April 11, 2010

Muffy, Yuppie and All Things Stuffy

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“Dahling, let’s hop into the ’bu and pop on over to the ’tuck.”

Indeed, Cornell, let’s.

For those that are confused, this roughly translates from “yuppie” to: “Come on, let’s get in the Subaru and go to Nantucket.”

For some reason, Cornell, overt preppiness has become highly desirable on and around campus. And I’m not talking your run-of-the-mill Abercrombie and Fitch preppy, circa 2000. Oh no.

I’m talking layering every Lacoste t-shirt you own and popping all three collars.

Now I’m not saying that I read my opening line in The Sun’s “Overheard” section, or anything like that. Believe you me, if I had, my eyes would probably still be bleeding.

But I’m pretty sure someone has said that somewhere on campus sometime. (Most likely in Statler High, circa 1983.)

Now don’t get me wrong. I love a pair of topsiders as much as the next girl. But I cannot understand, for the life of me, what is so fantastically fab about a pair of Chinos with tiny sailboats speckled all over them. (Though do let me know if they make them for girls. Preferably in pink. Kay, thanks.)

But seriously, guys. We’re getting a little ridiculous. In my two weeks back from Spring Break, I’ve never seen so many boys persistently rock their topsiders, screw if it’s April showers bringin’ May flowers.

And I swear to you that I have never seen so many girls in one classroom attempt to disguise a J. Crew catalogue or The Preppy Handbook with their Orgo textbook during lecture.

Okay, according to my roommate, apparently the The Preppy Handbook is not as well-known as I would imagine it to be. So forgive me if that joke was lost on you, but basically the book is akin to word of God. But for all the would-be prepsters in the 1980’s. Now reread it and laugh.

Anyway, Cornell, you’re leading me to believe that all things Muffy have made a complete comeback and they’re here to stay. And not just on campus.

Case and Point: Muffy and Biff: A Preppy Primer Revisited. Sure to be a NYT Bestseller when released, this book is the sequel to The Preppy Handbook, which for most Cornellians probably takes the place of a Bible on the bedside table.

Though some could argue whether a true prep would need a guide, the book is nonetheless prized as a classic. Like up there with Socrates. Or Stephanie Meyer.

To this my roommate says, as she’s editing this article, “I didn’t read The Preppy Handbook when I was a kid.”

“Wait, wait, wait. Seriously?”


“Well, someone clearly did not have a childhood.”

I digress.

It’s important to note that this is not your father’s brand of yuppie. (No really. Trust me. I know. I saw the pictures of my dad at Cornell in the ’80s. And I have never seen plaid pants rocked the way he rocked ‘em.)

In case you wanted to hop on the trend, I’ve consulted preppymusthave.com. They recommend cocktail toothpicks, martini shakers, steamer trunks and the Michelin Restaurant guide in their shopping section. Throw in a healthy dose of monogramming, and you’re halfway there.

All in all, I think Cornell has gotten some things right, yup-wise. Certainly, spending time at the Straight is not like spending time in a Palm Beach country club, for example. (No, seriously, I have never seen more navy blue blazers and white chinos on 70-something year olds in my life. Ralph Lauren would have died and gone to heaven.)

So, I think Cornell should embrace the unique brand of yuppiness that has permeated our culture.

Think of our yups as smoking Cuban cigars. Only, instead of smoking them on our yacht, we’re smoking them on our kayaks. And instead of Cuban tobacco, well, they’ve got a little something something from Jabberwoks in them instead.

Cristina Stiller is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at [email protected]. Believe You Me appears alternate Mondays this semester.

Original Author: Cristina Stiller