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How Oregon turned my wife into a hippie

I saw the warning signs and chose to ignore them. Only now do I realize how much blood is on my hands.

Two years ago my wife was a (mostly) normal person, but I didn’t mind her abnormal traits. Those made her enjoyable, specifically her groundbreaking work as the choreographer who spawned the “What? Dance” — a shimmy that involves bizarre gyrations, shrugged shoulders and a puzzled look on your face similar to this.

Then we moved to Oregon, the Home of the Hippies. Guess which club my wife now belongs to?

She doesn’t have dreadlocks that are a nesting place for squirrels, nor does she smell like she just emerged from inside a homeless man’s corpse, but her actions over the past year lead me to believe that she might someday suggest we wash and reuse our toilet paper.

I desperately wanted to believe it was a fleeting phase, one that would pass as quickly as her foray into knitting (total time: 19 minutes). But there’s something in the water in Oregon that, at least partially, forces a person to wrap their arms around hippiedom.

My wife and me in 50 years, if this trend continues.

Let me make a quick clarification: I know the difference between a) the original hippies of the 1960s, who protested global injustice while dropping acid and having sex with everyone whose name starts with a letter, b) the modern hippie, who rails against the ills of plastic bags while eating an algae-and-tofu sandwich on gluten-free cardboard, and c) the pseudo-hippie, who is mentally unstable and randomly declares that nearly all mainstream food and manufactured goods are agents of death.

My wife is a rising star in the pseudo-hippie culture. The past few weeks have been especially alarming, and one incident in particular is causing me notable anguish.

Here’s a curious question: Am I able to amend my marriage license to include the clause, “Both parties must use real deodorant for human beings and not a stick of chalk that a group of chimpanzees stuck in a plastic container and miraculously sold to the local hippie store” … ? Is that legal? Because that’s the No. 1 thought in my brain today.

Last week, my wife read an article on the dangers of anti-perspirants because they contain aluminum that may lead to breast cancer. So the natural solution, she thought, was to find an aluminum-free deodorant. I understand her concerns, but deodorants don’t really deodorize anything, especially not the brands made by people who drink tree bark-and-dirt smoothies.

Everyone needs anti-perspirant. This is non-negotiable. If you merely wear deodorant, you’re trying to mask an unmaskable problem. It’s like chopping off all your fingers and then saying, “I’m going to wear this new wristwatch to divert your attention from the pool of blood gathering at my feet.”

I should state clearly that my wife doesn’t stink, at least not to non-husbands. She’s well aware of how ineffective her salt crystal deodorant is at close range. The sticker on the bottle says it’s “cruelty free,” but I assure you that I’m suffering.

Sadly, she’ll use this deodorant for the rest of her life.

This is just the latest of the many changes to our lives since moving to Oregon. We now make our own laundry detergent, a painstaking process that requires you to grate bars of soap into a fine powder that results in about 1 cup of detergent.

But, lucky us, we only need to use a tablespoon of soap for each load of wash. (I’m gonna go out on a limb and say your clothes are cleaner than mine.)

Mmmm, stomach bile. Bottoms up!

We have a juice maker the size of a small car, but it has only been used to make healthy (nasty) vegetable smoothies. These are all the rage in Oregon. My wife blends kale, chard, broccoli, apples, celery, spinach and water into the most horrid-looking concoction the world has ever seen.

Have you seen the fluid that comes out of a woman when she gives birth? That’s what our juicer produces, only the birth goo probably tastes better.

There’s also been a switch from normal milk to almond milk; the purchase of environmentally friendly light bulbs that require an act of God to emit any light; an effort to recycle everything that enters our home, including used Q-tips; and a desire to conserve water by her peeing outside on the grass instead of in the toilet. (OK, so I made up a couple of those things, but you get the point.)

You might say all this makes her a healthier person and one who has less of a harmful impact on the planet. I agree. It also makes her a weirdo. In fact, Merriam-Webster’s definition of hippie is exactly that:

hippie [hip·pie] n. a weirdo

I could have done more to prevent her brain from malfunctioning on such a severe level, but I was in a state of denial. And I blame Oregon. Surely you understand. I hope you do, because I’m probably gonna need to come to your house soon and borrow some toilet paper.

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70 Comments Post a comment
  1. If you’re gonna criticize your wife, do it behind her back like a normal husband, don’t put it in writing on the internet, moron. Now all the jurors are going to side with her when she takes you to divorce court and she’ll get full custody of Yankee and Jorge.

