Am I Really Clark Griswold in a Room Full of Gisele Bündchens?



I recently attended an outdoor concert. If was full of trendy twenty and thirty-somethings. They all actually sat and listened to the music. They nodded to the lyrics as if to say, “I hear you. I get that you are comparing your first kiss to Lybia.” They wore funky hats, no shoes, ate fruit, and all looked like they took yoga.

They were super hipster cool.

I am not in this demographic.

            In fact, I am rather nerdy.

No, not the I can quote all the lines from the Hobbit movies type of nerdy. I’m just not cool.

I read books, yes. But I don’t look cool doing it at my local fair trade coffee shop. I am usually at home, in bed, with my glasses on (not the large dark-framed celebrity kind), wearing an over-sized t-shirt with a bleach stain on it.

All the cool people.

All the cool people.

I too listen to music. Once again, I definitely do not look cool doing it.  At concerts, my hair is usually sweat-plastered to my face from dancing around, and I am hoarse from screaming, not singing, the lyrics. Apparently I do not listen to hip music.            Who the hell are these too-cool-for-school people and how did they get so funky fresh?

Of late, people have become ultra-hip. They recycle everything. They grow their own vegetables.  They try to locally sustain their communities. They drink microbrews from other countries. They name their children Meadow Lark and Blue Rain, and their dogs George. And they do it all with righteous beards that say, “I’m not ZZ Top, nor am I Five O’Clock Shadow. I’m in between.”

Man, I wish I was with it. At that concert, I wanted to go up to the floppy-hatted yoga guy and say something like, “Whales man. What are we going to do about the sperm whales?”

Instead, all I kept thinking was, “Put your shoes back on Bob Marley! Do you know how dirty that asphalt is? You could cut your feet.”

Yes, it’s true. I am getting older. But I was not cool when I was in my twenties. While I followed some fashion trends of the time, my clothes were always a bit “off.” I had to use a belt for over-sized pants that I was too lazy to hem or take in, or duct tape the bottom of shoe I was not quite ready to throw away.

Today this would be called “re-purposing.” Back then it was called “I don’t have enough money to buy real clothes, so I am borrowing my dad’s pants.”

Okay, so maybe I am a little trendy when it comes to “going green.” I recycle and I try to get as many uses out of a zip-loc bag as possible.

But I will never grow a beard.



Am I Really Getting Bitched Out by a Dude in a Hemp Poncho?

Ahhhh, certified organic.  So natural, so wholesome, so clean. I love it.

Let me introduce you to someone who is not so ga ga for organic. My wallet.

When I’m feeling very mother earth-like, I go gangbusters at Whole Foods. I fill the cart with kale, hormone-free beef, and soy cheese. I run my hands along the shampoo bottles scented with tee tree and jojoba oils. In the check-out line, I happily hand over my recycled grocery bags made from plastic bottles and newspapers. Then when I go to pay, my wallet looks up at me and shoots me the bird.

Holy crap that stuff is expensive!

Most of the time, I am a “mixed-bag” type of shopper. I buy store brands and I buy organic and natural items. This way, I am doing some good for my family while keeping my budget in check.

Mr. Hemp Poncho at my local grocer did not see this as appropriate shopping.

Below is a re-cap:

Me: Browsing the yogurt section, I pick up two Gogurt boxes because, a) they were on sale, and b) this is the only yogurt my daughter will eat.

Mr. Hemp Poncho:  You’re not buying those are you?

Me: (looking around disoriented) Uh, yes?

Mr. Hemp Poncho:  You know there are chemicals in them and not to mention all the hormones in the milk.

Me: Okay.

Mr. Hemp Poncho:  You should get these (handing me a yogurt box with a picture of child way too ecstatic about dairy), they are organic and much better.

Me: Oh, you know, I used to buy those, but my daughter won’t eat them because they –

Mr. Hemp Poncho: Who is the parent here?

Me: What?

Mr. Hemp Poncho:  See? That is the problem. If parents stopped buying this junk, then we would not have as many issues with our youth today.


Mr. Hemp Poncho: Parents need to start caring about their children more.

Me: Placing the Gogurts back into the display and taking the organic yogurt from him.

I felt like an Appalachian woman who had been putting Mountain Dew into her baby’s bottle.

As Hemp Poncho walked off leaving a trail of patchouli, I screamed after him (in my head), “My daughter won’t eat these you dick! I’ll spend $3.99 on this box and it will go bad in the fridge. And if you think my husband will eat this shit you are way wrong! If I come home with a sprouted wheat pizza, he’ll pack a bag and go shack up with the Hamburgler!”

Then I dropped that organic crap like a hot potato, grabbed the Gogurts, and took off with my squeaky-wheeled shopping cart.

I don’t care what anybody says, I did the right thing. I know so because SpongeBob Square Pants looked up at me from the yogurt box and winked.

What does this tree-hugging jackass think?  That all parents walk into a grocery store, look at a box and say, “Hmm, wonderful, FD&C Dye #2, 3, and 7, just what I have been looking for. Now, if they could just remove the actual food from this item that would be great so I could directly squirt the colorful chemicals and sugar right into my child’s mouth. Oh wait, never mind, there’s the aisle with the food coloring and jimmy’s.”?

I would love to feed my family only organic meals, made from scratch in my earthenware kitchen. I would relish the time to sip free trade coffee snuggled up with my un-bleached cotton throw while lighting my beeswax candles (no bees were harmed in the making). I aspire to make homemade cleansers from vinegar and lemon so as to not release toxic fumes into the atmosphere.

However, like most Americans, I am on a budget. If I did all of the above things, coffee would be the only item I would be able to feed my family since we would be broke from spending all of our money on organic sundries. We would probably lose the house since my husband and I would be too busy composting our neighbor’s trash. We would then have to make a tee pee from said un-bleached cotton throw for shelter.

Let me state for the record, I am not against the world of organic, quite the opposite in fact. However, the whole-food industry has yet to find a way to make it affordable…or at least make an organic A-1 Sauce.

A message to the radical earth lovers, please don’t judge. We are good people trying to do the best for our families. If you have a beef, don’t take it up with me (the ultra-caffeinated lady in the grocery store with boogers on her shirt and an unfortunate hair day), take that Tom’s of Maine toothpaste smile over to the FDA and the food manufactures. Demand better quality foods. Raise your picketing sign made of cow dung and Himalayan ink and insist on making organic accessible and affordable to the American people.

Just give us normal folk a break. We agree with you. We like organic, we just can’t always be perfect and make it happen every day. So let us hold hands and live together in harmony.

It’s what the free range chickens would want us to do.