Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tragically Unhip

Last year, Fred (who owns a record store downtown) had a yard sale. We were excited because, as you may have guessed, we are huge record collectors and were looking forward to raiding his collection.

We arrived at his place, which basically consisted of a huge studio-type room filled with various cameras, instruments, recording equipment, posters, records, magazines and other hipster "vintage" things. Thomas and I delved in, each taking down a box and going through it, pulling out selections for the other person to accept or veto later. We got some great 45's at Fred's sale, including some Depeche Mode and some Housemartins I never thought I'd see. After we were done sorting 45s and 33s, my work was done and I wandered around while Thomas sorted the 78s as they are his passion and I couldn't really care less about them.

I wasn't bored; there was a lot to see and look at...we found an original Evil Dead poster for our friend Bryan's collection...I was wandering around when Fred approached me and told me that if I was bored, he thought he had some old women's magazines somewhere that I could look at.

Um, what? Rarely, if ever before, have I been so offended. But if I'm honest, the total reason that I was so upset about it is that what he said just confirms something I've known about myself all along. I am just tragically unhip. It doesn't matter what music I listen to, or what I collect. It doesn't matter where I hang out or what my degree is in. There's something about me that just never quite fits in.

Partly, I think the problem is that I don't fit into any "type" of person. I am not a hippie, I'm not indie, I'm not a fashionista. I like to think I'm not a geek. I'm not artsy, I'm not beautiful, I'm smart but not exceptionally so. Whenever I think of polls or Neilson ratings, I think, those people should be asking me the questions, because I'm so...average. I know just enough.

Also, I think the problem stems from being raised (and I'm not questioning this at all, I'm just saying that it's so) not to think it was necessary to own to designer clothing. I grew up without cable (and thus without MTV, which, while a cliche, was totally a huge delivery system for pop culture in my generation) and so there are references that are lost on me. Things that other people consider needs or just a part of life, are things that I don't have now and will probably never have. Again, I'm neither knocking or promoting these things. I just don't know about them.

I'm sure that if I really wanted to, I could pretend to be a type of person. (And I always wonder about this: is everyone pretending?) But to me, to dress like a type of person feels like a costume. I want it desperately--I want people to look at me and know something beyond the fact that I clearly buy my clothes at Target--but to put on certain things feels like an affectation.

For instance:

I love these glasses. But I totally can't wear them. Who does this chick think she is?

I'm never going to be able to drink in some of the downtown "hotspots"--they give me the willies. I'd rather buy my CDs online than have to deal with walking into a record store. When I eat at Nikki's, I don't order sushi. I don't even know where Bella Festa (sp?) is. Help!

I like to pretend that I don't care about my negative hip-ness factor, but I obviously do, since the whole Fred-women's magazine-incident still makes me cry, and since I compulsively try on my glasses to see if somehow this shirt or this haircut will make them look...normal.


Cue Gal said...

I know this is exactly the sort of feedback you're not looking for, but seriously -- this post just affirms how awesome you are.

Though I'm now wondering, am I a type? ... I guess I have been. It's just that I don't think of myself as any one thing. I just sort of drift in and out of many different circles. Which just goes to show -- it's a tricky endeavor, this determining-of-self. Well done with the writing about it, man.

mendacious said...

awesome postness.

for me i try to push my boundaries with things i never would think to wear bcs i don't want to be defined by them or made to feel uncomfortable... of course i have my limits but those glasses rock- i say some stuff you just HAVE TO OWN. even if you feel extravagant. although i haven't quite graduated to rhinestone wearing. i'm close.

lozza said...

meg, maybe you don't fit a "type" because you are so unique and marvelously unlike anyone i've ever known before--not because you are "average," or representative of the masses.

when i think of meg, i think of a beautiful (duh) woman who drives a gold car but dreams of a pink one, who laughs with her whole being, who is the most amazing hostess i've known. i think of a woman who loves her dogs, her husband, her family, and her friends. a woman who once told me she threw ciggy butts into the yingling beer vats. a woman with an amazing sense of fiction. a woman who will blush and giggle at the mention of one grody thing, but be able to discuss at great length other things that are equally grody but in a different way. a friend who is as much fun sober as she is pissed. a lovely singing voice and an unparalleled affinity for the sims. i could go on and on.

basically, when i think of meg, i think of COOL. so tell fred to put that on the back of his john and read it.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how some people can completely own a type. Like my boss - she's all tailored clothes with a slightly funky flair. And her house is total retro-chic. And there's no way, even if I had all her clothes and all her stuff, that I could ever pull it off the way she does.

Added to the fact that I am a total square, and I, too, am a hopeless hipster.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you all have a type. And that type is... awesome.

I, too, fear the hipster places, though. Because I know they know I own at least one skirt from Wal-Mart. Unironically.

lozza said...

tell me about it. i live in williamsburg, brooklyn, the hipster capitol of the world. i've completely given up. i mean, leggings? are we serious, people?and can we please talk about "skinny jeans" for a minute here. get real.