    April 24, 2012
    • It’s not criticism; it’s a plea for help.

      April 24, 2012
      • tomwinans #

        I’ll help you, Tyler. Come to Colorado … we’re better here …

        May 10, 2012
        • I believe you, Tom! Today she said she’s going to stop washing her hair. Ugh…

          May 10, 2012
          • tomwinans #

            Well don’t let her stop shaving … that picture of the old couple gives me a visual I’d like to forget …

            May 10, 2012
        • Gina #

          What town would you suggest in CO, we are trying to decide between CO & OR

          July 7, 2016
    • Ally #

      Omg dude calm down. Hes not critisizing her. And for all you know she was standing behind his back laughing her ass off! So just calm your tits. Oh and stop throwing stones in a glass house! I take it you must be perfect. You must not do anything wrong or judge any one right?

      February 16, 2014
  2. Matt #

    amazing as always – and as a gun toting, red meat eating, suv driving Arizonan – I support your passive aggressive speaking out against the ill’s of recycling and efficient energy sources – at least you are closer to Nike, which abuses the less economicaly developed nations in order to more profitably feed our endless appitite for fashion and consumer products – you should start littering and wasting things behind her back just to bring balance back to the universe – capitalism, steak and toxins = AMERICA, now where are the keys to my monster truck?

    April 24, 2012
    • I just reread your comment with Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless America” blaring in the background. Beautiful. I will take your advice to heart.

      April 24, 2012
  3. Ashley does not smell bad, Tyler!

    April 24, 2012
    • I know she doesn’t. But if you catch her just after she exercises and the wind is blowing the right way … look out.

      April 24, 2012
    • i do smell. it isn’t always bad though.

      April 24, 2012
  4. Taylor #

    No wonder I learned so much from you in such a short period of time! Your writing is really easy to read, funny, intelligent, and very witty. Thanks for the handful of smiles in the dreadful afternoon of a Tuesday stuck in chemisty.

    You could always try applying deoderant in her sleep?

    Maybe not… Hope everything is well in hippie town.

    April 24, 2012
    • You’re too kind, Buffum. I appreciate it. Most of all, I appreciate the incredibly good advice on how to improve her hygiene while she’s sleeping. That’s an excellent idea.

      Also, you should use your time in chemistry class to disprove her theory that anti-perspirant consists of Satanic chemicals.

      April 24, 2012
  5. Aluminum shavings used in all anti-perspirants shows a direct correlation with Parkinson’s Syndrome.

    April 24, 2012
  6. bbooen #

    This post makes me want to pitch “Birth Goo” as a new flavor to the creative minds at Ben & Jerry’s. Naturally, “Birth Goo” would be a sloppy and horrifying concoction of strawberry ice cream, grenadine syrup and gummy bears. Yum.

    April 25, 2012
    • If that’s the Ben & Jerry’s version of Birth Goo, then Birth Goo would be their most popular flavor ever. EVER.

      April 25, 2012
  7. Leigh Ingegneri #

    uh oh. I’m pretty sure you’d think I’m a weirdo too. Good thing I don’t give a stink (literally!) about what you think, Tyler. 🙂

    April 30, 2012
    • If there’s one person who doesn’t tolerate hippie-ness, it’s your husband. He ain’t no fool.

      April 30, 2012
      • Leigh Ingegneri #

        Ain’t no fool? I secretly swapped his deoderant with baking soda and corn starch. Now when he smells like dead cat’s mouth, I just say “it must be those new polyester work shirts”. Works like a charm.

        May 2, 2012
        • Well played by you, Leigh. Noah is so gross. I hope he gets puked on by a dead cat.

          May 2, 2012
  8. mady #

    I am an Oregonian i was born in Eugene and raised in oregon but also lived in many other places now on the other side of the us but i still am an Oregonian by heart. Yes i am a todays flower child meaning i beleave in loving one another respecting one another and so on and their isnt anything wrong with changes just hang in their and be your self but also respect and understand her views and you should be okay 🙂 peace and love

    October 27, 2013
    • Thanks for the tips, Mady. I’ve learned to be pretty patient, and of course I respect her views. I just don’t always respect her smell. Ha. Take care.

      October 31, 2013
  9. I came across this somewhere else, so I will post my thoughts here as well…

    This woman will never return to being the person you fell in love with.

