Here are some truths about me that seem to support my kids’ perception about what I am. Wait for it …
I follow the three R’s of being green: reduce, reuse, recycle. I have recycled my entire life ever since Oregon passed the very first Bottle Bill in 1971. I’ve used my own cloth grocery bags since 1990, when I got strange looks from the baggers at the grocery store. I donate things we no longer use.
I eat primarily organic food, except for Red Vines, which I find delicious. And I buy in large quantities to cut down on packaging waste, again except for Red Vines, because I will eat the entire Costco-sized container in matter of hours, as I have no self control and I find them delicious.
I conserve energy, use green cleaning products, soaps and detergents in post-consumer waste containers, and I don’t use disposable plates, cups and utensils in my home. I’m thinking about carrying my own Swiss Army-like spork/knife combo to avoid having to use plastic ever. Let’s face it. Who really wants to eat with plastic?
I remove myself from junk mail and catalog lists with an awesome app called PaperKarma and recycle what does end up in my mailbox. The papers that come out of my printer nearly always have some sort of random information on the other side.
And because I care about the environment and do these things to make a difference in our health and our world, my boys call me a hippie.
A hippie? Hello? Have you met me?
I have told them repeatedly, “I’m not a hippie. I’m just from Oregon.” (I’m working on trademarking that. I’m going to make a fortune in T-shirts and gift items!)
I know about hippies. Besides the San Francisco area, Eugene was the mecca of hippies in the ’70s. Oh, who am I kidding? It still is. Go to the Saturday Market downtown and see the old and young mixed together, selling their wares, the scent of patchouli filling the air.
I have nothing against hippies. Some of my favorite teachers were hippies. I have close friends who identify themselves as hippies. But me, a hippie?
I am not a flower child or the offspring of flower children. In fact, I’m probably allergic to said flowers.
I don’t wear Birkenstocks or tie-dye or flowing skirts. I can’t even carry off the current hippie chic look. I don’t listen to The Grateful Dead or Bob Dylan unless Justin Timberlake has done a cover of one of their songs.
I have never lived on a commune, unless you count my sorority house in college. I do not drive a psychedelic colored VW Bug. The Tiguana is a nice conservative silver. I have never used hallucinogens to achieve a higher state of awareness. I’m quite happy in this state.
I don’t typically question authority, and I am a product of the ’80s materialistic, consumer era. Politically I straddle that center line, but counterculture is not a word anyone would use in the same sentence with my name.
I don’t think my boys have met any actual hippies, so they really don’t have any base of comparison. I’m not sure if they’ve conceived some idea of a hippie based on something they saw on TV or if there is some modified new millennium definition they’re working with, but how they came to call me a hippie still of baffles me.
If I had to guess, I would postulate it’s because I force them to recycle. Or that I refuse to buy them things to eat that are “full of crap” because I love them too much to allow them to fill their bodies with empty calories, carcinogens and chemicals. Perhaps it’s my objection to the glorification of violence in movies, games and TV or making them give me the guns from Playmobile and Lego sets when they were little because I couldn’t stand the sight of them playing with firearms.
Whatever it is, I stand firm and reiterate: I am not a hippie. I’m just from Oregon.
Linda Stamper Boyne, of Edwards, can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘I’m just an old hippie. You know, peace and love.’