Yesterday I made a claim which I must now amend. I asserted that male hippies are, without exception, terrible lovers, yet my own experience has proven this to be a teensy bit untrue. I had a hippie lover once. His name was Jeff. His apartment smelled of Nag Champa and was adorned with handmade drums and Dead Can Dance CDs. And, as luck would have it, he was good in bed. Really, really good. Not great. I believe that modifier is only applicable when you’re in love, and Jeff and I were most definitely not in love. But he was skilled. He was focused.
Unfortunately, Jeff also had one devastating character flaw: he was a serious hippie.
It seems that hippies come in two types. There’s your stereotypical goofy stoner hippie who can wax somber when the occasion calls (say, breaking a guitar string or running out of weed), but who is essentially the kind of person who wants to spend their days laughing. The humorless, or “serious,” hippie, seems counterintuitive, much as it seemed counterintuitive that hippie guys should be bad in the sack. Hippies are supposed to be relaxed, uninhibited, free-spirited, and incredibly high, all of which should point toward a sense of humor. Yet there are some hippies out there who don’t laugh.
Now, hippies with no sense of humor are, at the very least, predictable. After you’ve become accustomed to the seriousness — and decided that the time spent with the person is still worth it – you know not to discuss subjects whose lightness will offend his gravity. Yet, and this was the case with Jeff, there are those unpredictable hippies who can and do laugh, but who become deadly serious should you laugh at something they believe is a humor-free topic.
For example, on my first date with Jeff I found out that he has Type 1 Diabetes (that’s the kind kids get) and in addition to an insulin drip, he took weekly Reiki treatments from a Reiki and color therapist in Dallas. (And, just to show you how serious I am about serious hippies, note that I did not use quotation marks around the phrase “color therapist.”) Knowing a little about Reiki myself and feeling particularly cheeky, I raised my hands, palms down, to chest level and started waving them around while chanting, “Homni pomni omni ommmm.”
Admittedly, this was not a particularly enlightened or intelligent response to Jeff’s discussion of his diabetes therapy. However, in my defense, I really liked Jeff, I was really nervous, and I was trying to ingratiate myself in the manner I was most accustomed to, i.e. cracking jokes. He didn’t find it very funny. In fact, he proceeded to treat me to an hour long lecture about the benefits of Reiki and color therapy and the very real way in which they had impacted his life, given him a newfound freedom despite his disease, etc, etc. Perhaps I come across as a bit callous (a trait common to all laughing hippies), and I speak from a platform of total ignorance when it comes to living with a chronic illness (unless you count PMS, which I do and which is ripe ground for laughs) but, mid-lecture, all I could think was that this guy needed to lighten up. It was a joke, for Chrissakes!
However, I was to learn in the course of our relationship that there were many topics which were sacrosanct and did not amuse Jeff. These included but were not limited to: The Beatles, drum circles, theatre, lighting for theatre, public schools, teachers, the stand-up comedy of Bill Cosby, microbrewed beer, the Democratic party, and his new-agey church where the parishioners expressed faith through interpretive dance and read the Gospel in Aramaic. All of it had so much potential for comedy. Except the Democratic party, of course. That’s all business.