    Unless you have a child my advice is to exit this relationship amicably and quickly as possible.

    You will never be accepted by her even if you change, she will merely know that you lack the self confidence to go out and find what makes your watch tick. You will be cuckold to her ever deepening pursuits, finding yourself either in an endless marathon of verifying your commitment or retreating to your 10 x 7 shed repurposing some item that she wants upcycled, desperately trying to feign solidarity or usefulness. Sure initially she will endure your attempt, but eventually along will come another suitor perhaps even another woman or a genderless individual that they can bond and commiserate over your lack of dedication in a real and nurturing conversation rather than being blathered to an anonymous disconnected audience as you have all ready done. I have taken the time to share with you from my personal experience, seeing the transformation from ski town hippie girl to corporate climber and from city-fied socialite to environmentally conscious planet rescuing warrioress. Once you remove a person from the constraints of their peers and place them in an environment conducive to change, change is bound to occur.

    Just by the way that you have addressed the issue, any change in your character will hang over you like Damocles sword, under constant scrutiny and evaluation.

    You will never be her equal, just in the way that the change has come and in it’s rapidity, I am certain that there is a deeper underlying motivation for these pursuits. Do not be angered one day that if you are out of the picture that she returns to a more moderate self. You may find yourself angered by the why and how come?

    But understand that the lack of using a commercially available deodorant may not lie in the risk of cancer but in a sub conscious distancing mechanism.

    (This is a rhetorical question)

    Have you ever expressed disdain for any of the behaviors you deprecate?

    January 28, 2014
  10. more hipster than hippie #

    Seems like you are trying to be funny. Your writing is complete cliche crap and not funny. Say something original. The title should have been a twitter post and you could have stepped away from the keyboard with some dignity without writing the paragraphs of regurgitated stereotypes that followed. Why don’t you cram some irish spring and old spice chunks up your nose and be happy you unmanned drone.

    January 31, 2014
    • You seem really upset about a sarcasm blog. Good luck with the rest of the Internet. Sounds like you’re gonna need it. All the best.

      February 2, 2014
  11. Sher #

    She’s right. Use deoderant NOT anti-perspirant.. if you don’t get breast cancer you might get altzhiemers instead due to the aluminum.
    signed
    Hippie that can’t always spell

    February 16, 2014
    • Loo loo #

      Primal Pit Paste has a terrible name by actually works! Others probably too, but, alas, some do not.

      February 16, 2014
  12. Lee Anne #

    These comments are killing me Tyler!! Sheesh….relax people!! Loved the blog, my husband knows all too well how Oregon turns wives into hippies…gotta go make a carrot, orange, turmeric root juice immediately! Peace!!

    February 16, 2014
  13. So you prefer to poison your body and ruin the environment, and you’re criticizing your wife for not wanting to do those things? Ok…

    February 16, 2014
    • Maryah #

      That’s a spouse’s job. Get over yourself. Sheesh. As for you, Tyler, tell her to get those all natural soaps for her hair and body and things. She can still be clean without harsh chemicals. . . It’s just a bit more expensive.

      February 17, 2014
      • Oh, I must have made a mistake in marrying a guy that doesn’t criticize me. Oops, darn.

        February 17, 2014
        • Some people just don’t like to smell a tuna fish sandwich LysBleuDesigns. More power to you if you do, just don’t be surprised when people react! If your husband never criticizes you, you must be perfect! ….lol

          February 17, 2014
  14. Nice to see that Lee Anne has a sense of humor, unlike some of the folks posting on this thread. Funny piece, thanks. Most of my family is from Oregon, btw. 😀

    February 16, 2014
  15. NE.Perkins #

    I cackled through all th comments. This was hilarious! – from an Oregonian living in Oklahoma.

    February 16, 2014
  16. Ania Chapska #

    Your wife seems like she’s only moving nicely along with the new times. My lover actually begs me not to shave my armpits (which I no longer do!) and gets turned on by my no-deodorant smell…ahhh, the pheromones! Just some advice: Baking soda is great as a stink absorber (also non-toxic) and almond milk is not the best option if your wife wants to be environmentally friendly. The almond fields in the US are literally destroying the surrounding environments. I suggest she starts making her own nut milk (hazelnut, and sunflower being my favorite) which will taste so much better as the commercial milks are so watered down, you’re barely getting any nutrients. Good luck!

