By Erin Browne
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: I have noticed that females tend to see another girl walking down the street and immediately hate her. No explanation. No warning. Just immediate, intense hatred. This is a completely ridiculous trait that only seems to apply to girls, so I decided to categorize the stereotypes and help you pin point why you might hate that girl across from you on the bus. Or why another girl may hate you. Does it seem ridiculous yet? Good.]
EXHIBIT A: The Hipster Girlfriend
The hipster girlfriend is that girl that you see in the corner of the coffee shop across the table from her boyfriend. They don’t sit on the same side of the table unless they are with friends because 1) that is ‘so lame’ and 2) she probably hasn’t showered that day, due to the fact that she was too busy analyzing a Keroauc novel (something obscure, like Dharma Bums) “for fun.” She and her boyfriend do however pick the smallest table possible so they can lean over their Chai (don’t call it Chai tea, that is redundant and unnecessary) or Kombucha (because it’s like ‘so good for you, ya know.’) and gaze longingly at each other from underneath their fedoras.
Her hair may not be washed, but on her it looks like something you would find in Nylon magazine and that headband she is wearing? It was probably made in a third world country and bought at one of those stores where all the proceeds go to the aforementioned third world country. You immediately hate her because she just exudes worldly-ness even though she is probably from somewhere mundane like the Midwest. She looks like she doesn’t care, her eyes behind her too big glasses scream apathy. She sips her drink with nonchalance, she seems so mysterious shrouded in that cool outer shell. The flannel she is wearing is probably “his” (depending on how hip her boyfriend is), or some other man’s who is nameless and faceless because she bought it at a thrift store. It screams “homeless musician.” By looking at her you know she plays bass and not guitar because bass is just “that much more alternative.” The story that you make up in your head about her makes you cringe, but it is all too true.
You move a little closer because your innate hatred for her also makes you wildly fascinated. Their conversation consists of a lot of band names you have never heard of. She talks about how “their older stuff was great. The lyrics actually meant something you know? And all those allusions to (insert hipster novel/indie film here) were just so poignant. But their newer stuff? Top 40 corporate bullshit if you ask me. I remember when I saw them in a club that only held 70 people and it was so packed the sweat on my shirt (that she probably still hasn’t washed just so she can ‘still live the moment’) wasn’t even mine. Now they are playing at (insert larger venue here) *SCOFF*”
Her boyfriend will 1) totally agree if he is as hip as her and they will look melancholy together or 2) will totally agree even though he likes the new “top 40 corporate bullshit” because that is what he heard on the radio and only heard the older stuff because she plays it off her iPod in her used nondescript compact car (when she has to drive and not bike somewhere.) He is agreeing because she is “totally hot” in that exotic way and he just “wants to get some.”
If it is number one than she is pumped because “he is her music soul mate and everyone knows that is the foundation for a lasting relationship (that wont end in marriage, until there is equality in every state.)” If it is number two than she will feel like she is opening up this young man’s world and feel all high and mighty and charitable and he will get “so much cuter because he is so naive.”
Her boyfriend now seems like a poor schmuck to you, but also more attractive. You wish you were opening up his world (if he is not hip) or that he could open up yours (if he is hip.) You continue to listen to their conversation with a morbid fascination, like watching a car crash. You want to look away, you hate her, but you can’t. You love her.
They talk about how after college they want to ditch their degrees and backpack around Europe. They want to stay in hostels and not be “fucking tourists.” She speaks Italian and it helps her “understand French and Spanish.” So what the hell is she doing in America? They sound so bohemian but you can tell that Daddy is probably paying for everything. By the way she is discussing this trip you correctly assume she is studying art. No: photography. She probably appreciates “activist realism” and finds Impressionism to be “boring” and “predictable.” Her shoes are probably vegan (even though she isn’t.) Or Vans (and they match her boyfriend’s.)
You look down at your skinny jeans and realize that hers are skinnier (from all that biking.) She looks like she is trying to recreate Elvis Costello’s look from his My Aim is True days. If her boyfriend is on her same level of hip than his look is quite similar. They probably share pants. They look to be the same height and weight.
As you watch them you think about how it is similar to watching one of those “indie romance” movies you stumble across on the instant queue on NetFlix. This thought makes you decide that she only watches movies with subtitles.
While all the other couples in the coffee shop are kissing or holding hands this particular couple is so progressive they don’t need to show affection in public. They know they are together, their energy should let everyone else know. And it does.
You automatically know she is a feminist. Not a bra burning, anti-shaving feminist who thinks the problem is the way men treat women. No, she is one of those feminists who believes that the real problem is the way women treat each other. You just know her legs are smoother than yours and this thought makes you hate her even more. You see her point.
She describes herself as a “traditionalist” and a “purest” which is why she bought that 35mm Minolta off of ebay, rides a vintage Motobecane, uses over the ear headphones and not earbuds (because they are so much better for your ears), watches film noirs, and prefers records and cassette tapes to CDs. She probably still owns a VCR yet you notice the brand new iPhone peeking out of her pocket. Somehow in casual conversation with her boyfriend she makes all of this known, as if she knows other people are watching her. She revels in this thought, but she pretends not to care. That is the key to all of her mystery and what makes her different from you: she doesn’t care.
They leave and you picture them going home and blogging together. They compete over who has more followers on twitter and who has a more authentic “brand.” He prefers micro-blogs. She prefers “the real thing.”
Even though, in your mind, she is a complete elitist, she is really nice. You know that is probably the case in real life as well. And in both cases she is judging your opinion on everything.
Just like the fact that you are listening to Lady Gaga on your iPod and drinking coffee that isn’t fair trade as you observe and loathe her and her boyfriend.
You know her judgments would be correct. You know yours are too.