Today I came to a new conclusion: I think that Hipsters are misunderstood. Sure, sometimes they may seem to play off disinterest as a mode for looking cool in their own misunderstood way, but other times maybe they’re actually really interested, but too shy to do anything about it. At least that’s the idea that I’m going with now.
For a while, I’ve been faux-labeled as a Hipster, and lately I’ve been considering what exactly being a Hipster means. One of the key characteristics of the Hipster is their feigned interest in many things. Hipsters however are not expected to be completely thoughtless, they just go about their carelessness in a very non-chalant way. But I’m starting to think that this carelessness is a coping method for those like myself who simply are shy. Take this true story example that happened to me today. It begins with the following conversation I had with my dad:
Dad: What’s happening today?
Me: Well there’s this holiday party for my whole building at work. I’m wearing yellow and brown today. -I didn’t want to wear red or green for the party [to make it look like I was active in the celebration of Christmas at work]. It stinks because there’s a Caps game today and I wanted to wear red for that.
Dad: Are you going to the party?
Me: I don’t know.
Dad: I guess I don’t understand. If you’re going to put so much thought into what you’re wearing, I’d assume that means you were going to attend.
Me: I mean, I’ll probably just go to get out of working for a bit, but… whatever.
Upon reflection of this conversation, I realized that I pretty much came off sounding like a total Hipster. While I did care a lot about what I was going to wear; about going to the party; and how not to fit in with the crowd; I was somehow still claiming irony by saying that I wasn’t even sure I was going to attend the event. Why would I go to all that trouble for nothing, you ask? Well for one, it’s because I’m shy. I’m so shy that I won’t go to something where I don’t fit in or where I won’t know anyone. I didn’t want to promise that I would go to the optional party, due to my overwhelming shyness.
So what ended up happening, you wonder? I ended up waiting until literally the last minute to actually go to the party. None of my co-workers were announcing that they were going to the party (like they have in the past) so I didn’t have a “buddy” to latch onto to go with. I decided I would make myself go for the last 15 minutes of the party. Surely, there wouldn’t be an overwhelming number of people there and I could just relax as I peeked in and out. Finally, a co-worker says she is going to party and I leap at the opportunity to go accompanied. (I am so ridiculously shy, it’s silly.) By the time we got there, the party was over and people were cleaning up.
So what did I learn from all this? First, that being this shy is pretty ridiculous. Second, that just because someone acts disinterested and abnormally lo-key about something that they are typically excited about; doesn’t mean that they aren’t genuinely attracted to it. It could be that they just need a little push. Whether a Hipster or just shy, sometimes all you need is a little neutral encouragement to do what you want.