These young people!

Published 10:43 am Monday, June 22, 2009

Today’s young people take the jobs from seasoned employees forced into early retirement and start out at earnings that took the older people 20 or 30 years to reach. They must have everything right away and the best advertised. Their parents initially rented apartments and took 10 years to be able to purchase a starter-house and weren’t able to afford a house large enough for the family until the children were moving out. The young people move into large, newly constructed houses immediately and can pay the mortgages only with both working full-time.

They buy all the electronic devices on the market as a matter of entitlement and put it all on high-interest credit cards. Then one looses his or her job, and it is understood there is a parental obligation to “help us out.”

They move back home when they run out of money. They are offended if their old room wasn’t kept empty and unused awaiting their return. They expect Mom to do their laundry and Dad to fix their car. The room is rent-free as if a public charity, and Mom does all the cooking (and cleaning up) because she always has. If it is hoped they will help with added expenses, this is viewed as child abuse.

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Christmas stockings continue into the early 20s, although now with 20s-level gadgets, while Dad still gets a tie and Mom a hankie. Parents are expected to keep giving  birthday gifts, but adult children keep forgetting theirs because parents always used to remind them. When it comes time for major wedding anniversaries, the parents have to put them on and do all the work. The kids come as invited guests.

Parents are expected to get the kids out of trouble they got into because they had refused to listen to parents’ advice. When the parents offer advice, they are resentfully informed it is none of their business. The kids don’t ask parents what to do until it’s too late to do much about it. When the parents had recognized it was approaching this stage, they were indignantly told not to interfere. They complain their parents never taught them how to perform domestic tasks, although the kids had refused to listen when they had tried. They hadn’t done any of these things while living in their parents’ home, because they just remembered they have homework to do.

Through the years, the parents attempted to relate stories of their own childhood and youth, but the children just rolled their eyes and stared off into space. Yet, not many years later they complain, “You never told us anything about your life.”

Mother is expected to sit the grandchildren at the drop of a hat, but daughter is too busy to make supper for Dad when Mother is sick.

Dad is supposed to fix everything that goes wrong around the children’s houses while the sons go away hunting.

Are all young people like this? Of course not.

But, then, all parents are not like the way the kids describe them at parties with their friends.

Is it really this bad? No, of course not.

At least not in every family, but it is in some. I suppose this is a cartoon, but a cartoon can’t be recognized as a cartoon until there is a factual basis to cartoon. Young people shouldn’t be offended by this — they should just take stock and see what they find in their own house.

Are my kids this way? Not one of the three in even the slightest sense, ever. Just yours are.

Now, I don’t want people my age clipping this column and handing to their adult children with “You should read this!” They should, of course. So, just leave it around where they will happen to see it.

I’m not the grouchy old man; I just got in your skin and under theirs.