It was during a pick-up game of basketball game at my gym over the weekend I panicked and realized I might be a hipster. (The horror!) Of the nine other guys on the court, three were wearing throwback basketball shoes I had owned during their maiden tour.
If there’s a constitution for hipsters, it starts with “Everything you wear must look dated by at least two decades.” The problem for me is over the course of the next decade, this is going to happen more and more frequently — I’m going to notice hipsters breaking out fashions I wore the first time around.
I explained this scenario to my girlfriend.
“Does that make me a retroactive hipster?” I asked.
“You mean, are you grandfathered in?” she replied. “No. Because you’re not wearing that stuff now.”
Fair enough. Even when these skinny, little predictable punks start wearing Hypercolor T-shirts, snap bracelets, and Starter jackets, I’m in the clear. However, I feel it’s only fair I be thought of as a visionary in the fashion world. I would like every hipster to acknowledge the fact I was wearing what they would someday think cool 20 years later when I was six. SIX! Furthermore, I would like every hipster to realize I probably weighed more than they do when I was six, so give up the gluten-free B.S. and eat some Wonder Bread.
I went and purchased more Nike goods over the weekend. As you out-of-staters can probably imagine, you can’t throw an Odwalla bottle without hitting a Nike Factory Outlet out here. I like Nike because they like fat people. They acknowledge fat people, anyway. They love X’s, as in XL, XXL and XXXL. You won’t find those sizes at Urban Outfitters. I’ve been carrying a little extra heft lately, but even as I commence a daily running routine, I wear my poundage with pride. At least I don’t look like a hipster.
Portland is very much like the Twilight Zone in that it feels like you’ve come to high school on a day just like any other, only all of the popular kids are now outcasts, and the music nerds, drama geeks and awkward smart kids now run the show. In a way, it’s a triumph for humanity, but it’s such a shot to order as we know it. It would be like going on safari and seeing gazelles chasing off lions by the herd. I was never a popular kid in high school — I edited the newspaper, for chrissake — but I respected the hierarchy and found acceptance as someone in the middle.
Here? It’s Hipster or Bust. I was bemoaning this fact with a co-worker yesterday at lunch.
“I’m a guy’s guy,” I said. “I love sports, meat, beer, manly shit. Here though? I feel like I’m the only one.”
He conceded the point. The population of Guy’s Guys — “Dudes,” for brevity’s sake — is seriously waning, especially in the downtown area. My co-worker is the same type of guy’s guy, only he’s older with kids and his wildest days are behind him.
It’s not that I need to be surrounded by people like myself and I’m probably not as anti-hipster as I claim to be. However, I think we find our identity in groups. We don’t have to limit ourselves to those groups, but we find comfort in knowing our interests don’t make us weird or different.
Hipsters are at home here like senior citizens in Boca Raton, Florida. I’ll admit, part of my hostility toward them is based on jealousy. It must be nice to live in a city that feels so…you. I guess my mind stays stuck elsewhere: