ever wonder where hipsters come from? they roam the streets of whatever neighborhood's hip this week in brooklyn, hair side-swept, jeans super-skinny, and just way too cool for anything. detached. and you can't help from wonder - where do they come from? what were they like as children? do they have parents? grandparents?
well, i can finally tell you: yes they have parents and grandparents, and cousins, with whom they hid under the seder table when they were five and looking for the afikomen.
this past sunday all sorts of family and old people convened on my grandparents' deck to celebrate my grandfather's upcoming 80th birthday.* i find these sorts of gatherings initially painful but then mostly nice, after i've gotten past my intense reluctance to engage in the requisite q&a. i hate that shit. tell every one of my grandparents' friends, and my mom's cousins, and everyone else, that i live in the city, i work at a theatre, i do new play development, and yeah, i'm really happy, i really love it, thanks. that's the worst part - the interrogations always end with a smiling "and so you're happy?" what if i'm not?! seriously, what the hell kind of question.
(not my actual cousins)
now, i know, it seems sort of meanspirited to be blue-states-losing my two very sweet cousins.**** i had similar hesitations about writing about them. but my interest is mostly just anthropological - i found it interesting, that these kids i hadn't seen in five-plus years had grown up to be this thing i think i know, to fit this category i already have in my head - a category and type of thing inherently dissociated from ideas of family and little-kidness by its too-cool-for-schoolness. and also i saw their myspace pages and these kids are not afraid of the internets.
*check this out - how many of you will ever be ages that rhyme with your name? okay, no numbers rhyme with "norman." but i call him zaidi, and check it - zaidi's turning eighty. how cool is that?
**so there's your answer to that question - hipsters do still wear their cowboy boots to an outdoor pool party for their elderly relatives.
***and oh my god are my cousins skinny. there were actually lots of skinny cousins around. and tan. all these olive-skinned skinny people that i'm allegedly related to. what genetics raffle did my immediate family lose?
****well, the one who talked at all was very sweet. not that i tried to talk to his younger brother at all, but i didn't catch a word from him all day. but seriously, at least the one - good person. we had a good talk. and he's a good writer, too.