You may not know at first glance that I’m not hip. I’m wearing a sparkly baby-T shirt as I write this, unfortunately for me I didn’t pay 35 cents for it at a thrift store or 3500 at Fred Segal. No, sadly, I got it at Wet Seal, the store that caters to the 11 to maybe 18 set. I’m 39. I actually do a lot of shopping there. I know. it’s true. I’m a member of a club that would never admit it’s own existence. But, I’m coming out of the closet. I’m one of them. The tragically unhip. I’m not uncool enough to bring it full circle and be geeky in a HIP way. I’ve slipped through the cracks. And I’m not one of those people who cool doesn’t matter to. You know, a Wall Street type who’s mad for Dave Matthews and knows the world is on his side on this one or someone who calls Dr. Laura introducing themselves as “My Kid’s Mom” or uses the phrase “Ah ha moment” without embarrassment. No. I’m not oblivious to my unhipness. I wish I was. What I am is so much worse. I’m a dreaded wannabe.
It started in grade school. My family was poor and my clothes were ordered for me from the Sears catalog. But here’s the catch, I liked it. Yeah, I didn’t groan like a future Janeane Garafolo. I looked forward to the delivery of my purple polyesther pants suit with white fringe and the daintiest 100% plastic flowers surrounding the collar. Hell, I picked that shit out myself.
Skip ahead to sixth grade and an early attempt at cool. I begged and begged to get a “real” professional haircut by a real professional hair dresser. Finally my mother relented. Only, it wasn’t at a “salon” it was a friend’s mom who cut hair but I was just relieved it wasn’t MY MOM. The hairsyle I wanted, naturally, was a Dorothy Hamill, The haircut of the pubescent ice skating, gymnastic sect. But it didn’t look cute and girly on me, hitting my jawline just so and flipping up delicately. No, I just looked like a boy. Possibly a cute boy. But a boy. After that, there were Toni home perms that went awry (is there any other kind?), Sun-In and self tanning lotions that turned me orange and other misfired attempts at hip. It seemed to always be my fault too.
Jump ahead to Junior High. Actually don’t. Just go see Welcome to the Dollhouse and consider yourself filled in.
In high school I was cool for a month because I moved from Los Angeles to Springfield Mass. For one sparkling moment I was “that girl from California.” But then I wore a bandana in my hair wrapped around my head and tied under my chin like a Russian peasant woman and it was all over. Looking back, maybe I shouldn’t have even tried.
I’m unhip. I own a Britney Spears CD. Yeah, I CLAIMED it was just to bring to the gym, but I’ve snuck and listened to it at other times. I’ve teared up in my car to a Celine Dion song. No, it wasn’t the theme from Titanic. I’m not fourteen, just not cool. I don’t listen to Moby. And I actually TiVo’d “American Idol” when I wasn’t home to watch it. Yeah, I was the one. Sure I make fun of it, but watching it is still watching it. Every episode. I think Ryan Adams is OKAY. Just okay. Yeah, I said it. Feel sorry for me if you want but I’ve gotten used to the way I am.
To my credit, I’ve never used emoticons and I have a profile on my AOL account but it’s really short. Yeah. Exactly. I still have an AOL account. Even my parents have moved on to SBCglobal but here I am still on AOL. I’ve missed the boat on anything hip. I caught cowboy boots at the tail end. I line danced at Denim and Diamonds and not just to be ironic. I loved it. I learned how to do the Tush Push and the two step. I didn’t take it as far as another tragically unhip friend of mine. She married a Denim and Diamonds bus boy and moved to Nashville to help him get his singing career off the ground. But I did blow a cowboy in the back of his Nisson pickup. Not a real cowboy. An L.A. cowboy. Oh and I still wear overalls.
The sad part is I can see hip from where I stand. But when I reach for it it always slips through my fingers. I’m not what you’d call a trend setter. I got my belly button pierced at 30. And then took it out a week later. I started wearing Isaac Mizrahi just as soon as he released his line in Target (*exaggeration for humor).
