October 4, 2006

You Again?

News reports are sprouting up all over, like fungus, about the droves of Generation Xers that are returning to the nest. Quelle surprise. Statistics and the offspring themselves are citing a host of excuses that boomer parents may be buying, but Rosie Dimanno and I aren't.

Oh, how I love some Rosie in the morning. I even love her when I disagree with her. She puts the 'courage' in conviction. She tell this over-educated spoiled bunch of brats to cut the apron strings, buy some used furniture and climb down to their first basement apartment and start being adults. Or something like that.

When I got accepted at several universities back in the stone age, I happily announced that I wanted to go to another city to live. I was 17. My mother just as happily informed me that I would be living at home, and attending the university in the next town. We couldn't afford residence fees, and I was not going to incur debt for such a stupid reason. An English degree is an English degree.

I'm aware school costs have blasted through the roof. I have a kid in high school - believe me, I lie awake at night and wonder how I'm going to do it. But I graduated not owing anything - not because we were rich, but because my parents knew I would never be able to head out into the adult world saddled with huge debt. No, that comes later.

It is far more attractive to live at home at 18 than 35. These Gen Xers who have attained several degrees have lived in an artificial world for too long. They get out and find out it sucks to pay for hydro and food. I know kids who put themselves through school - they don't whine. They're too busy.

I think it's the parents doing these kids the biggest disservice. You can't give a kid gumption - he has to earn it the hard way.

Oh, and a note to the returnees - it's kind of funny to be sneaking a girl into your parent's house at 18. At 35, it's losing some of its appeal.


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