Thursday, August 16, 2012

Have You Ever...

It’s no secret that I’ve never been shy. I genuinely dig meeting all different types of people and it’s always been that way. We’re an interesting breed and the more we can learn from each other, the better.

Within me lies a need to always reach out and communicate with others (I think I get that from my mother—her Midwestern roots give her the brazenness to say whatever is in that head of hers, and for the most part, she does.)

So it’s no surprise that when we moved from one house to another in the same town, it was my mission to get to know the neighbors. And I did. One sunny afternoon I toiled away with my crayons and construction paper creating what I deemed art work. Upon completion, I took my wares on the road. Literally.

With my masterpieces under my arm I was ready to conquer the world. I left the house shouting after me: Bye mom, off to sell my art! And that was that. I was gonna meet the neighbors and make some money.

I went door to door, rang the bell, and each time someone answered the door they looked out and then realized I was…down. Probably wondering if they should call the cops, they listened to my shpeel: Hi! I’m Margaret Kelliher. I just moved to 12 Tack Street. My parents are Colin and Adrienne, and my sister is named Hannah. Nice to meet you! Would you like to buy some artwork? (Kill ‘em with cuteness, I figured. Who’s not gonna buy shit from a 2 foot tall blonde kid?) This lasted about 1 ½ - 2 hours; with an extra .26 to my name I was ready for some r&r and hard earned cookies.

I should let you know that the day before in my kindergarten class we learned how to call the cops in case of emergency. It was 631.1212. Pre 911 shit, yo. I have an uncanny ability to remember phone numbers, and I think this was the start to it. Ok. Got that? Good.

I strut back to my new house with some brass in my pocket, art work sold. I get back and yelled out to my mother: Mom! I’m home! I sold all my art! No response. I didn’t hear her voice or her foot steps…Mom? MOM?? I began to panic running from room to room, and realized that I was alone. In a new house. My mom had left me. Flipping my shit, I ran to the phone and of course dialed the only number I knew: the cops. I fucking called the cops on my mom, citing that I’d been abandoned and I’ve never been home alone before. I was told to wait outside for the police to show up.

I ran outside, waiting in front of my house. A cop showed up on a motorcycle and was asking me questions when all of a sudden my mother’s gold Mercury Sable wagon comes screeching down the street. She throws the door open freaking out screaming: MY BABY! MY BABY! flkJ OFIWEJFOH WEIOfh.

Turns out, she didn’t hear me shout that I was going to sell my artwork. So she tries to find me and realizes that I’ve either a)flown the coop (which could have been a reality--I did do it once before at an even younger age; she was gardening and had me next to her in our yard, when I decided to make a break for it and wound up in the middle of an intersection being held by a woman who stopped her car for me. I was then tied to the tree from then on out.) or b) I got snatched. She did the only reasonable thing she could think of to do which was tear around the surrounding areas: the beach, the main streets….which is when I decided to return home.

At the end of the day, the cop left, my mom returned and I made some money. Win win all around.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Species Study. Part One.

The term hipster has become relatively mainstream, but it should be noted that its primary origin (I believe) to be in the borough of Brooklyn. Its numbers  have multiplied so much so that there is a site devoted to the absurdity of this group. It is hysterical, and a tad spiteful...but but so spot on. I didn’t realize it was more than a fashion statement until I moved back here and witnessed it first hand.

Upon initially moving back to the city, I was afforded a very unique experience: I was a wall flower, a voyeur. I went to different neighborhoods, walked around, ordered food at the bar and enjoyed truly amazing experiences unfolding before my eyes.

One such night I stopped into a lovely local boite (I.couldn’ to enjoy a crisp beer with a childhood favorite: grilled cheese. Happily immersed in my caloric binge, a dude sat himself down beside me and ordered 3 neat whiskeys and a rolling rock. Seriously? All at once, dude? Sure, whatever. As soon as his neat-shmeat bullshit was delivered, the can of rolling rock cracked open, he drew from his Freitag messenger bag a book about 3 inches thick with a title on the spine boldly claiming its name: Existence. What the fuck? I looked around me, seeing if anyone else was laughing, or paying attention. I was silently shaking, and the people around me just kept on living their lives—but all I got was crickets! What the fuck! I promptly texted a friend in Boston who was quick to respond: Strike up a conversation. Tell him you train iguanas. Hipsters love that shit. I openly howled at this bar, by myself unable to contain my laughter. She was spot on, but due to such incredible comedic timing, I made an ass of myself. Eh, I didn’t care that much, as I ordered one last beer to continue observing.

Another evening, I ventured to another spot by my apartment. The bartenders were friendly and welcoming, and I felt like I’d found my spot, you know, like, the Cheers cliché. Next thing I know I’m witnessing what I think may be a first date. Guy: So, what exactly do you do? Girl: I’m a poet. (She said this dead serious.) Guy (a little bewildered): like, for a job? That’s how you make money? Girl: Yes. Guy: Uh, ok, like what’s one of your poems? Girl: Life. Grey. Your eyes: Grey. Your shirt: Grey.

I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

I think the reason I find these exchanges so fascinating and truly comedic is that this new strain of speices take themselves so goddamn seriously. They are the equivalent of Boston Yuppies, but with a disdain for polo shirts and a love for plaid. It’s as if they never stayed in on New Year’s Eve watching the Three Stooges. They seemingly were out creating woven quilts with frozen blades of grass only to watch it melt away with the dawn of the new day, sun—whatever the fuck it is they did as kids on New Year’s Eve.

So I’m enjoying my meal, chatting with the bartenders and the poet up and leaves her conversation only to come back gleefully 35 minutes later with a tattoo on her wrist in American Typewriter font with the German words: Seig Nein. Which I don’t even think is grammatically correct. She left the date to get a tattoo.

These instances happen all over the place, everywhere you turn when you live and hang out in Brooklyn. It’s rich with metallic hued Doc Martens, men sporting loose striped tank tops (which is a fad that men should NEVER under any circumstances participate in, yet all too frequently they do) and everything is local. I got an overwhelming urge to shove a snickers bar into the porcelain face of a 20 something as she was eating a bag of kale chips while riding the F the other day.

Hipsters (or almost neo-hipsters, actually) even compete differently. At a dive bar in Williamsburg with the words Country Club in the title, a group of intellectuals were circled together drinking PBR’s on a grimy run down mini-golf course in the back (it’s too much, I know) singing happy birthday to their friend. Not to be out done, another cluster NOT sitting on the fake grass closer to the bar entrance in plastic lawn chairs started singing happy birthday seconds after the first group, only louder and with a trace of snarky elitism gleaming in their eyes.

It was a new age Jets and Sharks rivalry, but with thick rimmed glasses and opinions regarding the latest documentaries.

Make no mistake, I am part of this weird mix of people, but have enough sense to realize I’m a fucking moron. Hopefully they’ll catch on as well, but in the mean time, I’ll continue watching this interesting breed and be sure not to laugh too loud.