16 ways to tell you grew up in a hipster home

1. The family pets all have names with literary references. This includes the guinea pig Marcel (after Proust) and the cat (named after a character in an Allende novel).

2. Your father has had facial hair for like, forever. And this is cool facial hair, not the "Weirdo in Sandals" brand of beard. We're talking hyper subversive stubble here, not rapist whiskers.

3. When you were growing up you were strictly forbidden to dye your hair, but your mother was more than happy to help you henna it.

4. Everything in your house used to be something else.

5. Most of the light fittings used to hang outside a shop. (See above)

6. A typical fun filled family day out is a trip to a thrift store. This is also where your mother does her clothes shopping.

7. Every single conversation with your parents (on any subject) will end up with one of them ranting about climate change.

8. All of your parents friends have really strange jobs.

9. This also goes for your parents. You never know quite what they are doing as they like to launch new ventures on a regular basis. Plus, as a journalist, your mother likes to write about them. On more than one occasion you’ve opened a magazine in the doctor’s waiting room to see yourself and your siblings staring out from the page as part of a feature about working from home or eating sugar free, (aka hipster family living).Your mum doesn't just do "Not having a 9 to 5 job" brand of hipster, she also does the "Fresh line caught mackerel" hipster.

10. You and your siblings have ‘different’ names. Okay, you’re not up there with the A listers and none of you are called Apple or Elm but then again, no-one else in your class has a younger brother named after Maxim de Winter.

11. Coming home from school to find your parents butchering a pig (organically reared and rare breed, of course) on the kitchen table is par for the course.

12. There is never any junk food in the house.

13. This also means that there is never anything to snack on, despite the fact that the fridge is always full. Unfortunately it is full of organic vegetables and free range eggs. And not much else.

14. As a result you and your siblings steal (and hide) the fair trade dark cooking chocolate. Your mother wonders why there is never any Green and Black's to be had when she wants a square with her ethically produced Peruvian coffee. Your boyfriend (himself the product of hipster parents), totally relates to this as he and his brother have been doing this ever since they first hit puberty and realised that teenage boys cannot survive on cherry tomatoes alone.

15. Hipster dads can't just wear boring normal man shoes. Footwear must be "interesting" Nikes or Peruvian goat skin slippers. Your father is conforming to type by currently sporting fluorescent yellow Nikes and your mother isn't much better either.

16. And last but not least, your parents were not so only insufferably avant garde that THEY created your FB account for you (well before it became mainstream); they are also avid social media users and spend their time blogging about all the things they keep making out of disused pallets and driftwood.
Now they're on Ello and worst of all, your mother has Snapchat.....

I loved your list Martha. Really evocative of a certain era too. x

I am glad you do not mind my adding another list, Catherine. "Amazing"? Sometimes. Really, it was one of many lifestyles for that place and that time, and not so rare. Only when I started travelling the world did I learn how unusual it sounded to other people.

Your hipster lifestyle sounds much healthier for the young ones, to be sure!

That is brilliant Martha. Sounds like an amazing childhood!

A generation or two earlier,:how to tell you grew up in a liberated, post-Summer of Love, California home:

1) Your parents introduced you to alcohol, marijuana -- and maybe more - before your friends did.

2) Your brother marries your ex-step-sister, and everyone, including all of your parents' ex-spouses and all of your half-siblings, step-siblings and ex-step-siblings, comes to the wedding and has a blast.

3) Your mother's newest lover is the mechanic on her race boat team.

4) You meet your newest half-sibling when your father brings him "Trick-or-Treating" to the door on Hallowe'en.

5) You never know what new acquaintance will be sleeping on the sofa or in someone's bedroom, when you come downstairs in the morning, and learn to just shout out "How many coffees?!" when you go into the kitchen and count the responses coming from all over the house.

6) Life in your house is one big party but many of your friends' parents will not allow them to stay the night (they sneak over anyway because your house is "always so cool".)

7) Occasionally, all the adults take off for some adventure or other -- a bike trip to Palm Springs, the race boat circuit, to try out some newly discovered hot springs in Nevada -- and they leave you and your young siblings alone for a few weeks. This is illegal and you all know to say nothing at school and, when you go to the market and run up the bill buying nothing but sweets, to tell the kindly staff that your mother is at home preparing yet another birthday party. In spite of a few night terrors, you love these times of total neglect and manage not to burn the house down.

8) Your father is seeking Truth & Light and takes you to a different house of worship every week or so, then goes to live on an ashram, then gives up on the spiritual and buys a big house with a great view of the stars, which will have to do.

9) You grew up knowing that the coolest way to get drunk was to pour wine on hot sauna rocks and absorb it through your pores. (Apparently that is in fashion again!)

10) When the local sheriff gets drunk and tells everyone in the bar he is after your brother for dealing drugs, and people warn your mother, her reaction is to hide all of his stash and paraphernalia in one of her boats in the marina for him.

And lastly:

11) You and your siblings grow up to be incredibly stable and ordinary, but when there are family gatherings, your children can't get over the stories.

Ye, but we were clearly doing it behind THEIR backs, whoever they are. Then they discovered us, better late than never or something ridiculous like that. They were running out of ideas, saw the hipsters there and then got into them without realising that people had spent years at jumble sales, flea markets, vide greniers and such places because we were all broke and could have gone as low as buying second hand food we were mostly so poor. Suddenly it is cool, but will any of the bar stewards buy the cool collectibles off us at vastly inflated prices. If they were alive, I would happily have chucked in my authentic parents!

Love the sound of your family Brian :)

The whole hipster thing makes me laugh. A lot. We are just doing what we have always done but suddenly we are uber cool ? And don't get me started on the "hipster bike" thing - a bike is a bike...!

Oh I'm a hipster all right, I've even got the beard & the beanie hat ;-)

I think they are all hipsters and too ashamed to confess. 24 hours and nairy a further comment. See! Bet they are all hiding anything with Peru labels on it in case the SFN secret police knock on their doors and say that wonderfully hipster 'Hiiiiiiiii' that ends just after the dog has gone to hide with paws over his ears, when we will delve into all those hipster hiding places like under the IKEA futon bought in '82 to find them....


Now that we have had your household run-down Catharine and we certainly knew your furniture used to be something else originally - namely palettes.

For my part, I come from a perfectly normal family where everybody hit each other, my sister was kept in the coal bunker, my mother scrubbed floors instead of going to bed and my father was a builder - now that last one is really normal! It meant everything in the house was made of bricks, the toilet was a bit uncomfortable and the brick bath leaked a bit. But then we only had baths when visitors came except that they were discouraged by the 16 untrained bulldogs who lived in the garden under the scrap metal and ancient cars.

I bet lots of other people were just as normal. Hipsters, phooey!