hip /hip/ adjective hipper, comparative; hippest, superlative

  1. Following the latest fashion, esp. in popular music and clothes
    • it's becoming hip to be environmentally conscious
  2. Understanding; aware
    • he's trying to show how hip he is to Americana

Or, according to Wikipedia, “Hip is a slang term meaning fashionably current and in the know. Hip is the opposite of square or prude. Hip, like cool, does not refer to one specific quality. What is considered hip is continuously changing.”

I am rather an old soul. Always have been. I credit that to the fact that I am an only child and grew up spending a lot of time either alone or with my parents and their adult friends. I would say I had more than the average childlike flights of imaginary fancy, but as far as “playing” went…I was a bit hopeless. I was serious about everything I did. And now, I’d choose a coffee shop over a bar and a thrift store over a fancy boutique. I always struggle when A. and I go on dates or on the few occasions I’ve gone out with the girls because most of my nice clothes are more suitable for church than the club. I don’t think these are necessarily bad things, but it occasionally strikes me that I am unlike many my age. I enjoy a good cocktail as much as the next person, but I somehow missed out on the party gene.

However, the neighborhood that A. and I moved into is what one might be able to call “hip” (see above). We were attracted to the area for its plethora of walkable destinations, its extensive green space and walking path, and its mix of urban bustle with residential charm. Plus, it is close to A’s work, and since he HATES to drive, it was desirable to not have much of a commute. It’s probably un-hip that we’ve even wondered, but we’ve been trying to decide if we are “worthy” of our new neighborhood. In other words, are we hip?!

On the surface, I’d say we’re not. My shorts are too long, my hair too staid, and my body too un-tatooed. But in a truly un-hip manner, we began a mental list of the things we do that ARE hip, at least in our minds. Here are a few of the reasons we came up with.

  1. Two words: Apple Products. We has them.
  2. I own and wear Tom's shoes.
  3. I use reusable grocery bags (which my mom always has, and which I used to find mortifying. Sorry, Mama!)
  4. A. bikes/walks/takes public transportation to work, and we drive fuel efficient vehicles.
  5. I enjoy thrifting and shopping second-hand.
  6. Some (though not most) of the music I listen to is cool and alternative.
  7. A. works for a small startup-ish tech company.

And now, I suppose we can add our location to the list! But some of those are a stretch, and I draw a blank after those seven. For the most part, I think “hip” is over-rated, and I definitely don’t worry about it. In fifth grade, probably the lowest point of my life on the cool scale, one of the cute, popular girls told me that if you were cool you just didn’t have to try. (I definitely wasn’t, and I definitely did.) It’s kind of fun to be an observer of people and culture and weigh how you measure up, but in the end what really matters is being true to yourself and enjoying life.

So what do you think? What does being hip mean to you?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman