This morning on the train I was treated to the non-stop chatter of two Twentysomethings discussing the vagaries of hipster living. I’ll share with you my pain. I think it’s important we explore this together and try to remain calm. This conversation took place between a very skinny young man, possibly gay, but hard to tell. He had a lisp and sounded like a valley girl, but again, in this day it’s just too hard to tell. Plus I have no “gaydar”. The other participant was a very heavy set girl, likely heavy all her life and was likely bitter about it. In the 1990’s she probably would have been a Goth girl instead of a hipster chick. (Also you have to imagine each line of this conversation as if it were a question, even though it isn’t. It’s just how they talk. The emphasis goes up at the end of sentences like a question, even when it’s not a question)
Girl: “I’m going to see Say Anything at Dirty Nellies”.
Guy: “I don’t like that place. It’s like, a bar and it’s gross”.
Girl: “I know, it is so gross. Bars are weird”.
Guy: “Why is Say Anything playing there? Did they have a fall from popularity?”
Girl: “Their album sucked”.
Guy: “Oh yeah”.
Girl: “Yeah. It sucked”.
Guy: “Dirty Nellies is a long way to fall. I mean, that place. I was with my friends there and there was a guy like, sitting by himself at the bar and I went to the bar to order a drink and this guy was like sitting there, by himself and I felt bad so I like ordered him a PBR and when he got it he was all like, what’s this? I was like, I was being friendly and he was like, oh. Then he told me about his divorce and all this stuff and I kept looking over at my friends and they were laughing at me. It was gross”.
Girl: “Yeah, bars are so gross”.
Guy: “Oh my god yeah. Then he was like, are those your friends and I was like, yeah, so he was like well maybe you should go back to them and I was like, Duh”.
At this point in their conversation I was wishing the CTA had a different policy on hostage taking on the train. Since the transit authority still frowns on that I was forced to be within earshot of their continued conversation.
Girl: “Did you hear about Ashley?”
Guy: “Which Ashley? The one with the boyfriend that was mean to me?”
Girl: “Yeah, that guy is a dick. Wasn’t he a racist or something?”
Guy: “I don’t know. I don’t know why he and Ashley were together”.
Girl: “They’re still together. Four years. She’s so gross”.
Guy: “She is so gross. She thought that you and I were a couple at that one party. You remember. I think you were there. Were you there? When she said that we were a couple?”
Girl: “Oh my god I do remember. She was so gross”.
Guy: “So gross”.
I was praying Ashley had the good sense to dump these two idiots as friends and get on with her life. Then I was mad at myself for wasting even a minute of thought on it. Then things got serious.
Girl: “Are you going to Riot Fest?”
Guy: “Pssht, yeah, right. That sounds fun”.
Girl: “I’m going to see NOFX”.
Now I’ll pause here because as an old punk I have a little soft spot in my heart for NOFX. They are still one of my favorite bands of all time and while not everyone likes them, they are still performing and kicking ass as far as I’m concerned. So this next statement made me want to strangle this guy with his own skinny jeans.
Guy: “Does anyone even listen to them anymore?”
Girl: “I doubt anyone listens to NOFX anymore. Like, I was like one of the only people at my school to listen to them. So I doubt if anyone still listens”.
Guy: “Yeah, those shows are gross”.
Girl: “I wish (some band I’ve never heard of and I couldn’t catch the name) were playing. Then I’d be all over it”.
Guy: “Oh that’d be so good. They make me cry, especially with the banjo parts”.
In my mind I think, I wonder if they know Steve Martin plays the banjo. Then I wonder if they know who Steve Martin is.
Guy: “I don’t want to go to work. My boss like, never thanks me for anything I do”.
Girl: “Don’t go. What’s your boss going to do?”
Guy: “I know, right” (I really don’t know if this was a question or a statement. I really don’t).
After exchanging some weird and awkward good-byes the guy finally got up and off and blissful silence descended through the train car. I shuddered and hoped that when I was young I never sounded so silly. I’m sure we all did though to the ears of our elders.