Thursday 10 May 2007
But, Mom, he started it!
Yes, it’s another friendly meme brought to you by us silly web industries folks. Barry Schwartz started this one, and then Kim Krause Berg challenged everyone at the Cre8asite forum to respond.
First, I have to say, Kim, now I have no one to tag. I think everyone I know is in the forum! But I’ll forgive you because I read your post and see that, like me, you are more worried about being too serious rather than not serious enough. In point of fact, this meme has given me a new worry…I don’t know enough people! I feel lowly and unconnected. I’m a dot in a sea of bigger dots. No one loves me! I…I…wait, I need to calm down.
But, seriously speaking, I wish I could be more serious about one big thing:
Feeling like I’m finally a real grownup
By the time my parents were my age, they owned a home and had 5 kids. At the age of 34, I don’t even own a dog. Every time I meet with our accountant, my husband and I just kind of chuckle and shake our heads while the fellow runs down the list of possible assets we might own…a house, a car, jewelry, a seaworthy vessel. Nope, nope, nope, nope.
The change in the California economy has resulted in the fact that not one of my hard-working siblings owns their own home. None of us has been awarded a set of cufflinks by our boss to recognize a decade of loyal service. My brothers and sisters tell their kids they better make straight A’s if there’s to be any hope of college via a scholarship, because no one is able to put aside money for their children’s future education. Everything I’m detailing here seems to me to be the hallmarks of adulthood for a previous generation. Earning that family home, those perks, that security, were the achievements a man or woman could look at to measure the passage of time and the reality that they had become serious, empowered adults who were people of substance in their community.
At this point, I think I’ve had to become rather flip about the concept of planning for my future, longterm. Unless Matt Cutts hires me tomorrow to create a beautiful new look for Google, there’s just no foreseeable way that my husband and I can put away the $800,000.00 it takes to buy a 2 bedroom home in our corner of absurdly expensive California, where we remain in order to stay close to my family. I just can’t treat the idea as a serious subject.
But I wish I could.
I feel that I’m going to remain in a kind of psychological limbo unless I can figure out some way to become an ‘owner’ rather than a temporary ‘user’. Those earmarks of adulthood from the past apparently still carry a lot of weight with me, and I feel ashamed of this sense of drifting rather than having the next decade of my life charted out on paper. How I can get to the place where I’m planting my own tomatoes and crookneck squash in my own little garden is something I believe a grownup would know how to do, but both my husband and I just haven’t figured this out yet. So, I put it to the back of my mind and make jokes about it with the other young couples we know for whom such an idea is a pipe dream. But I know that without getting serious about this, and truly hitting upon that golden plan, it will never happen. I’ve got to figure this out. Seriously.