Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Where Have All The Yuppies Gone?

on February 9, 2013


The other day, for no good reason at all, the word “Yuppie” jumped into my mind.  The word brought back memories of a time when young, upwardly-mobile professionals seemed to rule the world.  They were envied by the young, ridiculed by middle America and tolerated by their elders.

The word “Yuppies” became popular in the 1980’s and was used to describe young people, usually in their 20’s to early 30’s, who jumped into the business world with both feet running.  A brand new era of technology was beginning, and the business world enticed these fresh, young minds with high pay, multiple perks and cash incentives to join them in a world that offered wealth and prestige.

So, these eager young adults changed their patched jeans, tie-dyed t-shirts and sandals for clothes that bore the Gucci, Burberry, and Ralph Lauren labels.  They flashed their Rolex watches, their Sony Walkman’s and their high-priced condos for all to see.  They focused on their career, sometimes jumping from company to company, in search of the almighty dollar.

Now, they had to work hard, for it was a very competitive atmosphere in this new business world.  They were expected to shine and those who didn’t were relegated back to the ranks of the average working man.  But, they played hard too.  Yuppie bars sprang up in cities like Boston, New York and Chicago.  Gourmet restaurants became an “in” spot for meeting fellow Yuppies, and to admire each other’s pin stripe suits.  They drove expensive cars to let the world know that they were part of the affluent section of America, where cost was no object.  But, they didn’t worry, they invested in the stock market, bought co-op shares and real estate.  They had confidence in their future and their lofty positions in the business community.

Then the stock market crashed in 1987, causing the Yuppie’s to scramble for their monetary lives.   Their homes, cars and Rolex watches were in jeopardy as their investments went down the toilet.  Following the crash came the recession in the early 90’s.  CEO’s started spouting ugly words, such as “downsizing” and “restructuring.”  Yuppies found that their position of having top pays now put them at risk of losing their jobs to their subordinates.  Some survived the financial disaster by humbly taking less pay, no perks and working night and day to keep their jobs.  Others were not so lucky, they had to pound the pavement with the rest of the working class, in search of a job that would feed their wives and 2.5 children.

So, slowly, the Yuppies disappeared from view.  It was fun while it lasted, just ask any Yuppie!  They’re not hard to find, they’re standing next to the mailbox in front of their mobile homes waiting for their next Social Security check.  I know, because I was one of them.

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3 responses to “Where Have All The Yuppies Gone?

  1. Moi, aussi! I was less of a Rolex yuppie and more of the Seiko variety, but at the end of the day the final chapter was the same.

  2. Jess says:

    Maybe all the Yuppies are married to the Valley Girls? Where’d they all go?

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