Dear Austin ice cream shop,
I knew that you were going to be trouble. My husband overrode my vote for the soft-serve place, and so we arrived at your doors, at the far end of the hippest street in town. We had just finished kayaking on the lake, and so we arrived in our lame-parent uniform of khaki shorts and T-shirts. On top of it, the kayaking had left us with soggy bottoms.
We perused the menu. I chose the cake ice cream with white chocolate shell and hand-cut sprinkles. Those are the the only type of sprinkles I eat. The ice cream came from cows that did daily yoga and had access to a full range of spa treatments. Okay, okay, but I’m serious about the sprinkles. My ice cream cost the same as a full meal at my favorite hole-in-the-wall Thai place, the one with the non-ironic ’80s decor.
An employee poured some ingredients into a mixer on the counter, and clouds of liquid nitrogen swirled into the air. That is how we make ice cream in this very hip city. Soon, the employee passed a dish to me. The sprinkles were different lengths.
Seating was sparse, with stools that might actually have been pieces of modern art. Certainly, they were not meant to accommodate people who eat ice cream on a regular basis. We perched atop them. One tiny beaded vase holding one tiny succulent rested on the counter. In the corner, a typewriter awaited Millenial fingers with comments of praise.
A few other customers arrived, hunched over iPhones. The males sported the hipster hairstyle du jour — heavily slicked pompadours, accompanied by perfectly trimmed beards. My husband sported an edgier look: unkempt porcupine.
As I dug into my mediocre dessert, all I could think was: Why? Why does an ice cream shop have to try so hard? Why does Austin have to try so hard?
I want to embrace this city, but sometimes I can only roll my eyes.
Next time, twee ice cream shop, I’m getting my soft-serve.