Nerd in Transition: Seriously, Don’t Call Me a Hippie

Share This

Nerd in Transition: Seriously, Don’t Call Me a Hippie


a blogumn by Kelly Kaboom Lett

Just because I am in transition doesn’t mean you have the right to call me a hippie. I have never purchased a Phish CD and I certainly didn’t follow the Dead. In fact when they came to Detroit and I was a teenager some friends went down to hang out in the parking lot mainly to hunt good drugs. I considered tagging along, but decided I liked acid better when listening to Lords of Acid. I’ll even admit to being callous enough to have laughed when Jerry Garcia died. Patchouli gives me a headache. One of my favorite South Park episodes is when Cartman locks a bunch of hippies in a basement. So imagine my dismay when this past week a pissy, judgemental, angry, old hippie saved Derby Dog forcing me to to thank her and hand over 40 bucks, leaving me conflicted. It only got worse when I myself was called a yoga-loving, vegan, hippie mother lookalike by a room filled with twenty year olds two days later. In order to properly tell this tale I’m going to pour myself another glass of whiskey. Goddamn hippies.

Alright a glass of Jim Beam on the rocks and a little Merle Haggard on Pandora and I’m ready to share this difficult tale of woe and ultimately, triumph. Frequently I  housesit to make a little extra cash in these tough economic times. Derby Dog goes with me to each house, happy to spend a few days with a four legged friend. Last week I had two houses to take care of, one of which is a house we are at quite often. Since I still hadn’t started my new job(oh yeah I FINALLY got a job after close to two years unemployment) I was volunteering at Boston Court Theatre, helping build the set for their upcoming production. The theatre is in Pasadena close to the house I was taking care of in Altadena. So I dropped Derby Dog off leaving her and Tulip, the house dog, in the backyard for the afternoon. The yard is fenced in, the gate closed, and I was planning to return in about four hours; so no big deal. What’s the point to a big old fenced in yard if you can’t leave your dog out back?

Apparently in this neighborhood it’s a big fucking deal. After spending the afternoon chopping wood and flirting with an attractive young man, I returned to the house a little late. Said attractive man and I went out for some dinner after working all afternoon, yes he asked for my number but has not called me yet, stupid boy. When I pulled into the driveway I noticed that the trash cans were knocked over and the contents had been rummaged through. I then noticed that the back gate was open. Heading inside I opened the backdoor and found Tulip, but no Derby Dog.

This is highly unusual. Having been rescued off the street Derby Dog has that “found dog” syndrome, meaning that she stays as close to me as possible and goes nuts when I get home. For the next two hours I walked up and down the streets calling for her, talking to neighbors and getting in strange cars who stopped to offer assistance. After yelling myself hoarse I went back to the house and settled in for little sleep. The next day I cancelled everything and set about to find my dog. First I hand wrote some flyers and put them up, I posted the news on Facebook, a friend made a flyer with her picture on it, I posted them on every pole and I visited two shelters. The shelters were the most difficult part, I cried while walking through both of them. PLEASE ADOPT FROM THE SHELTERS, SO MANY AMAZING ANIMALS.  Finally around 7:30, worn out and saddened to my core I got a phone call:

“Hi there, are you still missing your dog?” the woman said.

“God yes, do you have her?”

“No but I saw a picture on that looks like her. It says that she is at The Coffee Gallery and you should call them.”

“Thank you. I’ll check it out.”

I pulled up the blog and sure enough there was my sweet, sweet Derby without her collar. The Coffee Gallery was in Altadena and I was in  Echo Park, about 30 minutes away. I hit the door running and hauled ass all the way there. While driving I called the place and got a hold of somebody who didn’t sound at all happy to hear from me.

“Coffee Gallery.”




“If she’s your dog why did you throw her out of your car?”




From the other end came a loud grunt and then the line went dead. The bitch hung up on me. Granted I was a bit panicky at the time, but who the fuck are you to accuse me of throwing my dog out of my car and then hang up on me? That question was answered when I arrived at the place to find an aging hippie woman who almost didn’t give me my dog back. I showed her the collar and kept my cool (which is an amazing feat in and of itself just ask any Derby Doll or my parents) and asked where my dog was. After much hesitation and my retelling the story she pointed to the back and I practically ran to an old couch where my sleeping dog lied. Waking her up she gently licked my face and nuzzled into my armpit. I hugged her and handed the angry hippie $40. She took it and didn’t bother with a thank you or even a nod. NEVER ONCE DID SHE SMILE AT ME.  She just looked at me with accusatory eyes. I got up and walked out the door, Derby followed me without a leash, the way she always does.

For days afterwards I fought feelings of anger over the whole incident. I was rightly angry at the douchebag, no ASSHOLE, that stole my dog and then dumped her out of a car on a main street in Altadena. But that woman had left me greatly conflicted. True she was nothing but a cold angry bitch to me, but she had saved my dog. So I asked God to help me be grateful towards her. It has been and is an ongoing battle internally. Sometimes happy endings aren’t as clean as Hollywood makes them out to be.

Two days later I started a new acting class that I’m very excited about. I got into the room and realized that at only 32 I was the oldest one in the room. Every other student was a lovely 20-something eager to take over Hollywood. Whatever, I’m too old and have had too much fun to be intimidated by this situation. So I settled in and opened up to the process. This class is focused on getting an actor booked, so lots of marketing and how to deal with auditions. GREAT! Just what I need. The teacher held each student’s headshot up and everybody shouted out the impressions they got. Next we each had to stand in front of the group individually, smile, say our name and then sit with our back to the group. Once again the students shouted out the impression they got of each person,  this is when things got uncomfortable. Terms I am used too came at me, such as “tough” “CEO” “Smart, too smart for her own good”  “dates tough men” and so on.

But then something was said that I couldn’t digest for days. Terms like “vegan” “yoga lover” “looks like she should live in Portland” and the worst “hippie mom” came flying out. WHOA!! WHOOOOOAAA!!! Hey now, just because I have gotten too fat to wear anything other than dresses and just because I have a sun tattooed on the back of my neck does not make me a hippie. For the rest of the class I had to fight my personal indignation over these terms. I had to remind myself that if I wanted this to change then I had to get busy losing weight and out of these big flowing dresses.

The truth is it wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t had that upsetting run in with that old hippie at the coffee shop just days before. If things had gone better then maybe I wouldn’t have internalized it so negatively. Oh who I am kidding? I’ve known many hippies in my life and have liked very few of them. The music they listen to drives my mad. They eat awful food. Carry a permanent air of self righteousness. Smell like dirt drenched in oil. Wear rags and have hideous hair. Go! Move to Portland. Please leave the metropolises to those of us that love motorcycles, big cars, meat, loud guitars, and pounding bass. Just don’t take my dog with you.