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SHE'LL NEVER WEAR HER BLACK CONVERSE HIGH TOPS AGAIN ... AT LEAST, NOT WITHOUT APOLOGIZING FOR THEM
[posted 05.08.2001]

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Friends and family of Jennifer Mathieu are sad to report that Jennifer’s hipness passed away last Thursday when Jennifer discovered she had never heard the band Sunny Day Real Estate and, quite frankly, didn’t care to.

Death came after a long battle that included a million indie rock shows, an abundance of thrift store dresses and subscriptions to two undergrounds feminist zines.

Those close to Jennifer said the death — though tragic — was not a surprise.

“When we went to see Man or Astroman at Fitzgerald’s last week it was like she didn’t even care about what she was wearing,” says boyfriend Kevin Blessington, shaking his head in dismay. “All these little scenester chicks were wearing their little gas station coveralls and their little T-shirts with ironic sayings. Jennifer openly made fun of them while we were standing in line for tickets. And if I’m not mistaken, I think she was actually wearing a shirt from the Gap. I mean, I might be 33. But at least I still buy my clothes at the Purple Heart Thrift Store.”

Jennifer’s constant descriptions of an apparently more hip past also clued friends in to the imminent demise.

“We were talking just the other day about jobs we had in college, and Jennifer was speaking quite fondly about this job at the Unicorn Café, where she apparently worked as a barista,” recalls pal and coworker Lauren Kern. “Then Jennifer sort of laughed and said to me, ‘You know, that time when I worked at the Unicorn was probably the hippest I ever was and ever will be.’ When she said that to me I was shocked. It was like, here she was at 24, already renouncing her hipness and calling it for dead. What a shame.”

Jennifer herself recognized the terminal condition of her hipness while shopping at thrift stores and realizing she was searching for value — not kitsch. Certainly she might still buy one or two fun dresses (as long as they’re in good condition and acceptable at the office), but her last trip to Value Village only scored her some very simple button-down men’s shirts she can wear with her Gap jeans. Granted, one shirt was bright pink, but still….

Jennifer also became concerned after purchasing the latest Yo La Tengo CD and absolutely hating it, then pulling out her old Bikini Kill albums instead.

“She called me all excited because she had said hello to [former Bikini Kill lead singer] Kathleen Hanna at a Le Tigre show in Houston,” says friend and former Chicago roommate Mike Solita. “Granted, it was a Le Tigre show…but Kathleen Hanna is pretty 1992 if you ask me. Maybe if it had been Miranda July or somebody else, I would have been a bit more impressed.”

Family was also concerned, if not secretly pleased, with the state of Jennifer’s hipster condition.

“When Jennifer would come home for breaks during college she would show up wearing these horrible outfits like longjohns under a skirt and a smelly army jacket,” says mom Teresa Mathieu. “She would also have her hair all cut up and shaved in the back like, well, I’m afraid to say it but one of those people. (Editor’s note: She means lesbian.) “But this past Christmas her hair was shoulder length and really adorable, and she was mostly dressed in conservative black or gray.”

Jennifer hopes to transition from hipster to “bobo” (bohemian bourgeois). In that spirit, she recently subscribed to The Nation and made a substantial monetary donation to National Public Radio.

Jennifer’s hipness leaves behind her Built to Spill CDs and several packages of Glints hair dye (Bordeaux shade). In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Jennifer’s name to the Factsheet Five Zine Reader and K Records.

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jennifer mathieu writes for houston’s alternative weekly, the press.