Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Love/Hate Affair with Hipsters and Cupcakes

Let me introduce you to my boyfriend:

This is the most delicious cupcake I have ever eaten in my life. And I have eaten lots. I think my love of cupcakes stems from a longing for simpler times. Remember the times of elementary school birthday parties, with homemade funfetti cupcakes in cartoon character paper cups, with sloppy hand-spread frosting? Wash one of those babies down with an electric blue Huggie (which were oddly shaped like barrels, I still don’t get that) or a half pint carton of “orange drink” and that, my friends, is love in food form.

Lets fast forward about 18 years shall we, to present times. Now kids get organic apple juice and homemade granola bars for their birthday parties. People have tried to take the simplistic perfection of a cupcake and turn it into profit, adding things like vegan ingredients, just to justify charging $4 for a cupcake.

I fell victim to this scheme last weekend. We were out and about in a trendy little section of the city. All of a sudden, right in front of me, is a cupcake bakery. An entire restaurant that serves cupcakes! If they sold Miller Lite drafts, I would saddle up to this pony every night of my life!

Giddy, and a little bit turned on, I checked out the selection. Carrot cake cupcakes, mimosa cupcakes, black forest cupcakes. Where the hell were the funfetti cupcakes? The Duncan Hines chocolate frosting? The cupcakes with frosting shaped like Elmo heads with dangerous levels of food coloring? Whatev. I settled on a chocolate cupcake with a cream center and chocolate ganache frosting. It vaguely reminded me of a Hostess cupcake.

I was not impressed. The overly priced cupcake was incredibly dry and the frosting just didn’t do it for me. Never one to waste a grain of sugar, I took one for the team and finished the last bite. Nothing could cheer me up now. Until I heard the little bell on the door ding and in walked some grade-A hipsters. Bonus!

Me, trying to be hipster one time. Don't be jealous.

Now let me get one thing straight. I’m not hating on vegan, converse-wearing, indie-music loving kids. To tell you the truth, if I had to pick one stereotyped group to belong to, just for a day, it would be the hipsters. Sometimes I stare longingly at t-shirts with ironic sayings. I secretly pine for a tattoo, but fear the pain. I like to hang out at coffee shops and I’m pretty liberal. I usually end up having a crush on true hipsters. The problem is, there are so many imitation hipsters, that are really giving a bad name to the ultra-cool independent types.

So, in walks hipster chick (HC), squat little hipster boy (SLHB) and lanky awkward hipster boy (LAHB). I see the twinkle in my husband’s eye as he takes a sip of his organic free trade coffee. (My husband and I have the uncanny ability to have an entire conversation without saying a word. Before you throw up, I’m not talking about the sentimental “we’re so in tune with each others feelings,” kind of conversation. What I mean, is that we can look at a person and know exactly what each other noticed about that person right away. We can mock them, using only minuscule eye movements. One time, we judged an entire family inside of Walmart, for a full five minutes, with no words spoken between the two of us.)

SLHB orders first: I’ll have a scone and an organic birch beer.

(Oh, this is beginning magnificently.)

LAHB: I’ll have a coffee and a cinnamon roll.

(Not bad . . . )

HC: Do you have any vegan cupcakes?

(A smirk in the general direction of my husband. This is just so predictable.)

Cupcake lady: No, sorry. We just sold out of the vegan cupcakes.

HC: Ok well I’ll take a cream-filled chocolate cupcake then. And a diet coke.

Nothing is more glorious than the selective vegan. Those people that order the organic/vegan/free range whatever just because it sounds cool. But when it comes down to it, they will settle for something that is loaded with eggs, milk and a million other ingredients that were shamelessly stolen from animals. And I’m sure that diet Coke is loaded with all-natural ingredients. We continued to sip our coffee in glee as we listened to the rest of their conversation, the highlights of which include salvation army shopping, comparing skinny leg jeans and hating all things mainstream. Yawn.

About a year ago, I tried to be a vegan. I found a flyer from PETA, checked out their website and was disheartened when I learned about all the cruel ways that animals are treated. For two solid weeks, I had no animal products. Then, my sister in law grilled a steak, I caved in and have never looked back. Maybe some day I will try it again. I greatly respect those that are dedicated vegetarians and vegans. I am ashamed that I am not disciplined enough to succeed at it. But when you make a big show of shoving your ultra-cool veganism in the face of everyone else but don’t actually stick to your guns, I am going to laugh at you.

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