So we're all taught by Boy Meets World, and Fresh Prince, and Step by Step and any other family comedy series with a nougaty center of feelings and valuable lessons that labels blow. We’re all very special and unique and thus can’t even beeee lahbellluhd.
But the word and the whole concept isn’t even worth ragging on because we’re going to use certain label-y terms with understood cultural context to describe others anyway. We can’t help but have some preconceived ideas about a person based solely on their age, where they’re from, what they do, who they date, and most importantly, how rich their parents are.
So Austin is full of stupid hippies. For a while I was one of those jerks who considered bidding on a vintage leather jacket with “Die Hippie Scum” painted on the back panel. It was EFFING RAD!... and exclusive and negative, and I’d be ashamed to wear it today. Plus it went up to, like, $700.
I had developed a badditude toward hippies during college because I felt like I was watching a snake shed its gross flaky skin as I witnessed the quick lifestyle and attitude changes of my fellow students. And not in beautiful HD, like Planet Earth; more like a “well, that was awkward” type of way.
Many friends and acquaintances from similar backgrounds and with more injudicious attitudes toward alternative lifestyles than I suddenly went all hippie once they got to Austin. And by that I mean that they began experimenting with psychedelic candy (with their parents’ money), buying hoards of organic produce at Whole Foods left to rot in our shared (and inevitably fruit-fly-infested) pantry (with their parents’ money), and collecting and manually masturbating various crystals (with their parents’ money). Sprinkled with yoga, drum circles, hair feathers, hemp jewelry, Eeyore’s birthday, more of their parents’ money…
The worst part about it was the judgmental vibes radiating my way, as one of the mind-polluted squares who just didn’t “get it.” No, I get it. My dad just didn’t work for Goldman Sachs. I can't afford Insta square-sized collections of crystals, daily yoga classes, and to lounge around in my room "painting" whatever scene from Planet Earth was on my 60'' plasma instead of going to class to get an education because I can't just live off my parents for the rest of my life.
There was also that time when I was fresh home from being tubed with IV’s for two days due to a mysterious illness, immobile on my boyfriend's bed, alone while he was in class. The most outrageous hippie stereotype was squatting with his rich-kid, newly hippie roommate, and creepily appeared in the room wanting to “heal” me, ‘cause, like, those science-y antibiotic chemicals just wouldn’t be enough.
I later found out that dudebro was actually a socialite from L.A. whose exotic hippie name was just a combination of his Jewish-American given name with an apostrophe thrown in. Example: Ben Eli becomes Be’Neli. He carried around a large particle board sign with the word “HEALER” painted across in whimsical hippie/toddler scrawl and took pictures with hot sorority girls (yikes, sorry!) before urging them to add-n-tag him on Facebook. (I’m sure now he’s all over the Instagram now--this was AGES ago.)
He always had his bright yellow folder at the ready, which contained the pitch for his REALITY SHOW, and his idea of “healing” involved running his hands over your body and placing crystals on and around you. I think his magical powers only worked on attractive women.
This was my perception of “hippies” and the reason that they were the butt of many of my jokes while living in Austin. Austin's like a domed snow globe fully of happy hippies, and when you shake it, vegan tacos, aura quartz, weed, and--I dunno--flutes fall from the sky.
Then, one day, I met a special someone who changed my mind.
Yes, she loves tie-dye, crystals, and aliens and planets or whatever, while I’m into being inside, dry cleaning, and black, like my wretched soul. But once I got past those silly little differences and got to know her, I quickly realized that this is one of the most genuine, kind-hearted ladies I will ever meet.
Maybe I had this whole crystal thing wrong; if that’s how Alexis gets her zen, I’m about to grind up and portion out some king-sized rails of blue sky fluorite or whatever.
But, let’s be honest: what I really wanted was her body. Well, like, as an immediate second to her friendship. Kind of overlapping the friendship. Whatever--we can be friends and I can still be doped-out by her hot bod.
Obviously, she does weird hippie stuff to keep her perfect hippie body in shape. You know you’re not gonna find a hippie Weight Watching or P90Xing, or in any sort of organized regimen, because that’s just not what the universe is calling for that day, mannnn. Unless it’s yoga, which might as well be called Boastful Hippie Showoff Hour.
No, you guys, she freaking HULA HOOPS! “Hooping” if you will. She even made me a custom hula hoop from scratch, because the $5 kiddie hoops from Walmart are for basic bitches and third graders.
Exercise hoops are usually weighted, meaning that you’re going to feel it in your abs after mindlessly watching the entire second season of Breaking Bad while standing in your apartment, almost naked and shoeless, spinning the water-filled tube around your waist, giving your roommate's dog the don't-you-come-closer-you-know-what-happened-last-time look. Of course, Alexis does it in public, still probably almost naked (HER BODY, GOD!), looking like the fairy nymph princess that she is, shaking a tambourine and, I dunno... braiding a unicorn’s tail.
She can even do tricks, elegantly twirling in circles, the hoop finding its way up and down her crazy hot torso and spinning from arm to arm, probably while her sexy hippie boyfriend plays one of those flutes I was talking about and a huge batik tapestry of Ganesha flutters under the shade of a large oak tree, some super seven and glittering mica throwing brilliant rainbow flashes across her perfect abs.
Meanwhile, I’m alone with Walt and Jesse in my apartment, blinds shut, just trying not to smack the dog in the face as it nervously prowels by, giving me the “I think I need to take a crap” look. It’s not super glamorous and dripping with all-natural hippie glitter unless you want it to be, but hooping WILL give you hot hippie body with none of the annoying exasperation of, say, running.
Alexis’s adorable floral hoop wouldn’t fit into my luggage as I packed for NYC, and, honestly, not having a good exercise hoop was one of the biggest bummers of moving here. You can imagine my excitement after receiving a package from Canyon Hoops, purveyors of the finest weighted hoops in the USA.
I'll note that I usually count 100 rotations before switching to a different position. Or switch at the commercial breaks. Or just say FTW and do whatever I want. Also, get a smaller, lighter dance hoop for arm exercises--it's way easier. Canyon Hoops has a ton of different kinds to choose from--even collapsable travel hoops and LED lighted hoops, OMFG! They're great, seriously. And shipping's only, like, $12 for us Americans.
As Alexis would say, "It's a revolution, y'all!"
Any fellow hoopers out there? What's your easy stoner fitness routine?