On My Home Planet

I have an opinion about everything, and here it is for the world to see.

Hating on: morons, self-righteous political extremists, the man-and-baby-hating strain of feminism, CraigsList, yuppies, careerists, white liberal guilt, people devoid of any sense of morals or personal responsbility, and other generally clueless and misguided types who continually piss me off.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Idiots! You're not in college anymore

People wonder about and bemoan the state of twentysomethings and why we're not getting ahead. Sure, there are cards stacked against us in the race to standard adulthood - job market sucks (most of what is out there, they want to own your soul for a few decades), forget about owning a house, and who the hell knows what is going on with the whole "marriage is out of vogue" sentiment of the media/pop culture.

However, could it be in part that we're doing it to ourselves?

Yeah, there's the "get in debt up to your ears in buying things" fad that proliferates around here, but the irresponsibility also extends to where you live and how you spend your free time. In the Liberal Yuppieland Metro area, there are echelons of "I'm not ready to leave college" communities, which are basically like college dorms for older people... Their residents don't let go of the fratboy/sororitygirl party days of yore, with the disastrous results.

"The thing to do" if you're an attractive, educated, "successful" "young professional" is live in one of these communities, which are centered around:

  • - luxury buildings with insanely high rents (sure, fork over 1/2 your salary to pay someone else's mortgage, ALL 22 year olds need marble fireplaces and jacuzzis in the home).
  • proximity to bars, and the subsequent lifestyle of going to bars several nights a week, drinking oneself into a stupor, inhaling tons of secondhand smoke, being in the meat market, being judged on how expensive your clothes are/how "pretty" you are (by WASP standards of course; all non-WASPS are fugly)/how skinny you are/how easily it seems you'll put out by shallow drunk guys, and of course making out with/going home with random people and pray to God you don't get one of the million STDs going around.
  • proximity to absolutely nothing else to do if one were inclined to develop healthier habits.
  • a general snotty environment, in which everyone brags about what kind of car their flavor of the month drives, the countries they've visited, the restaurants they've tried, the multiple graduate degrees they have or plan to get.
  • limiting yourself by not owning a car (who can afford the insurance, not to mention the car payment, when all your $$ is going to rent and car tabs), thus further delaying the passage to true adulthood.
  • having neighbors/roommates who are within a half-decade of you agewise, all went to one of ten schools, all do one of twenty jobs, and all share the same interests.

I spent a year in one of these neighborhoods, before moving out to an "uncool" community, closer to work at the time, closer to bookstores/bike trails/craft stores/stuff I like, quieter and "goes to sleep" earlier, twice the space and quality for half the rent, actual age diversity in my neighbors. I've been saving money for my retirment and more immediate future. Got mostly friends between 5-10 yrs older, as of late been blessed with some friends 3-5 yrs younger, and I'm happier and probably healthier having options besides going to some smoky bar.

I tell my twentysomething coworkers where I live and it offends the living shit out of them. I am referred to as "the one who lives in "the ghetto". When asked why they feel that way, my coworkers tell me that despite the significantly lower crime in my neighborhood, not being near any bars, clubs, etc qualifies it as "the ghetto". They cannot figure out how I spend my time on the weekends, what I do. I guess needing to have savings qualifies me as poor or slumming it.

Awhile back, though, a guy at work had our team - men and women - over at his place in Yuppieton (a "cool neighborhood") for a football game and I dropped by for a bit. This guy is, despite his myopic worldviews, pretty nice. I was there not 30 seconds when I was offered a beer.
"No thanks, I'm driving." Smile and grab a diet coke.
"Come on, don't be LAME! Have a beer."
"Thank you, I'm fine".
"Something else alcoholic?"
"GODDAMN IT! HAVE A BEER!" 300 pounds of my coworker's tub of lard roommate (aka, early 30's manager at his firm) is in my face screaming. People are looking at me funny; some guys are giving me dirty looks. Nobody comes to my defense. I guess a size 0, 5'2 woman can defend herself physically. Making me almost 100% certain that said keg had roofies in it or something. That or they WANT me to get a DUI. OK then I'm gone. People weren't this pathetic at high school parties.

This isn't a rare occasion though. Happened before, many a time, largely at work functions. I've tried the (IMO perfectly valid) "I'm a diabetic, I can't have alcohol and you're being an immature asshole to try to pressure me to do something that will make me very sick" line, just makes people angry. It's no wonder I don't even go to parties or try to be friendly with my coworkers any more really.

Let's not forget my former college roommate who's convinced I'll never find a husband because when I would go to bars, I didn't drink. "That's really the only way to meet somebody, and even when you do go, you never drink." Did I miss an Eleventh Commandment?

And I am referred to often at the office or by friends of friends as "the one who lives in that ghetto Quietton", "the one who doesn't drink".

So you have to go to bars a lot, sleep around a lot, and live in neighborhoods where you party a lot, pften well into your early 30's around here, to be accepted by your peers. That means you'll come out of your 20's with
  • no savings
  • lots of credit card debt
  • perhaps a borderline drinking problem/liver damage due to too much alcohol
  • decreased fertility if not lung cancer due to inhaling all that secondhand smoke
  • perhaps decreased self-esteem from having your worth as a human being judged solely on your looks, material possesssions, address, resume, and stamps on your passport
  • perhaps an STD from too many drunken hookups
  • perhaps not such a great career due to showing up late/drunk pretty often

and you have the nerve to wonder why a management position, house, spouse, nest egg, all the stuff our parents had at our age aren't being handed to you on a silver platter? Part of the reason our parents had that stuff in their twenties was they didn't DO the shit that twentysomethings do today until such a late age. Not to mention, they didn't seem to NEED several private school master's degrees, the latest techie toy, uberexpensive highlights, eating dinner out every night, and so forth.

Yeah, the cards are a bit stacked agaist us, but really, twentysomethings have a lot of blame to put on our individual selves and our peers for the way things are.



At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous thinks I'm the coolest...

hey. i'd have to agree with your blog. the question is what's to become of us nondrunkards, nonparty animal, show up to work late folk

laughing! :) keep your head up


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