How to Raise a Hippie

I was born and raised in the Midwest in a family with deep Republican roots.  But then my parents made the mistake of letting me go to college at Brown University.  In case you don’t know,  Brown is the “hippie” Ivy, full of militant vegan future abortionists and celebrities and named the “douchiest college in America” by GQ.   So letting me go to Brown was like handing me a machete to hack away at my roots.  (The separation was incomplete as I am not a vegan, an abortionist, or a celebrity.  You can be the judge of whether I am douchey.)

After college, I lived in Chicago for the better part of a decade — which did nothing for my hippie credentials.  But after I finished law school there, I made the leap and moved to San Francisco to be with my people.


(Not my people.)

In 1998, I adopted Boo from China and convinced my mother to move to San Francisco to be Boo’s granny/nanny.  Since her move, my mother has also become a militant vegan celebrity abortionist — while remaining a registered Republican.

When Boo was a toddler, we moved to the East Bay, closer to (but not in) Berkeley, the hippie center of the universe.


(Also not my people.)

Boo’s schools gradually migrated closer and closer to Berkeley until she finally landed, by her choice, at a tiny ultra-hippie high school actually within the city limits of Berkeley.  She’s now a full fledged hippie.  Not a hippie in the pot-smoking and Birkenstock mode, but in the super liberal, fight the patriarchy, everyone is gay/trans/agendered way.

(Boo’s people.)

I slowly am growing accustomed to using plural pronouns in the place of the singular for many of her friends — although I will admit that using “they” when referring to one person does not roll easily off the tongue.  (In fact, the biggest fight Boo and I have had in the last couple of years was over pronoun usage.  Not kidding.)  And I’m pretty sure that any of my surviving grade school teachers would drop dead in horror if they heard me.

But now Boo’s high school years are coming to a close, so the two of us are going in search of a small hippie liberal arts college with good academics and lots of music and theater (two of her loves).  So check your privilege, put on some vegan shoes suitable for fighting the patriarchy, and join us in our search.