Follows strict diet — brings own food to family dinner
  • Follows strict diet — brings own food to family dinner
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Dear Hipster:

You hipsters and your crazy food predilections are killing me. I had my sister over for the holidays. She brought her new hipster boyfriend, who won’t eat corn, milk, and (obviously) gluten. If you’re wondering how I found out about his special diet, don’t worry, like that joke about vegans at parties, he told me all about it. In fact, nary a meal passed without hearing how much “better” he feels since he “eliminated all these toxic foods” from his diet. When I host, I enjoy cooking for an army, and I relish the chance to feed my guests well. Since I had other guests (who, unlike sis’s picky eater of a BF, all dine like regular people) I didn’t change my cooking plans. The hipster BF nibbled at salads and side dishes, and he stored his own soymilk in the fridge for the admittedly delicious coffee that he brought along; but he wouldn’t eat much of what I cooked. I guess he can live just fine on organic kale chips and sorghum craft beer. My sister seems totally fine with his quirky dining habits. Why can’t you hipsters just eat regular food? It would save the rest of us a lot of trouble.

— Exasperated Sis in Bankers Hill

I think your sister is dating my cousin. Did they by chance fly down from Portland for the holiday season? Did he insist on wearing that ugly sweater with the cross-eyed reindeer on it? Did he make you his holiday vegan nog that tastes like extra-strength brandy laced with egg yolks, the faintest hint of ersatz milk, and an immoderate ration of nutmeg?

If that’s the case, then lucky you. That sweater is hilarious, and that nog would get the most recalcitrant aunts and cousins laughing. Adding a hipster or two to any family get-together is a way to improve the situation, nine times out of ten. Hipsters make fantastic bartenders, don’t mind chatting up an Eisenhower-era grandma about the good old days, and if you let them play DJ you are all but guaranteed to learn something.

Even if it’s not my cousin, maybe you ought to give sister’s boyfriend a break on this one. From what it sounds like, homeboy harmed nothing beyond your sense of propriety. It would be a different story if, say, sis coerced you into altering every menu to suit her hipster’s mercurial dietary vagaries, but passing on fettuccini Alfredo in favor of salad is the least of the holiday slights. Plus, a self-sufficient houseguest is a boon, not a burden. If I were hosting an anti-hipster who insisted on drinking only Folgers coffee and consequently supplied his own, I’d be more than happy to let him to do his admittedly disgusting thing.

You should understand that hipsters wanting you to know all about their hipster stuff (be it obscure music or a penchant for gluten-free, cornless cornbread) does not necessarily lead to hipsters wanting you to embrace their hipster stuff. In fact, quite the opposite is true. For now, your future hipster brother-in-law gets to smugly enjoy his hipster lifestyle (which might actually make him feel better), secure in the knowledge that he’s doing what’s best for him, despite the misgivings of others.

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