Traffic jams can be good for some things. You can file your finger nails, scan Twitter, or just think. And today I thought about a trivial and unimportant matter: what should we call ourselves, the older folks of Silicon Valley?
As I was driving to a lunch appointment today, I ran into a traffic jam. Google maps showed a long, meandering red line, so I figured I had time to think.
My lunch was with a couple of friends who are my contemporaries. Once upon a time, I would have thought of it as a Yuppie Lunch.
The term yuppie (short for “young urban professional” or “young upwardly-mobile professional”) refers to an 1980s and early 1990s term for financially secure, upper-middle class young people in their 20s and early 30s.
We are still professional and ambitious. We still want to live the good life. And we still want to get ahead, although not so much in the personal sense, but rather in a way that impacts and benefits a wider audience.
However, we are no longer Young (sorry, 57 is not “the new 37,” it is still 57 and going on 58). It may be a surprise to some, but there actually are old folks in Silicon Valley. In fact, some of them oldies are still making a big impact in the Valley and around the world. But, nevertheless, the term Yuppie no longer applies.
So, what should we call ourselves instead? I wondered about that as I watched a TEDtalk on my iPhone propped on the steering wheel.
Guppie might work: Geriatric Urban Professionals. We are not really in the geriatric stage, yet, but, hey, we’ve always been at the leading edge of things and one step ahead of the game. So why not go with a label that can stand the test of time?
One of my lunch friends suggested Muppie, instead, for Mature Urban Professionals. I thought it was really clever, but euphemistic. Face it, at 40 you are mature to a 20 year old, at 60 you are just old. Embrace it!
Another suggested that the G in guppie could stand for Gray (as in Gray Power), instead of Geriatric. That could work, too.
Geriatric, Mature, or Gray?
So there you have it. We have to make a decision. We have to choose: Geriatric, Mature, or Gray?
But, wait, maybe we don’t have to decide after all! We can muddle along and, like Global Warming, we can leave it to our kids to deal with it while they change our New Depend diapers.
The one thing we’ll be for sure is GOFfies: Grumpy Old Farts.
What do you think, eh? What’s your favorite term?