    February 16, 2014
  17. I think you love Oregon too 😉 I tried the whole natural deodorant thing well before I even knew we were moving here. My husband’s first worry – would I soon stop shaving my pits and legs??? I can tell you it didn’t last, that stuff just doesn’t work, so there is hope for you, just be patient.

    February 16, 2014
  18. OlldBiker #

    You need to educate yourself on what true hippies were , not shoot offs or peoples stereotypes.

    February 16, 2014
    • readingcomprehension #

      or you could just re-read the post

      February 17, 2014
  19. Brenda #

    This is hilarious and my husband and I, who have lived in Oregon for 25, and myself as a displaced Seattle-ite, were just saying this exact thing on Friday!! As we dined with all the hippies on Valentines day, with their ski caps and body covered tattoes and dred locks- and those are just the 60+ crowd. I loved your article and if anyone criticizes you for it, we know that they definitely fit into the “weirdo” catergory- I mean hippie! Good luck! lol

    February 16, 2014
  20. Check out Portland-based HippieGoddess.com. For those of you unfortunate slobs who live outside Oregon, it’s NSFW. For Oregonians, it’s the bible of female hippies and the men who love them. http://www.hippiegoddess.com/

    February 16, 2014
  21. Had a great time reading both the article and the comments – this came from a friend whose wife was born and raised in the PDX limits…I lived in Oregon for about 7 years, and met my wife while we were there. I’m from the northeast (living back there now) and can see all that you’re talking about and laughing at the nuts who like nut milk (btw, I’ve tried it, and will gladly stick to regular Cow’s milk – whole if possible, no opportunity to try raw, but I would). Gladly, I was able to get my wife out of clutches of Oregon before it got to her So-Cal sensibilities (she’s originally from the San Diego area)…But I’ll gladly risk breast cancer (men can get it to you know) by using antiperspirant with aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY so that the rest of you don’t have to see pit stains or smell me coming 😉 Do well, live well – Eat Beef 🙂

    February 16, 2014
  22. Tina Johnston #

    Tooo funny! Laughed until I cried. I am an old wife living in Oregon who uses anti-persperent and does not drink birth goo but..your sarcasm is so spot on! Sometimes I wonder if people outside of this cool, ‘hip’pie place just cannot understand both the weirdness that is and how all of us laugh while we embrace/tolerate it. Loved your post! Send your wife over my way to shear a sheep, make some yarn and knit/crochet with it :). We all got our weird going on in one way or another.

    Black Sheep

    February 16, 2014
  23. shudder I feel for you man as another who listens to freebird and drives a monster truck and shoots hippies and hipsters (they are both unwashed) why discriminate. as for ania i am sure your husband is lieing to you clean that stuff up I am sure the local fire department would be willing to hose you down it would give them proper time for hazmat training.. keep the faith man

    February 16, 2014
  24. Whhat23 #

    HAHAHAHAHA! Born & Raised in Oregon. I use the salt deodorant and a few other things. This was hilarious.

    February 16, 2014
  25. Q #

    Welcome to Cascadia. Eat produce and develop a social conscience.

    February 16, 2014
  26. This is Hilarious … My husband has these same thoughts … I am pushing to move my family from crazy..metro . South Florida to Sequim, Wa … LOL and this just made me truly laugh !! … I am a little bit out there and haven’t quite embraced the whole “pseudo – hippie ” thing .. although I have been Reiki certified and I do burn incense and wish I was better at recycling ( cause I am so not ” haven’t created my own compost pile .. and I can not garden to save my life …but I would love to immerse myself in a little of that dream …. gotta love those Pacific North West states keeping the Hippie Dream alive …

    February 17, 2014
  27. At least she’s not one of those who is afraid of hormones in milk and then takes acid from strangers. lol. I have noticed some hipsters who try to go the all natural route, yet just the same love their coffee, cig’s, alcohol, and drug’s….really smart

    February 17, 2014
    • Moso #

      Tony, it sounds like you know my sister!
      Heck, what you’ve described is not that different than the biker/walker-to-work (my brother) who frequently dines on Pringles, ramen noodles, and ice cream for dinner, or the weight-conscious gym-goer/dragon-boater who eats countless bowls of cereal for breakfast at her desk at work and then nukes cheese quesadillas for lunch… (me)… and then I’ll go through a juicing phase out of the blue…

      February 17, 2014
  28. Jan #

    Too funny! I am a native Oregonian and a wife (Oregon for 45 years, wife for 26 years). While I do own a juicer, and do drink the nasty from time to time, I still use deodorant. I’m thinking much of this style of “hippy” can also be blamed on “Pinterest”. It is just full of good ideas, like making your own detergent and cleaners. Tells ya how, even! hahaha Good luck!

