.
There is also the path of making semi-decent money by touring mainstream Chuckle Huts and Ha Ha Lounges across the nation, but I, I took the road less traveled by, or whatever. (Actually, that's not entirely true; see me at the Laugh Factory in Chicago on 12/30! It's a Hurricane Sandy benefit!) So I tell jokes in little black box theaters and in the back rooms of bars and comic book shops and porn stores and art galleries. This seems to me to be a very hipster thing to do.
Here, in no particular order, are reasons that I am pretty sure I am the definition of what people mean when they roll their eyes and say, "She's such a fucking HIPSTER."
- I live in a rapidly gentrifying ethnic enclave on the edge of a major metropolitan area.
- I have a Tumblr and I update it regularly.
- I love Etsy. I love it. I love the owl T-shirts and the owl sweaters and the owl earrings and the owl soaps and the owl candles. I OWN AN OWL CANDLE FROM ETSY. It matches my owl mug and my organic cotton owl yoga pants. I love the free-range, organic, handmade, biodynamic, locally sourced tchotchkes they peddle. I did all my Christmas shopping on Etsy this year. Skinny little white bitches in Brooklyn are currently hunched over their repurposed, upcycled worktables, frantically embroidering my BFFs' names in Helvetica font onto wallets made of hemp.
- I like looking at other people's Instagram photos.
- I am an "alternative comedian." (See my explanation above.)
- I have four tattoos, none of which commemorate anyone's death, celebrate the existence of my boo, honor my service in the Navy, or brand me as a Ride or Die bitch.
- I like Urban Outfitters. Yes, I know they are owned by some Santorum-donating guy, and even Miley Cyrus thinks they are #SHADYASHELL, but every time I pass an Urban Outfitters, I have to go in. I have to look at their selection of books featuring awkward family photographs and awkward dog photographs and awkward plant photographs. I have to pet their shaggy vests that I've never actually seen anyone wearing in real life. I have to consider, at length, their chunky plastic bracelets. I can't help it.
- I like out-of-season corduroy (wide wale, preferably.)
- I enjoy artisanal ice cream.
- I listen to NPR. On purpose.
- I wear things with robots emblazoned on them, even though I am not good at math or science and have never, in fact, owned a robot.
- I'm not a kickball player, but if someone asked me to join a team, I'd do it.
- I am comforted by the scent of vintage clothing stores.
- I own several books that I have never read.
Are you a hipster, too? Admit it here, in the sacred womb-space of the xoJane comment section. Let it out. Together, we can heal into worthwhile human beings again.