Caught an article from USA Today . . . today . . . about the next generation of fathers. It discusses the need for "hipster" dads to try to remain cool despite transitioning into the fatherhood role. Some are referring to them as "grups." What exactly is a grup? This definition from the New York Magazine:
"Also known as yupster [yuppie + hipster], yindie [yuppie + indie], and alterna-yuppie. Our preferred term, grup, is taken from an episode of Star Trek [keep reading] in which Captain Kirk et al. land on a planet of children who rule the world, with no adults in sight. The kids call Kirk and the crew â€œgrups,â€ which they eventually figure out is a contraction of â€œgrown-ups.â€ It turns out that all the grown-ups had died from a virus that greatly slows the aging process and kills anybody who grows up.
So, yeah, I think it's an insult. The point is, it's supposed to describe dads who don't want to let fatherhood be the fast track to dorkville.
Let me try and break this down. Where did grups come from?
I believe it's the inevitable result of American parental evolution. Our parents, the Baby Boomers, had parents that were products of a couple World Wars and The Depression; they were more concerned about survival than staying hip [was "hip" even a term then?]. So when the Boomers had kids, they swore they'd one up their parents in the coolness area, holding on for dear life. How else do you think the Rolling Stones and the Eagles were able to do so many farewell tours. By the time you get to us, the MTV generation, we've evolved into the hipsters.
So the question that currently haunts me: am I a grup?
I'm not quite sure.
Disqualifying me would be that I've never owned Doc Martins, a Volkswagen Jetta, or Death Cab For Cutie CD. Yet I do have a fear of becoming irrelevant. Not quite sure where that phobia came from but I never want to be the guy wearing acid-wash jeans and sporting a mullet while jamming to Foreigner [unless that becomes fashionable again, then I might be game]. Because of this I try to keep up on my pop-culture. I listen to new music, read Entertainment Weekly, and stay up to date on new trends via the interwebs. Heck, we live among uber-hip urbanites, so there's some grup street cred.
Admission: I do watch VH1, but it's not as lame as it used be . . . unless I've finally crossed over and become the lame kind of person who watches VH1. Suck.
But the reality is, I'm not obsessed with staying cool. Don't get me wrong: I'm not going to mail it in yet, but I have higher priorities. More than working my gruppiness, I care about being a good husband and father. I'll admit this: I'll keep making a minor effort to stay cool, but I would never do it at my family's expense.
Ain't grup enough for that.