Ever since I wrote this post, I’ve been mulling over the issue of male/female relations in this town. It’s been a few months and although I no longer feel like I’m emitting a “don’t fucking touch me” vibe, it still seems like flirtation is non-existent in Victoria. I’m not ready to date anyone but I wouldn’t mind if a guy passed me on the street and smiled at me. I might actually smile back.
When I’m in Toronto, there never seems to be a shortage of male attention. I regularly get hit on by a colorful collection of characters that include sketchy single dads, teen thugs, Greek guys over the age of 75, nerdy awkward collegiate types and the criminally insane. With that said, the one kind of guy who never, ever hits on me: HIPSTERS. In fact, I seem to repel Hipster guys.
I discovered this while living in my old neighborhood in Toronto. Amidst all the Portuguese delis, Greek diners, Latin American eateries and East African restaurants there was one Hipster coffee shop at the end of my street. When I slipped through the door of that coffee shop, I became invisible to the male species. Not a single horn-rimmed eye would look up from their Macbook and the guy manning the counter was usually too busy changing the record from David Byrne to Tom Waits to actually provide anything remotely resembling prompt service. It was uncanny.
One day, I accidentally conducted a social experiment. In desperate need of coffee, I skipped a shower, piled my hair on top of my head in a high bun, threw on a pair of jorts & a borrowed pair of oversized Raybans before heading over to the coffee shop. This time when I walked in heads turned, a guy smiled and the barrista served me my latte promptly. As an accidental hipster, I was the belle of the ball.
I have a few theories of why Hipster guys and I don’t mesh. I think my sister’s ex-boyfriend summed it up best: “Simone’s like, totally bougie” Coming from a guy who’s in his mid-30’s, works at a record store and dates 19 year olds, I refuse to be insulted by his comment. I am kind of bougie but I’ve chosen to embrace it. I like nice things. I carry a designer handbag, not for “ironic reasons” but because I like quality leather-goods & classic styling. As another friend notes:
“The reason hipster guys aren’t into you is because you’re way too clean cut. You don’t have an ironic hair-cut or wear retro clothing and you kind of scream out I’m employed”
It could also be that hipster guys intuitively know that I’m not into them. I abhor most facial hair (ironic or otherwise) and despite being Canadian, am not overly fond of plaid. I’m sure these guys sense that I’m not the kind of girl who would tolerate them wearing jorts in public or spending their days drinking coffee, talking about bands & “jamming” with their buddies. I’m a threat to their whole lifestyle.
I’m like Hipster Kryptonite.
Last week, I was sitting in one of Victoria’s many coffee shops and I had an epiphany. As I sipped my Chai Latte, I looked around at all the young, Rayban clad, bearded, plaid wearing, ironic coiffed gents and the large cluster of fixed gear bikes parked outside & it hit me:
THERE ARE HIPSTERS EVERYWHERE.
When all the men around me look like one of the variations below, it’s no surprise I’m not getting any play here.
Although all different kinds of hipster guys exist on the West Coast, we seem to have a surplus of bearded, organic tofu munching, pot smoking, “natural hipsters.” I seem to repel all varieties equally. I’m living in my very own episode of Portlandia and it ain’t pretty.
Then, last week something happened: I was spoken to by not one, but two Hipsters.
I was grabbing my coffee at Hipster coffee shop #1 when one of the bearded, plaid shirt clad barristas said to me:
“Isn’t today like, so sunny outside? It makes me want to just grab a few blankets and curl up in them in the park & just read all day while basking in the sunbeams”
I wasn’t sure whether this was an invitation, so I just kind of stared at him blankly before saying,
“Yeah, too bad I have to go home and work”
“Yeah, that’s totally too bad. Ciao”
This was followed by an incident yesterday at Hipster coffee shop #2 (Damn, those Hipsters sure know how to make a good cup of joe).
The guy helping me had a huge smile on his face. When I went to pay for my coffee, he checked out my debit card and said:
“Whoa girl. Check out the colors! They’re sooooo bright. That’s a pretty awesome debit card”
(It’s a normal debit card)
Then he says, “You have a totally awesome day now!” before giving me a wink and the “thumbs up” as I leave the coffee shop.
These interactions have lead me to believe that the problem with male/female interactions here isn’t the hipsters but rather, that my first hypothesis was right: