The 40s chick guide to hipsters

There are puh-lenty of new things you are going to need to navigate when you are suddenly single in your 40s. You’ve probably already figured out social media, and if you are anything like me, made your fair share of rookie mistakes.,

Beyond all that, here’s another NEW THING in town that did not exist when you and I were last single. Listen in closely friends, and I’ll share what it is.

The hipster.

Enter the current era-dating scene and you WILL
(cue Attenborough accent) …. enter the natural habitat of the hipster.


I’m not sure how to describe this to those of my era, except to relate it back to what we know, which is to say that hipsters have:

  • the hairstyle of Morrissey but lacking in the ability to feign anything but the poorest imitation of his mid 80s, brooding, veganaemic, yet absurdly compelling ‘Every day is like Sunday’ angst
  • the skinny jean reminiscent in cut of that acid-wash Faberge era, but without an acid-wash element in sight and now either black or maroon or bottle green
  • the geek glasses that we eschewed in the 80s in favour of contact lenses so that we had a better chance of seeing through pop-video style smoke machines and the haze of lets-smoke-indoors carcinogens that were entirely sanctioned in the era before we understood lung-cancer.

But they’re here, and since even the best of the true blue footy-dads are reinventing themselves as hipster, there’s a chance you might date one.

So here’s the 40s chick guide to understanding a hipster.

The outfit

The original hipster fashion vibe was the province of impoverished souls, suffering for their creativity, forced to scavenge cast offs from the local charity shops so that they could still authentically pursue their art and pay their rent.

These days, it’s a tad easier since the mainstream stores have cottoned on to this and will deck a guy out from the comfort of the high street on credit without them ever having to brave the recycled-dry-cleaner-hanger, mothball-fragranced, cash-only ambience of their local thrift shop.

And, slice off my shirtsleeves and call me vintage if the flannelette shirt of your south-eastern suburb boganista hasn’t reinvented itself as hipster chic. Lordy.

The drinks

Don’t EVER try to hit your hipster with a gutsy Barossa shiraz or a gooseberry-asparagus-nosed Marlbrough sauv blanc. No. You’ll only nail one of these bad boys down with something named to the effect of Fat Armadillo –  “an organic pear and apple cider, blended with the purest water of a World Heritage Tasmanian river, where that organic fruit has awoken daily to the melodic cheep of grain-fed free-range hens basking in the unadulterated morning suns’ rays.”

If you must cheat, whack any old cocktail into a jam jar and you are gold. Hell, even the 80s, crème-de-menthe based Grasshopper will have them smacking their Dali-moustached lips in satisfaction by the mere fact you’ve served in this era’s go-to receptacle.


The hair

I had occasion recently, in support of my younger sister’s birthday, to venture into a veritable haven of hipsters. (if it hasn’t already been coined, mark me down as having nailed the collective noun for hipsters)

For a moment, and here’s a feeling that is entirely unique to me, I felt like I had become Katy Perry (about 18 months ago) in that no matter where I looked all I could see was Russell Brand.

It was made even more disorienting that I was there in month of Movember, so that I had no idea as to whether all that facial hair was intentional or was charity-inspired.

Either-way, it was everything I could do to prevent myself screaming for my hair-dresser to help me stage a hair-washing intervention to allow everyone in the bar to shed several kilos of hair-grease and to breathe freely at some point down the track.

My tips for those dating a hipster?

  • Revel in being released from having any kind of tan in your skin. Let your pale, scone-dough skin rejoice in the knowledge that you will only ever venture out
    • under cover of darkness or
    • in opaque tights
  • Indulge in your secret desire to date a red-head, knowing that the hipster culture has now deemed the ‘ranga the height of desirability
  • Give yourself latitude on hair-washing, now that your hipster-beau is going to have either the follicular hygiene of Katy Perry’s ex, or an abundance of Trilby hats / trucker caps, any of which you can swipe to conceal your lack of hair-care-factor.

It’s all good. Give a hipster a whirl.

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

If Facebook wrote your Online Dating profile

Some days my ability to procrastinate knows no bounds and social media neatly steps in as an enabler of my worst habits of self-distraction.  My current obsession? Trying to understand the recommended advertisements that Facebook happily puts forth for me each day  The amount of times I’ve hit refresh to see new ones reeks of a poker-machine addiction in a previous life.


That clever little chap that sits in the Zuckerberg backroom crunching out little offerings for me has FINALLY got the message that I am not going to take up the offer to learn Biblical Hebrew and has started to proffer selections that are getting uncannily closer to my actual personality.

As is becoming the trend when I stare overwhelmed at my work email at the start of every day, a new and fabulous time-saving opportunity popped into my head.


Writing an online dating profile is, by definition, done at a time when you are feeling rock-bottom single and unable to describe your personality strengths in any kind of positive fashion.  This simple task is all that stands in the way of you standing out like a beacon to all the single desirables that are poised online to sweep you off your feet


….because naturally they are out there on the interwebs as they ARE NOT ANYWHERE ROUND HERE ARE THEY?

Shrill.  But moving right along….

As Facebook has started to grasp a lot about our personality and habits, why not save the couch and chardonnay time spent staring blankly at the profile screen and let FB take over for you?

Here’s what FB would write for me based on its latest recommended ads :

 Online dating topic: Drinking habits

Facebook recommendation: Belevedere Red Vodka

Interpretation: 40s chick is a social drinker –  white spirits and never anything that has Johnny, Jack or Jim in its name.

Nailed it.

Online dating profile topic: Body Shape

Facebook recommendation: One piece swimsuits on sale

 Interpretation: 40s chick is long past the age where she can pull off a bikini and is in fact one almond-croissant away from Kardashian.

Yes.  Just add sarong.

Online dating profile topic: Hobbies

Facebook recommendation: Leatherette dancing shoes

Interpretation:  Latin and ballroom dancing

No,  Facebook, No.   One hundred times, NO.  For one thing, my obsession with Street Latin dancing was sooo last year.  In fact it was about as long lived as my dalliance with triathlons (it only took me two to realise that I sucked at swimming and didn’t like cycling which narrowed down the triathlon to a light Sunday jog)    In the case of Latin dancing it was doomed at the point where my instructor asked ‘and which foot goes there?’ to which I replied ‘the middle one’.  Instructor fled and refunded pre-paid lessons.


Secondly, unless I am struck down by an screaming case of veganism that is so blindingly strict as to even extend itself to footwear, my feet will never experience fake-leather.  Leatherette even SOUNDS tacky.  Start down that path and you are one unnatural-fabric-clad tiptoe away from slipping into a pair of Crocs.


Just, No.

Online dating profile topic: Music interests

Facebook recommendation: Promo from National Country Music Awards

Interpretation:  Country and Western

 Facebook has hacked my ITunes to try to out me.  There MAY BE a LITTLE Johnny Cash in there but doesn’t everyone have a bit of that after the movie ‘Walk the Line?’  Don’t we all have a little hankering for the last time Joaquin Phoenix seemed a bit normal?

What about the 700 titles in there from Robbie Williams?  Bit off track.

Online dating profile topic: Children

Facebook recommendation: Become a Foster Carer

Interpretation:  Don’t want any but yours are OK.

 FB must have detected the distinct lack of kiddie pics, and dearth of statuses describing tremendously overachieving miniature humans, but decided that there’s still a chance that I could raise someone else’s offspring.  FB – that’s about as optimistic as the current Aussie team thinking they can win back the Ashes.

Better yet, FB has even suggested a couple of over 40s online dating websites for me to try.  Happy days!  It has even cut out the need to hit the search key by popping up a photos of potential suitors.

Never mind that the FB gods have offered up


Someone whose own photos are presumably so heinous that he’s swapped them out for outback murderer Bradley Murdoch

A nerd that didn’t make to Beauty and the Geek as even the most skilful makeover would have been for nought.

Facebook – you keep trying, and I’ll keep hitting the refresh key till we hit the jackpot.

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

Festive season dating #fail

My chemist has gone early.  I’m not talking about a lax approach to closing time or his untimely passing, but that even though we have all barely moved on from October, he’s started with the Christmas wrap.


As joyful, jolly and goodwill-to-all-men as that might be, every currently-single person knows that nothing good can come of the festive season

If nothing has pried you off the couch thus far, the concept of spending ANOTHER new years eve at risk of a sob into your champagne or another Jan 1 resolution-triggered lash at online dating certainly will.

Get one of these family Christmas greeting cards complete with gushing account of a year full of wondrous adventures and a procession of successes from over-achieving kiddies and you are going to end up on a quest to ensure that this time next year you will have some loved-up coupley soft focus offering of your own.


However, December is not the time to kick off a new relationship.  Here’s why

It’s an edgy time

The festive season is rather unfortunately placed at the end of a working year, and if you are anything like me you are barely staggering over the line.  If accumulated fatigue doesn’t make you as ratty as a red-cordial-fuelled three year old then the horror of shopping for the ever increasing list of kids that your siblings are busting out certainly will.  As the TV stations start churning out ‘the year that was’ offal in the non-ratings season, you may find that this year’s set of natural disasters offer an uncanny parallel to your love life and the recounting of achievements in cinema, science and medicine only serve to make you feel you have contributed about as much to society as Miley Cyrus.


This accumulates in an insidious fashion until the next thing you know you are shouting at the checkout attendant for having the scanner beep switched up too loud.

Not conducive to offering up a sedate and chilled vibe to a new partner.

Tis the season for fashion fails

If you attempt to hose down your inner Grinch by throwing yourself wholeheartedly into the season at hand, amongst the persusal of gingerbread houses and Griswold-esque inflatable decorations you will find you are sliding down that slippery slope of festive fashion.

The first sign is Christmas jewellery

usual suspects

Nothing resembling a biscuit should ever be worn as jewellery.  Start there and you are one Christmas carol chorus away from something like this.


If you are a little on the short side you might get whisked off by Santa to join the toy-packing crew for next year but no other red-blooded man is going to find that attractive.

Unless they are prone to a few festive fashion fails of their own.


It’s a high risk environment

The festive season involves two of the natural enemies of a fledgling relationship – booze and families.  Strike up a relationship in the first breath of December and there are some inherent hurdles. Alcohol always features in the festive season night-out and you may negotiate many of these with tremendous grace and poise, but you can guarantee that the only one where you invite your new fella is the one where you throw back one too many mojitos and rock a bad santa impression.


If you negotiate this wrinkle and get past the mid-month, then choosing to participate in your respective family Christmas gatherings is about as safe as betting on the new Karshashian kiddie growing up humble.


Gift selection becomes perilous

When you attempt gift selection at a point in your relationship where you can barely recall the colour of his eyes or how he takes his coffee, you are going to freak yourself sideways:

a)      trying to choose something and

b)      agonising over whether the two of you have gift-value parity

Don’t believe me?  An entire Big Bang Theory episode was dedicating to exploring the latter  – google the ‘Bath Item Gift Hypothesis’ if you aren’t sure. Note: at this point you’ve followed every kind of crackpot dating advice so surely taking cues from a fictional, socially-inept physicist will feel quite sane.

But hey, this year could be different, and there’s always the festive staple of mistletoe ready to trigger some smooching.

O’ come all ye faithful.   And fast!