I met a lady today while I was out grocery shopping. We could have been twins, tromping around Walmart with our babies strapped to our chests; matching gray cardigans and ballet flats, glasses and bangs. She stopped me in the dairy section and asked about my baby wrap; I eagerly exchanged information with my long lost sister but then I noticed she had a cart full of organic goat’s milk.
Oh snap! In an instant I went from awesome to awkward and strangely insecure. Hipster mom had goat’s milk. GOAT’S MILK, for Pete’s sake.
My shoes were scuffed.
My baby wrap didn’t have buckles.
My sleeve was caked in spit-up.
My kid was barefoot.
And my arms felt fat.
She wore a headband made of alpaca wool she probably soaked in her own urine and then hand wove to fit her head just so. Her baby had matching booties that were actually on her feet by some miracle of God. I bet hipster mom never used disposable diapers on long outings, or formula when her baby was hungry in public. In fact, she probably could breastfeed while strolling the aisles, grocery shopping like it ain’t no thing.
Hipster mom was everywhere. I hoped she didn’t think I was stalking her. Did she notice I cut my own hair? (Who am I kidding? Everyone notices. Bangs: almost always a mistake.) I wanted to tell her I could bake my own bread, and once I sewed baby leggings with my nimble gnarly man hands.
Of course she pulled up behind me at the checkout stand. What would she think about my Capt’n Crunch, Great Value refrigerator biscuits, and all the NOTHING WHATSOEVER ORGANIC that I had in my cart? I wanted to buy a Sprite but worried she might disapprove. I wanted to check my text messages but then I thought maybe I should teach my baby Portuguese or some junk while I was waiting for my turn to pay.
I was hot and sweaty and self conscious while hipster mom just smiled all sweet and judgementally behind me in the line.
I’m kidding. She wasn’t judging me. She was probably thinking about the 600 square foot tiny house she and her husband were building out of recycled wine bottles they found while backpacking through South America in their ironic tshirts and unnecessary scarves.
Guess who happened to be parked right next to me? She breezed through loading her trunk with her baby snugly buckled in her carrier, while I was one-handing 80-pound plastic bags full of genetically-modified everything into my backseat, Arbor going crazy ape in my right arm. I almost couldn’t stand my own inadequacy.
Until I realized that hipster moms wouldn’t be caught dead at a super Walmart. I calmed down, and she zoomed off into distance….
…leaving her shopping cart rolling around in the empty parking spot in front of me.