I'm a Hippie

I don't think I've told my hippie story here, yet.

Back in late May, I was walking down the street in front of my apartment when a pack of little punk suburban kids start coming down the other way. Now, growing up in an inner city environment, I am accutely aware that groups of black teenagers are nothing to worry about. Its the white ones that scare me. So I tried to casually keep my distance, not my eye contact, etc. Seems I caught there eye, however. While trying to ignore them, it eventually occured to me that they were making fun of me.

Because I'm fat? Nope.

Because I wear glasses? Nope.

Because I was there? Nope.

Because I was a hippie.

Suffice to say, I found this confusing. The mocking eventually escaleted to one of the girls in the pack throwing coins at me. (they missed by a mile) As they went on, I tried to process what happened.

For one, I was suprised anyone bothers to hate hippies anymore. I mean, are they even a relevent enough subculture to hate anymore? Why on earth are a bunch of poser teens obsessed with hippies enough to mock someone they consider to be one and throw things at him.

Next thing I wondered was, since when am I hippie? I always thought my look was half-way between Hipster and Hippie, never really pulling off either. Too well-maintained to be hippie, but too casual to make hipster. At the time I was wearing boot-cut jeans, my orange Chuck Taylor's, an off-white linen shirt, and a tan courderoy jacket. When I describe this, people always blame the jacket. I can understand this, except its a very slight courderoy. I mean, its from Old Navy, not a vintage store. Now, sure, I have one button on the jacket, which can be a hippie thing, but its only one. Its not like its lined with buttons. And gosh its just an "I (heart) NY" button. I've worn it since 9/11. I bought it at the WTC when I visited it in 1989. Hardly hippie cred. I had a goatee at the time, too. More of a wanna-be Van Dyke actually. Hippie is more outright unshaven though. Clean facial hair is more on the hipster side of things. Except mine never looks very slick, so again it falls in between. Suffice to say, I didn't get the knee-jerk declaration that I was a hippie. Not that I have a problem with hippies. I've known quite a lot in my time, and I don't think any of them would have really thought of me as a fellow hippie.

My last thought was that the only other time I'd heard of someone having money thrown at them out of spite was a Jewish friend who was harrassed in high school with anti-semetic slurs by some jackass at our school. And then the whole incident seemed a lot more meaningless.

Just wanted to share.

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