now i know i'm a grup, and i still wear jeans

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While lurking on blogs this morning I bumped into Betsy's link on the absolutely brilliant article from New York Magazine, Up With Grups.

Although I am not a New Yorker, I have to admit the way that my husband, myself, and our son have approached life was laid out to a degree in this article. Switch out all the rock band references and replace with art forms and it pretty much fits (except maybe for the affluence). I am proud that in some small way we have contributed to the closing of the generation gap (daniel once referred to his parents as his best friends) and in that closing seems to create more harmony and tolerance which is referenced in the book The Greater Generation (us) which trumps the brokaw book The Greatest Generation (our parents).

Although technically not a boomer, wedged somewhere between a yuppie and a yindie and really doing it all before our friends (daniel is eighteen not two) we forged a lifestyle that is roughly described in this article. Granted some of the elements that were missing for us were things like 600 dollar jeans but that is because we were buying the real vintage clothing for 10 dollars at the consignment store and ripping the jeans ourselves. I also crafted an awesome jacket out of black distressed leather out of a bargain bin (because we were starving artists) for daniel when he was two. Of course I hit a patch when we were smack in the ministry where I felt foolishly compelled to dress like all the other good christian mothers but eventually came to my senses and tossed the floral skirts for my familiar jeans and t-shirts. What does a freelancing artist need with pretentious floral skirts anyway? The article talked about uniforms of lifestages. Like teenagers wearing jeans, evolving into adults wearing suits, etc. The division of age was seen by what was worn, but also the division of classes. Is it possible that that blurring of those "uniforms" was one of the ways that our generation (and the next) became more tolerant to each other? And our international neighbors? O.k maybe it is an over simplification, but just watch a few old movies and those stereotypes that made our parents so judgemental will jump right out at you.

It probably helps that the music isn't an issue either. That used to be a dividing point for kids and parents. Now I listen to the same stuff as my son.

Clothing and musical tastes aside, it is the attitude of a sustainable lifestyle with freedom to do what you love that is the real point. If our parents slogged through occupations that they hated, trading passion for security only finding themselves at the end of a pink slip, is it any wonder that we (as a generation) searched for something better? If life is going to be unpredictable anyway, why not ride the wave of what you love?

The key is that we have had to be more flexible than our parents. At least in terms of occupations. Maybe in terms of learning as well(one has to keep up with technology). Survival has required it. People just don't get a job and stay at the same firm and work toward the gold watch retirement anymore. Things move fast and if you aren't adaptable then it's "game over". What I do as an artist today did not exist in it's present form ten years ago. I guess this is really striking me because as we consider the college question as parents we may be tempted to perpetuate the "old school". I have come to the conclusion that college shouldn't prepare you for a job but instead equip you with the tools to navigate life. Or maybe just to discover your passion, something that people might otherwise take a lifetime to do.

Thanks Betsy!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on April 4, 2006 9:02 AM.

mica: second round was the previous entry in this blog.

women's equality: we emerge at different paces from different places is the next entry in this blog.

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