And the worst part is,I know it’s going to spill over to my child. It’s starting already. I had no idea that AP stands for attachment parenting, I’d never heard of a Snugli and I didn’t breastfeed. And my kid gets most if not all of her clothes from Target. Oh dear.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 31, 2005 5:29 pm
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 28, 2005 5:13 am
A neighborhood such as mine (California, Los Angleles for Christ’s sake) you’d think would be a fucking goldmine of fun moms. Moms who are as laid back as a Juliette Lewis after a nice “e meter” session at Scientology. But this just doesn’t seem to be the case. The case, is, the moms here are stiff. I’m sorry if any of them know that this is me writing this but let’s face it. you’re boring. A few of you are exceptions and if you’re reading this (which I know for sure you’re not) than you know I’m not speaking of you. But the rest of it…maybe I’m just not used to it. Block parties where people take themselves so damn seriously. “Stefanie, you are in charge of face painting and making sure that the fire truck comes ON TIME at 3 o’clock.” okay. Done. I called the damn firehouse and asked if they could send a truck for some of the older kids. Mind you, my daughter at a year old couldn’t give a rat’s ass about a fire truck but I don’t have a problem cold calling places and it was not hard to give the old fire station a ring and ask them to bring their shiniest truck.
The truck never showed up. It’s true. And I got a lot of dirty looks from the moms in the ‘hood. Well, I’m sorry but is our friendship or potential friendship based on whether or not there was a fucking emergency in the vicinity and the fire truck had something else they had to do? I don’t think it should be but… I’m not paranoid. I don’t have that disorder where I think everyone hates me. I can tell when people are not into my brand of sass or outspokeness or as I like to call it “sense of fucking humor.”
Listen, I work as a stand-up comedian. I’m also an author. I deserve to be cut a little slack for being a bit non conformist. I’m not weird. I’m not into any crazy voo doo I don’t even do yoga but I’m just not into thinking the way everyone else thinks on every issue. I like to think things out and listen to my own intuition.
But why aren’t more people like this? Why would I feel so alone in a place like Encino California where you’d think there’d be plenty more of my kind?
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on 4:21 am
Today was such a great day. Really different than yesterday in that Elby ate applesauce instead of mixed berries at lunch. First we woke up at 7:30 and got our diaper changed. By “our” I do mean both of us. I now wear a diaper to bed. It’s only fair. I don’t like getting up in the middle of the night to pee anymore than she would, if she was potty trained or could walk or knew what a bathroom was. Then it was off to the highchair which hasn’t been cleaned since the early 80’s. I exaggerate there for the sake of humor but it has been a long time because apparently the bacteria like it better that way. While Elby sat in her disgusting chair, I made scrambled eggs with grated mozzerella cheese. I know what you’re thinking, “that sounds really really fun and yet you sound like you’re bitching a little.” You’re right. When I think about it that way, it is really fun. After our scintillating early meal, we retired to the living room to destroy everything on the coffee table and watch Neighborhood Animals from the Baby Einstein Collection. That’s when I broke away from the good times to make a phone call. Of course idle babies are the devil’s…I don’t know where I’m going with that one…but there was some sort of incident that got me off the phone in a hurry. Then it was off to Stroller Strides where chubby post pregnant women pretend that they’ll be having sex again and that they would like to slim down. And I guess we all feel that walking once around a park and doing some lame rubberband arm stretchy thingys will melt the pounds off. After the hour of self delusion it was back home to start the coundown till naptime.
Naptime came about noon and lasted a whopping one hour at which time there was crying, followed by a slap in the face from a frustrated still tired 13 month old. Always a good time. This was followed by a very stern “NO” which was responded to by a confused tilt of the head much like a chihauha sitting in front of a tennis ball.
This is where I attempted to watch some television only to find that out of about 800 channels offered to me by my cable provider the very best thing on was Divorce Court. I had to turn the TV off just because that was even too pathetic for me. Off to the high chair again for lunch which you heard about earlier because we had applesauce. Obviously, I don’t have to tell you this was the high point of the day. The next hour kind of eludes me because I think I went into a brief coma. Then I grabbed the baby and went to a friend’s who needed some help with an hour of babysitting for her surly one year old. Two one-year-olds for an hour and a half. Luckily I think I burned off about 4,000 calories singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” so many times I lost count.
Home. Stories. Dinner. Bath. More stories. Crying (me). Bed (both of us).
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 13, 2005 6:28 am