Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Don't you be wearing no "Good Charlotte" T-shirts, khaki shorts and mandals when you're in your 30's, Dude...

Adults - they're the new kids.

This is an obituary for the generation gap. It is a story about 40-year-old men and women who look, talk, act, and dress like people who are 22 years old. It’s not about a fad but about a phenomenon that looks to be permanent. It’s about the hedge-fund guy in Park Slope with the chunky square glasses, brown rock T-shirt, slight paunch, expensive jeans, Puma sneakers, and shoulder-slung messenger bag, with two kids squirming over his lap like itchy chimps at the Tea Lounge on Sunday morning. It’s about the mom in the low-slung Sevens and ankle boots and vaguely Berlin-art-scene blouse with the $800 stroller and the TV-screen-size Olsen-twins sunglasses perched on her head walking through Bryant Park listening to Death Cab for Cutie on her Nano. (New York)

The article by Adam Sternbergh quotes Paul's famous dictum about adulthood: "When I was a child, I spoke like a child..." Some parents are purchasing $300 pairs of jeans, nearly the cost of suits in some stores, in an effort to dress down. After considering several names for this type of adult, Sternberg settles on "grup."

He concludes:
Being a Grup isn’t, as it turns out, all about holding on to some misguided, well-marketed idea of youth—or, at least, isn’t just about that. It’s also about rejecting a hand-me-down model of adulthood that asks, or even necessitates, that you let go of everything you ever felt passionate about. It’s about reimagining adulthood as a period defined by promise, rather than compromise. And who can’t relate to that?
Read the article - it's eight pages, yes, but worth it.

Three things to consider, though:

1. Remember this verse.
2. We may have post-modern thinking to thank for all this. Dag-nab you pomos! Oh, wait, I dress like this sometimes...
3. Al Mohler gets to the heart of the matter: "The issue of dress isn't what's most important -- it's the fact that adulthood is disappearing as a recognizable mark of maturity and responsibility."

Update: For the record, let it be known that I do not possess a "Good Charlotte" T-shirt - in fact, I don't own any shirts with rock groups on them. I've heard of the band, but I don't own any CD's by them, and I don't plan on purchasing one.

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