I'm not sure why you'd actually want to know how to pick up a young hipster woman. We're all too-skinny obnoxious know-it-alls who sneer at you for listening to last year's Billboard Charts topper (unless it's Lady Gaga, of course). Maybe you like the masochism, I don't know. Maybe you have a tattoo fetish. Maybe going to rock shows and eating all-organic locally sourced beef and/or vegan meals found in dumpsters is cheaper than that new Ferrari you'd otherwise get in your quarter or mid-life crisis. Maybe you've been reading the collected works of Mystery the Pickup Artist and want to expand your repertoire (in which case, stop; there's a strong chance you shouldn't be dating any girls, anywhere, ever). Maybe you're a slightly nerdy boy in a low-fi surf rock band who loves to bake his own pies but is too desperately shy to work up the nerve to talk to the gorgeous brunette with half her head shaved and a tattoo of some Joy Division lyrics on her thigh (in which case, you're adorable, email me). Whatever your reason, it's obvious you're going to need some help. Because I've seen you doing it wrong.
Here's the big secret about dating hipster girls: we're just the same as everyone else, only cuter, better dressed, and know way more about music and pop culture than you do. But in the end we're still looking for the same thing everybody else is: someone who's cute, smart, funny, won't be too much of a jerk and is at least familiar with the discography of Matt and Kim.
So lose the keffiyeh (you look like an idiot and no one's worn those for three or twenty-three years), put down the Monster energy drink, stop asking people if they like Arcade Fire, and listen to me.
Step one: Come to us.
I don't know where you live and, frankly, I don't care. Unless it would make a good crash pad because it's around the corner from our favorite dive bar that serves those frito pies we always end up craving at 4 a.m., nobody's going to care. Come to us. We're very busy! There's band practice on Tuesdays and Sundays; graphic novel book club every other Friday; kickball league on Wednesday nights; rehearsal for our new performance art/dance troupe that still doesn't have a name on Thursdays; our volunteer shift at the rooftop farm is every third Monday; and sure, our bike gang may not go on rides again until next summer but that doesn't mean we're not going to get drinks together every Saturday afternoon and plan for it. We just don't have time to venture outside of the the 3.5 neighborhoods where all this stuff is happening, let alone to come and meet you in a bar in midtown. Instead, make the trek to our neighborhoods. Join the clubs we're in. It might even give you something to talk to us about.
Step Two: Yes, just talk to us.
We may look judgmental, but mostly that's just our eye makeup running a little and making us squint. Really, we're quite nice. It's okay if you don't have as many tattoos as we do, or can't quite muster up enough testosterone to grow a full beard. There's an 80 percent chance our last boyfriend was a starving artist who moved into our place after two weeks of dating because the art studio where he'd been crashing didn't actually have a bathroom aside from the shared one down the hall, and we just had to kick him out after discovering that not only did things like "paying rent" stiffle his creative spirit but so did that hassle called "fidelity," as we found out thanks to that blond skank he went home with from Union Pool. Who gave him bed bugs.
We're might not break our facade of cool to come over and talk to you, but chances are if you offer to buy us a drink we'll take you up on it (let's be real: we're living off our credit cards, don't have health insurance and are drinking here because they sell PBR & a whiskey shot for $3. Of course we will take you up on it). We probably have a lot to talk about-we too may harbor an unhealthy obsession with "Jersey Shore," like the latest Ke$ha song, or be equally fascinated by Insane Clown Posse. My friend Jesse says, "the biggest difference between trying to pick up a 'hipster girl' and J-Woww is most hipster girls will value commonality much more than your average girl. They have had a life of feeling disillusioned and outcast from others and want to feel like they have a friend in this dark, cold universe. If you feel there is a strong chance her favorite movie is Harold and Maude, just like yours, bring it up ASAP."
So: you like bikes? Mention that the fixed gear bike we parked outside is kinda sexy. Happen to think our faded Slayer t-shirt is awesome? Well then, say so. Tell us you like our tattoos, although be careful with that one. As my friend Jackie warns (whose tattoos are admittedly pretty awesome): "Do not under any circumstances refer to my tattoos as 'tats' or 'ink.' That just sounds douchey. A line like
'I really like your work, who did it?' can work quite nicely, and is most effective if you actually know some artists and/or shops. But!" she added, "no touching the tattoos, they are not 3-D and you are not invited to put your hands on me… no matter how cute you are…. That will have to wait."
Step Three: Don't be creepy.
This one especially goes out to that dude last Friday night who thought it was hilarious to keep asking if we had nipple piercings, that guy who "jokingly" said it looked like we were wearing our dead grandmother's jacket and then tried to get our number, and especially the dude who hands out those "Karaoke Wizard" business cards around the Lorimer stop and then systematically hits on every single Asian girl in the bar regardless of whether or not she is there with her boyfriend.
Stop it. You're creeps. This is creepy. And negging doesn't work. There is a reason none of these techniques are working, and it's because you're transparently a douchebag. Also, we have self-esteem! We have enough to worry about at the moment-we have about $20 in our bank account, didn't sleep well last night because our downstairs neighbor was holding a pop-punk showcase that went until 4 a.m. and we're rushing to finish making enough necklaces to sell at the flea market this weekend. The last thing we want to worry about is whether or not some random creep (you) is going to try to roofie our drinks. Talk to us like a normal person, make us laugh, that's all great. But it's not endearing to make fun of our shoes. It took us an hour to get our hair to look this good-we don't want to have to run home and shower just to wash your sliminess off us.
Step Four: Bone up on pop culture.
You don't need to don skin-tight acid-washed jeans or try to pull off that southwestern poncho. You don't have to love Best Coast or Dan Deacon. But please. Loose the baggy blue jeans with the tattered bottoms. Toss the trucker hat. Expand your itunes beyond U2 and Coldplay. That's the great thing about the Internet-you can listen to music, read about fashion, find out what you like and update your life a little. Because after a certain point, sporting something like a goatee isn't just you being adorably nerdy. It's you being so out of touch with current culture people will start to worry a sociopath.
Step Five: It's not called flakiness, it's called letting your plans evolve.
The last time anybody I know made and stuck to solid plans was somewhere around the spring of 1989, when no one but yuppies in the movies carried cell phones, because they were still the size of bricks. We're not flaky, it's just that often times something better comes up. Sure, on a Monday afternoon it sounds like a great idea to go see the new 3D Wes Craven movie with you this weekend. But on Saturday afternoon we all of a sudden remember our friend's art opening is that night and then Sarah texts about this loft party where the guy from our favorite band Slaughtered Twin's new side project Half Absorbed Twin Fetus is playing their first ever show, and, well, we're not going to miss that.
But you know what will impress us? If you can keep up as we hop from that matinee Todd P show to our friend's zine launch party to fried chicken dinner to a couple of bars and then dancing until 4 a.m. at our friend's DJ night. Or better yet-come up with something more fun to do and we might just follow you anywhere. Pop-up art party in the back of rented U-Haul trucks in Bushwick? Birthday party with a boxing ring and a slip 'n' slide? We're up for it. Sure, the traditional dinner and a movie date might be dead, but it's been replaced by something better-making each night into an epic quest to have the time of your life.
On a related note, sorry about not returning your phone call. Next time text, email, IM, Facebook or direct-message at us. We'll probably respond in a few minutes, instead of the week it took us to realize you'd left us a voicemail.
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Photo by Jon Gos from Flickr.