The New Hippie

I dropped off my daughters at the clothing store.  You know the one – where most things are under $20 so that you don’t feel like you’ve wasted too much money when it rips, shrinks, tears, fades or unravels in just a couple of months but you can walk out with more than one thing, using a $25 gift card. The place where I’m supposed to feel a certain age forever!

Then they went one way with a friend to introduce her to Chipotle. I went the other to introduce my stomach to some broccoli-cheese soup at Panera. If the truth be told, I just didn’t want to hear three teenagers talking about teenager-y stuff. So we parted company temporarily to meet up after a late lunch.

As I sat in a somewhat middle-age type restaurant (right?!), ordering soup to keep my bones warm and wondering when I would start drinking coffee all day long like the elderly at Denny’s or Marie Callender’s or HomeTown Buffet, three girls came in…late teens or early twenties, I guess, in t-shirts and jeans, ankle bracelets and cheap tennies. One girl with bright copper-colored hair sported a white t-shirt with the sleeve rolled up showing a tattoo of some woman. (I didn’t want to stare long enough to identify what woman might be worthy of being on another woman’s bicep.) might be thinking I’m a middle-aged fart who just doesn’t understand young people. The same thing I thought about my parents.  And you might be right.  But I like tattoos! I like nose rings, brow rings and all that! Sometimes I think I should have been born later, where being “with child” doesn’t mean I try to hide it beneath a flowing dress; it means nothing is wrong with my body – I’m just pregnant and spandex is always my comfortable, stretchy friend.

But something turns me off about the Forever 21 crowd, the H&M store, the Hurley brand and “DC” crap.

While eating my soup and facing three of today’s youth, I thought, “maybe they’re the new hippie.” You know history repeats itself. But it hasn’t quite repeated the iconic 60’s, has it? It has taken a turn, somehow, into an urban mashup of non-matching, cheap clothes as freedom of choice.  Are pajama bottoms at school “fashion” or laziness?  Is it the new hippie or just our throwaway culture? Does it purvey freedom or lack of respect ?

Who are these people?  And what have they done with good taste?

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