This is hard for me to talk about.
I lived for 2 years in Brattleboro, Vermont. In the woods.
Now, before my East-ward adventure, I had prided myself on being sartorially authentic. My style was original, my apparel inimitable, my influences well-researched and varied. My vintage was actually vintage. I spent hours at the Goodwill Bins, and my look was inspired by cast-offs that charities could not even find it in their hearts to take. I confused a lot of people, but good art is like that: confusing. I got a lot of pleasure out of blurring the line in people’s minds between cutting edge and legally blind.
So, when I got to Vermont, I was somewhat perplexed. There was no…shopping. One could not simply go to the Bins and procure an ensemble for $1.29 per pound; in fact, one could not simply go anywhere. If one were in possession of a little extra money, one was expected to spend it on handmade crafts by local artisans, or maple syrup, or autumnal foliage, or whatever. Textbooks? I don’t know. I studied zines. Anyway. Point is, I was used to a full wardrobe rotation on a weekly basis, and about a month into the semester I’d completely tapped out the paltry offerings of the local thrift store.
I was desperate. The circumstances were foreign and bizarre. I did something that could never be undone.
I received, in my MacMail Inbox, a free shipping offer from Urban Outfitters. Yes, they had my email address. Yes, I had ordered clothing from them once or twice before. But this time, it went beyond the discounted underwear and quirky accessories that had tempted me in the past. I answered the call of Pre-Fabricated Hipsters everywhere, ordered several, pre-fabricated hipster outfits, and when I was asked where I had gotten them, I lied.