- Mr. Hipster:
- My sister complains to me constantly of nebulous ailments, but she never actually gets a satisfying diagnosis for anything. I grow weary of her hypochondria, since she doesn’t trust most doctors, and so prefers to chalk her imagined sicknesses up to gluten, the alleged emanations of plastic containers, or whatever other hipster affliction is trending on Twitter that week. I don’t think anything’s wrong with her, ergo I don’t feel compelled to worry, but I also don’t like being party to her hypochondria. Is it wrong to just tell her she’s a perfectly healthy 27-year-old woman and to get over it?
- — Anna
- Dear Hipster:
- Based on the fact that he misreads signs and squints a lot, I am almost positive that my husband needs glasses. He won’t go get his eyes tested, and he insists that he can see fine enough. We are both in our 30s. I think it’s perfectly acceptable for him to have made it this far in life without prescription eyewear, and that there’s no shame in seeing the optometrist. Obviously, he feels differently. I don’t want to badger him into it, so how should I change tack and get him to see the eye doc?
- — Anonymous Wife in Glasses, North County
I’m hardly the first or last to say this, but if there’s anything we’ve learned from medical dramas, it’s that seemingly insignificant conditions unfailingly cause life-threatening complications. If you can’t get someone obsessed with seeing the doctor by saying, “Do you remember that one episode of House where the guy went in for a routine buttcheek-boil lancing, and if he hadn’t they never would have caught whatever absurdly rare malady in time and his heart and/or brain would have literally exploded?!” then I guess we don’t live in a world where WebMD’s iPhone app is always there to inject any citizen with 10 cc’s of liquid hypochondria, stat.
Good or bad? I don’t know. There’s something to be said for having more access to knowledge. Nine out of ten hipsters agree that being able to discuss the merits of obscure indie rock bands in online message boards enhances the enjoyment of said bands. Whatever you feel about Dr. Wikipedia, that’s the world we’re living in.
Now that we have that out of the way, imagine that your loved ones’ medical problems — real or fantasy, ignored or overzealously embraced — are Kings of Leon songs. Against everyone’s better judgment, your respective family members actually like these songs so much that they’re thinking about going to Reykjavik on August 13th with the hope that the band might play every single one of their ill-conceived pop numbers back to back to back to back beneath the lingering sunlight of an 18-hour Icelandic summer day. Yet just because we, and our shared exceptional taste, would rather suffer renal colic than a full day of subpar pop rock doesn’t mean it’s necessarily harmful for someone else to do so. Wait until there’s some real risk, like when squinting at the movie theater threatens to turn into impaired driving, or until someone tries to say that “Sex on Fire” is the “Heart-Shaped Box” of our generation.
After all, seriously, what kind of rock band walks offstage because a pigeon poops on the bassist? I’m pretty sure John Entwistle (on whom all bassists should model their conduct) would have just asked for a hat and an extra bottle of backstage whiskey.