From one grown man to another, can we agree that today’s 20-somethings are ridiculous? I mean really…hipster, everyone gets a trophy, entitled kids? C’mon Grown Man, help them out!
Doug E. Fresh,
I’d like to begin answering your question by focusing on two completely unrelated points:
First point…Seattle is the greatest city ever. I’ve spent some time there and must implore – nay – beg you to send me a doughnut from Mighty O’s and an espresso from Vivace. I don’t know how you’ll get either of those to me fresh and warm, but that’s not my problem. ASAP, Doug, A-S-A-P! My address is:
A House I Built
Second point…Doug, did you realize that the original Space Jam website is still up and active?! This has nothing to do with you or anything you’ve asked, but I needed to tell the world so I randomly threw it into this post. Anyhow, you and the tens of other people reading need to go to this website and remember how amazingingly 8-bit the mid-90s were.
Now that we’ve got all that rigmarole out of the way, let’s finally get to your question. By way of review…
I’m Doug! I hate kids! I’m old and curmudgeonly!
Douglas, three years ago, you and I would have been on the same page. When this blog started, I was on a personal quest to transform every man into some idealized version of masculinity. I railed against v-necks, skinny jeans, not carrying cash, and basically every fad/fashion that wasn’t timeless. And while this was, arguably, the greatest, wittiest writing ever done by anyone in the history of the world – I don’t think I was right.
GROWM MAN! Are you saying you were WRONG!? I thought part of being in an ivory tower was never having to admit you’re wrong!?
I know, and I’m sorry to disappoint you. But I’ve observed something over the past few years that’s refined my thinking. [Cue soft, reflective violin music]
The kid I worked with who inspired most of the early posts did something impressive – he grew up. And as he grew up, some things became more Grown Man-ish. Things like: #13 – Ask a Girl Out (he did, and he married her), #44 – Be a Friend to Your Heartbroken Comrades (at his wedding, all his groomsmen cried and talked about what a loyal friend he is) and #74 – Slow Down (he’s present, he listens, and he has margin in his life).
Conversely, some things haven’t changed at all: #36 – Know the 7 T-Shirt Rules (he wears a shirt or tank-top to every event – and it’s awful), #61 – Wear a Watch (he checks his iPhone – a lot), which ties in with #67 – Quit Screwing Around on Your Phone (he’ll literally play Candy Crush during a funeral if given the opportunity).
Here’s the kicker though, the importance of the things he doesn’t do is pale in comparison to the value of the things he does do. What compels me to make fun of him in front of his friends and family is the fact that he’s wearing an American Flag tank top. But what defines him is his character, friendship, and ability to love his wife and community well. At the end of the day, being a Grown Man isn’t about what you wear, it’s about the trust that people have in you – and I trust this man, tank top and all.
Which, my dear Doug, brings me back to your question. Yes, I think hipsters are ridiculous, what with their ironic glasses, vinyl copies of Bon Iver, and $200 vintage Chambray shirts. However, when I was their age I was deep into my Dave Matthews phase, wearing Chaco sandals, and refusing to buy a suit because “Dave doesn’t wear a suit and he wrote #41 – whatever, DAD!” And guess what? Some mid-30s-anonymous-blogger-guy was probably looking at me saying “grow up” – and he was probably right. Every incarnation of youth is silly, Doug. Beatle-maniacs, hippies, gen X-ers, hipsters – all of them. But what we can do is differentiate between what is an adolescent phase and what is real, rooted, and lasting – like a solid handshake, making eye contact, and meaning what you say.
However…we really have to force these kids to stop getting sleeve tattoos. That junk’s going to haunt them someday.
Until next Monday, ask away. Thanks for the question, Doug!