Monthly Archives: November 2016

Our First Holiday Without Him

tgivingThis Thanksgiving, I joined the countless other forgotten, unloved parents who raised ungrateful, thoughtless children who have the unthinkable audacity to grow up, go away to school, get lives of their own and forget to come home for major holidays. (Insert pathetic sob here.) That’s right, my college student did not spend Thanksgiving Day with us. I always knew one day he’d break our hearts. Instead of being here within the clawing grasp of our loving arms, he went to Toronto instead.

Despite pointing out that he’d have plenty of time to hang out with his friends and see the world after we were dead, he went off anyway. So we cried. Just a little. We can only have small crying fits as crying upsets the dog. And the dog is really old, probably just one upset away from the Rainbow Bridge. Not that it matters, because Buster is so old he probably doesn’t remember that we even have a rotten son. Unfortunately, the rest of us aren’t that old and will likely die of a broken heart long before we can get that old. Not that this matters to anyone in Toronto.

Oh sure, he tried to sort of make it better by coming home for a few days before his little adventure. This was probably an attempt to get us use to what the future holds for us: the days when he’ll speed past our nursing home and honk twice, too busy to actually stop in and wipe the Ensure® off our trembling chins. Never the less, we’ll still be telling the nursing staff what a good son he is in our thin, failing voice, the whole time hoping we haven’t been dumped in the next facility to be investigated by Channel 11 for health code violations.

Honestly, I blame myself. It was me, after all, that raised him to be independent, to jump on opportunity when he sees it, and to chase down every adventure. And I’m not too proud, though, to say I was wrong. Those were bad parenting decisions on my part. Therefore, I think it’s now on him to realize that, forget that whole independent thing, and be home with me every chance he gets. There are millions of kids still living at home with mom, refusing to be launched! Why, oh why, did I get the one that won’t land?! (Insert big sigh here.)

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Men Not at Work

men_not_working

I’ve seen the signs on the highway and around construction sites: “Men at Work.” There was even an Australian rock band in the early 80’s called Men at Work. But according to an article I read in “Time” magazine recently, men actually aren’t at work. Not that they can’t work, these are men who just won’t work. We aren’t talking about just a handful either. One in seven men between the ages of 25 to 54 — the prime earning years — are now making the choice not to work. Uh, when did this become okay?

According to Nicholas Eberstadt, a guy who actually does work because he wrote a whole book on the subject of guys who don’t work, there are more men checking out of the workforce now than at the end of the Great Depression. See what happens when you make it okay to wear pajama pants in public – you forget how to pull up your big boy pants (that have belt loops and cover your butt) and get a job.

It’s not even that these men can’t find jobs, they aren’t bothering to look. And the epidemic seems to be infecting these men fairly universally. It’s not just limited because of education, skills or job availability. Nope, seems like professional, blue-collar, and unskilled men of every race are thinking it’s perpetually Miller Time.

But hey, guess what? Women are working. Even older guys (who actually grew up with some kind of work ethic) are working. Generation X, though, has no desire to get off their lazy duffs, so instead are living off of their wives, girlfriends or family. Okay, ladies, look around your house. Televisions and computers are common hiding spots. If you have one of these free-loaders lying around, hit the eject button. If necessary, make an appointment to have the couch surgically removed. Your government mandated health care probably won’t cover that expense, but pay it anyway. It’ll be worth it in the long run.

Honestly, my saintly old grandmother would call these guys “bums.” I’d probably agree if I weren’t so busy earning an honest living and paying into the tax base. However, if you happen to be one of these guys, let me point out that there are newspapers and websites that publish “Help Wanted” ads. You’ve this far in, why not head on over and check those out? Oh, and by the way, you probably need a haircut, too.

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