April 24th, 2012
Even though I only live eight miles from the heart of downtown Austin, it can sometimes feel like it’s a thousand miles away. Like last night when my friend Monica and I showed up at a very hip wine bar. We were in her minivan.
Everyone else was on a unicycle.
Well, okay, maybe not everyone, but the crowd was full of that particular Austin young-hipster type where all of the guys wear skinny jeans and interesting facial hair and all of the women wear Tom’s shoes and no cellulite. I sat at our small cafe table, sipping my very pretentious wine flight (“conflict free chardonnay”–WTF?) and watched as they all lazed about in their plaid shirts and Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Wayfarers that I’d worn after Wham! had made them cool the first time, thank you very much. But I then had a horrible thought: I’m probably old enough to be their mother.
“You know,” Monica observed as she slugged back her Etruscan pinot blanc, “we’re probably old enough to be their mothers.”
“Shhhh!” I immediately answered, glancing around with fearful eyes. “Don’t let them hear you!”
“Yeah, like the dude over there in the ironic Fruit Loops t-shirt is going to give a crap,” she replied. “He’s too busy rolling his own cigarette with his hand-woven bag of fair trade tobacco. Weirdo. Besides, who cares?”
Well, me for one. In all honesty, it usually doesn’t matter what people think of me, but I’m just not ready to be viewed as the old lady crashing the party quite yet. Like Rappin’ Grandma. Or Drinkin’ Mom. Or Menopausal Cougar Who Does The Electric Slide At Applebee’s Until She Falls Down and Has Massive Internal Bleeding Lady. Of course I know I’m years older and in a completely different place in my life than that of a 20-something wine bar denizen, but still. I don’t have to be obvious about it, right?
Which is why I then turned to Monica and yelled louder than the thumping South American guitar music, “Hey, did you see who the new PTO president is? Sherry Jenkins?! What, was Pol Pot unavailable?”
Shit shit shit.
The worst part about a 40-year-old woman trying to look hip? She has trouble remembering that she’s trying to look hip.
As the word “PTO” wafted through the wine bar, Monica’s Estee Lauder anti-aging serumed eyes immediately rounded in fear. We both realized that not only had we driven to Hipsterland in a dented Honda Odyssey, but I’d just made the grave mistake of talking like a suburban wanker in a place where the waiters had names like “Merlin” and “Cochise.” This was so not good.
“Um…” I stuttered. “Umm….” Then I leaned over and whispered, “Quick, name a cool band we should know about before the sideburn brigade sics their rehabilitated pit bulls on us.”
“OK, OK….Coldplay!” she yelled. “I love the band Coldplay!”
“No! Not them! I’ve heard of them.”
“Then The Vampire Weekend! I love The Vampire Weekend! That’s a thing, right? The Vampire Weekend? Or am I just thinking of that because I saw Twilight on a Sunday? You know, that Sunday that Jackson didn’t have a sleep-over because Jeannie had lice, do you rememb—”
“Shut up shut up! Just make up a band we like! Seriously, Merlin’s giving me the stink-eye and I really want to finish this glass of non-gluten Gewurztraminer before they chase us out for being alive when Carter was in office.”
“OK, um, oh, my God! OK, here we go—-I just can’t stop listening to Book Jacket Omelet!” she boomed. “Book Jacket Omelet is gnarly!”
We paused then to nonchalantly look around, a little worried about her maverick use of “gnarly,” but hoping that that word had also made a hipster resurgence like nerd glasses, leg warmers and community service. After a few seconds passed with nothing being thrown at us, I finally let my shoulders relax. Monica and I were obviously fitting in with the hipsters because nobody had even batted an eye in our direction. Or at least I don’t think anyone had batted an eye.
It’s kind of hard to tell when they’re all wearing Wayfarers.
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