I have no edge.
I imagine this comes as to no surprise to you, dear readers. I mean, I'm an Ivy League graduate with a steady job who lives in a good neighborhood. I exercise everyday. I drink in moderation, and I've never done drugs. Except for extenuating circumstances usually involving me having to be at work before 6:00 in the morning, I don't even drink caffeine. I floss. I always use condoms (forgive me, family members, if that was too much information). And wasn't I just, in the last post on this space, talking about shopping at Ann Taylor?
I do eat way too much sugar, but that's probably my only vice.
I think my parents had edge. They were both artists in their day; my mother a jazz singer and my father a poet. An inter-racial couple, they got married in the 1960's, when such unions were more harshly judged, and had biracial children. However, by the time I became a coherent person, my family had settled into a fairly typical suburban existence. Currently, my mother is retired and lives in Hawaii. Fabulous to be sure, but hardly edgy. My father is a personal trainer in Gig Harbor, Washington. He teaches a relatively new exercise method, but again, not exactly edgy.
Honestly, I've never deluded myself into believing I have much of an edge. However, I have been confronted with the reality that I truly have no edge. Allow me to explain. After going to my friend Beth's book reading last week, I was overcome with guilt that I have never read any of her books. So I bought three of the four, and this week, I read Everybody Into the Pool, Beth's witty 2005 memoir. Here's what I learned. Like me, Beth has never had much interest in drugs (actually, I knew this already). But while she and I both had relatively quiet suburban childhoods, and while I believe my parents might trump hers on edge factor... Let's just say that not only does Beth have significantly more edge than me, but compared to her, I'm downright square.
At this point you're probably wondering why I care.
Well, even though I've never had much of an edge, per se, I've always considered myself quite hip. Yes, I have that steady job, but it's in a very interesting field and involves me being a performer, of sorts. And for the first four years I lived in San Francisco, I only worked part time. I had health insurance through my performers union, but there was no 401K plan in my world back then. Oh, yes, I was really teetering on the brink there.
Plus, I used to be an actor. And I wasn't a boring, successful commercial actor or a community theatre thespian emoting my way through yet another performance of Our Town in an air conditioned suburban auditorium. Please. The plays I did were staged in city basements and black box spaces, and most of them were new or relatively new scripts. Few of those scripts were particularly edgy, but several of them were really bad. That's got to count for something.
I'm also a huge music fan, and even at 38 years old, I enjoy seeing local and indie bands in small clubs far more than big name performers in equally large amphitheatres. In fact, it's been years since I patronized a live music venue bigger than the Warfield. But then, I also enjoy karaoke, which even I must admit undermines the hip factor of my music passion. However, that brings me to the next topic: I sing. I don't happen to think I sing all that well, but lots of other people, including complete strangers, insist on telling me otherwise. So I suppose I'll believe them. However, I don't write my own songs (yet... but that's a topic for another post); so most of what I sing is 60's and early 80's pop music. But whatever.
The bottom line is this: the lack of edge has shaken my confidence in my hip quotient.
Ah, well. I soldier on. After work last night, your possibly only marginally hip heroine headed to a restaurant in Russian Hill. My friend Kurt had invited me to join him and some of his friends for dinner there. Even though I had to arrive late and didn't know anyone other than Kurt, whom I don't even know all that well, I was going to wow them all with my charm and vivaciousness. New friends are always a good thing, right? Well, I would have done exactly that, except when I got to the restaurant, no one was there. A call to Kurt revealed the dinner had effectively been canceled when the organizer caught the flu. Kurt had shown up earlier in the evening, but no one else had; so he went back home.
Undaunted, I quickly activated plan B, which was to bar hop with Carolyn and her sister as they scoped out potential locations for Carolyn's 30th birthday party next month. We went from that Black Voodoo Magic place on Van Ness and Lombard (which, for the record, has a good juke box) to Mars Bar on Brannan to a brief stop at the Last Supper Club (it was closed when we got there) to the Latin American Club. Carolyn wasn't actually considering the Latin American Club for her birthday; that was my idea just because I like that bar.
Cocktails were poured, brilliance was displayed, and our banter was deemed very entertaining by at least one of our cab drivers.
So I suppose, when all is said and done, hip is in the eye of the beholder. At least that's what I told myself this afternoon as I scheduled an eyebrow wax appointment for Monday morning and made a mental note that I can't forget my upcoming facial in three weeks.