When I went off to college I had never seen a hipster. This is because I was the opposite of cool in high school. I wasn't aware that people went to see bands at places that weren't Blossom Music Center. It hadn't occurred to me someone would let their whole house be turned into a dance party. The only tight pants I knew men wore were biking shorts.
So yes, when I got to OSU the existence of hipsters, or as I inexplicably called them "scenesters," blew my mind and legs wide open.
(Ok, in loyalty to my uncool, innocent younger self, I actually didn't hook up with a ton of scenesters, but I LOVE the sentence above so I'll leave it in. I chased a lot of scenesters. I would hook up with more hip people after college than during. I became a more effective hipster chaser with age. Once I knew the right word.)
Now, this is where my ignorance really begins to show. I thought Columbus was an especially hip place. I thought there was something special happening in Columbus. I didn't think garage rock and tight pants and beautiful, long, wavy hair on men were happening anywhere else. I fully expected that when people from Cleveland saw my new cultural membership their minds would be similarly blown. They would be confused and frightened and intrigued and most of all impressed.
No. Everyone from my middle school, and everyone from my high school, by the end of my freshman year of college had become a hipster. And they used the correct word for it. Everyone was a hipper hipster than I was.
This is how unhip I was: at winter break my freshman year a childhood friend asked me if I had heard of Belle and Sebastian. I lied and said I had. She said "That's a college thing, right?" I was like, yeah, uh huh, for sure, Belle and Sebastian, everyone at college listens to that shit.
Then I filed away the band name to investigate. And then I was like, I don't understand, this doesn't sound like Guided by Voices. I hadn't heard Guided by Voices, but I did know what they sounded like.
THINGS I DID BECAUSE I WANTED SO BADLY TO BE A HIP IN COLLEGE:
-dyed my hair purple, then black
-went to every show ever at Bernie's
-cut up a bunch of t-shirts
-gave myself the ugliest haircuts
-became a vegetarian
-gave myself alcohol poisoning over and over
-mostly just listened to a bunch of bullshit opinions from boys at parties who had long ago abandoned personal hygiene.
Guys, I didn't ever succeed. The hipsters never thought I was one of them. It was pretty obvious that I did improv comedy and listened to Shakira. It was obvious I didn't know how to smoke weed, no matter what device you handed it to me in. But mostly it was obvious I was relentlessly, tirelessly self-loathing.
It was for the best. The friends I have from college are pretty much only from the improv group, or from my decidedly non-hip dorm floor sophomore year. Shakira is still awesome. And if I had been better at smoking weed people would have included me in their other drug escapades, and I would've flipped my shit on the Oval.
Also the people who were successful at being hipsters in college now are married. Like, not even newlyweds, really in the thick of being married. Married enough to be getting divorces. This is why it's good to be a late bloomer kids. Draw out that young adult period until....just draw it out.