    February 17, 2014
  29. Liz #

    Very amusing and quite accurate for the Portland metro area and Willamette Valley. However, what many folks from outside of Oregon don’t realize is that there is a second, entirely different Oregon- which is the rest of the entire state. Try a trip in Eastern Oregon, you will meet ranchers, cowboys and bull-riders. Travel the coast and meet some of the toughest fisherman and loggers you could ever imagine. I wish people would stop assuming all of Oregon is Portland or Eugene- we are actually much more diverse than you think. I was born and raised on the coast, graduated from the University of Oregon and have lived abroad several times. However, I find myself back to my roots in rural Oregon, where we too laugh at the women rubbing crystals on their hairy underarms 🙂

    February 17, 2014
  30. mary #

    I lived in Oregon for 27 years, and I am a women and not a hippie or liberal, I recycled, used antiperspirant not all Oregonians are hippies.

    February 17, 2014
  31. You might want to let her know that the crystal rock stuff is also aluminum. It’s just aluminum silicate.

    I personally use and love this one: http://amzn.com/B00DSXU52O from V’Tae.

    February 18, 2014
  32. Zelja #

    Do tell her to stop grinding soap or whatever and buy soap nuts (berries) for your laundry instead, these actually work and are all the good things a hippie could want.

    I only use baking soda as deodorant and I do think you will smell less depending on how you eat and particularly digest, but my baking soda sometimes completely diminishes the smell for ages and I’m impressed, and other times it’s back in about an hour and I’m sad. It’s a gamble but I’m OK with that, the price is right.

    Add ripe banana to crapveg smoothies and they instantly become more edible. No water.. maybe coconut water or milk. I don’t do the almond milk thing because phytic acid. I really prefer cooked foods at any rate (digestion and yin/yang balance… but… like… seriously… not because I’m crazy… … ah, who cares).

    February 18, 2014
  33. Alicia #

    Crystal deodorant is awful. If she’s up for new suggestions, tell her to try coconut oil & baking soda. Some people mix it together, I have a bar in the fridge that I use, then I put baking soda on top of it. It works. Promise. :o)

    Also, not washing hair is different than not using shampoo–I assume you mean she’s not going to use shampoo anymore. It’s not as bad as it sounds. ;o)

    February 18, 2014
  34. VickZen #

    That was hilarious! Loved it!

    February 23, 2014
  35. Some Guy #

    Did Grandpa Woodstock and Estar give you permission to use their photograph in your article, or did you steal it?

    February 25, 2014
  36. sweetbaboo78 #

    I grew up in the Eugene area and I feel your pain! I grew up with real hippies, they can be wonderful but I deal with type C and D everyday. I have to say you forgot hippie type D: street kids/lot trash/wanna-be/excuse hippies: a mix between type A/B/C with added “goes to all festivals, takes every drug handed to them/always claims to have illnesses so they can’t work/can get disability/are allowed service animals for “anxiety”/can get their medical marijuana cards paid for by welfare. BTW types B/C/D are NOT “hippies”. It sounds like your wife is very susceptible to social influences (good or bad). My advice: get her out of here or join the “if you can’t beat them, join them” crowd in defeat. Lol

    January 15, 2015
  37. Jessie #

    I totally understand! I moved to Oregon about 5 years ago and the people here so the weirdest things. They definitely stink, make some weird health choices and think everything is bad for you. I’m on the non-hippie side and very proud of that.

    February 17, 2015
    • In the end, I say “to each, his own,” but that doesn’t make my wife any less weird. Thanks for reading, Jessie.

      February 17, 2015
  38. Jess #

    You won’t be complaining about her aluminum-free deodorant when she *doesn’t* lose her breasts to cancer.

    April 6, 2017
  39. Danny #

    Hillarious..

    Did ur wife abandon her hippie ways and deodorants or is she still a hippie?

    September 10, 2017
    • Thanks! She’s toned it down a little bit, but still tries weird, awful, ineffective deodorants and has some of the same weird habits…

      September 10, 2017

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