The first I heard the term yuppie was back in the 1980's. I thought it meant people like Michael Keaton on Family Ties, or on the other side of the spectrum, those people in L.A. Law. I think of the term yuppie tied specifically to baby boomers.
I thought they were aged hippies. I thought they were self absorbed ladder climbers hell bent on making as much money in as little time as possible. I thought they ate pink tofu. I thought they wore trendy designer clothes. I thought they had cheezy hair cuts. I thought I rebelled against them in my SST, Sub Pop days.
Maybe I was wrong. Or, maybe I'm a yuppie. By definition on wikipedia: The term yuppie (short for "young urban professional" or "young upwardly-mobile professional") refers to a market segment whose consumers are characterized as self-reliant, financially secure individualists. Since the late 1980s, the phrase "affluent professionals" has been used as a synonym, stripped of negative associations with the once-homogenous market.
Hold on....young urban professional? That's a good thing right? That's what the City needs more of (in spades). But do people my age and younger still have a negative, baby-boomer, connection with the term?
I was recently having a conversation with a fellow city dweller regarding bowling alleys in the region. We were both lamenting over the loss of Redbird Lanes, Carriage Bowl and other alleys in the City. I asked him if he's been to the Flamingo Bowl downtown. We had a kids birthday party there and I was really impressed. His reaction was not the same. He called it a yuppie bowling alley. He dismissed it as expensive and soul-lessly swanky.
Everyone is due their opinion (that's what these blogs are for, right?). However, I was kind of surprised to have a place I considered cool described as a yuppie spot. Maybe he was right though. I did spot a couple people that I would consider urban professionals; even young upwardly mobile professional would apply as well.
Should I retire or rethink my negative connotation around the term yuppie? Can Gen-Xers be yuppies? Do I have yuppie tastes? Is the city trying to lure yuppies? Is downtown too yuppie?