Graham texted me earlier to tell me about how his mother thought his new hat made him look like a hipster. Which is pretty funny, actually. Funny and untrue, I think Graham would want me to add, and considering how much I dislike hipsters and have become sensitive to their presence, if I don’t think someone looks like a hipster, then they probably don’t look like a hipster. It’s not Graham’s mom’s fault, though, because she lives way out in the country where the most popular kind of hat is baseball and the hipsters still wash their clothes regularly.
Noticing hipsters is a city skill, I think. People who live in the country don’t see enough of them to know the difference between a hipster and a slob (or, extremely, a hobo). But it’s not like we have the best hipsters in the country. The other day, some friends and I were discussing how it’s easy to pick out the St. Louis hipsters from the touring band hipsters at shows. St. Louis hipsters are cursed with inconvenient geography and a Midwestern need to please. They try just a bit too hard to look a bit too much like all of their friends, and it shows. But of course they’re still better than country hipsters, who I think are trying to bring back Hypercolor t-shirts.
Then there are people who look ridiculous no matter what. During the French Letters show in Seattle, I noticed two girls wearing what looked like slutty pirate hooker pinup outfits. I guess. Tight dresses in black, white, and red, and some parts of them were striped. They both had on thick, winged eyeliner and red lipstick. They looked so much alike that I honestly thought they were in costume, and asked some friends if they were a part of some other band’s act.
Three pairs of eyes rolled in unison.
“No,” they said, “They’re groupies. And they work at Starbucks.”
The word “Starbucks” was said with an evilly sibilant hiss, the kind of tone reserved for the name of the STD afflicting your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, or for mentioning that a person in your serious fiction writing class liked Twilight.
And oh, man. So many funny things about that description. First, to be a groupie for a band (no matter how fucking awesome the band, mind you) is…well, it’s pretty silly. Second, to be widely known as a groupie for a local band is confusing on the level of goals and personal aspirations. Third, the Starbucks part was amazing, because not only did the friends I’d initially asked tell me about it, but like four other people throughout the night saw these girls walk by and leaned into me, sneering “Those girls work at Starbucks.”
A Seattle thing, I guess. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me where you pull coffee. I had no animosity towards independent coffee place employees when I worked at Panera, nor did I get pissed off at big business coffee employees when I worked at a tiny little place. It’s not really a full time career in either place, and as you may have guessed, my own brand of mockery is limited to the immediately obvious (slutty pirate groupies) rather than the stuff you kind of have to know about a person (baristas with the gall to have health insurance). But I have no qualms about other people mocking what I don’t, and the Starbucks thing still makes me laugh.
It should also be noted that I haven’t seriously considered the numerous suggestions re: moving to Seattle, but if I did and I couldn’t find a regular job, I now know that socially, working at Starbucks would be a very poor decision.