The West’s perpetual adolescence — affluence and socialism create a nation of Peter Pans who refuse to grow up

One of the things I find most distasteful about ObamaCare is its requirement that employers must provide insurance coverage for their employees’ children through their 26th year.  I don’t find this just economically wrong, I find it cosmically, morally wrong that our federal government has officially extended childhood until citizens are 26.  I cannot think of a single reason why our national policy should be to delay normal human mental and emotional maturation.  Progressives seem to have added to the Constitution, right after “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” a coda saying that being Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, is a legitimate career goal.

I mentioned yesterday that, over the Thanksgiving weekend, I listened (and am listening to) both Joseph Ellis’s American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic and David McCulloch’s 1776. One of the things that comes through so clearly in these books is that the Founding Fathers were adults, not children, and they were adults because, from a very young age, all of them had taken on adult responsibilities, whether as soldiers, surveyors, blacksmiths, booksellers, lawyers, farmers, printers, or whatever other careers the Founders pursued.  Even gentlemen farmers such as Jefferson still had myriad responsibilities for their estates and the people dependent on those estates.

That all of them took on responsibility so early was not unusual; it was the norm.  What would have struck all of them as peculiar was a world view holding that, during your peak years of childbearing, physical strength, and mental adaptability, you should lounge around the house pursuing your bliss and living off of your parents.  Necessity required the Founders to work and grow.  A combination of affluence and socialism ensures that our children can remain adolescent well into their late 20s.

Nowadays, the majority of American children stay in school until age 18.  In Colonial times, but for a few college-bound gentlemen, by 18 most would have been employed for years.  The women would already have had children and that would have been true whether they were ladies of leisure, or working women responsible for a family farm, a washing business, housework, etc.

For too many Americans, though, adulthood doesn’t even begin at 18.  The middle and upper classes send their children to college.  For $20,000 to $50,000 per year (payable by their parents or the government, either through direct grants or guaranteed loans), they attend a few classes, take some tests, meet new people, party a lot, travel (always at someone else’s expense) and generally delay taking on any real responsibility.  Many of them study subjects that will have no measurable benefit on their lives, either in terms of future income or acquired knowledge.  Only once these youngsters graduate, at 21 or 22, do some of them finally start working for real.  Some of them get married and have children.  Too many, however, continue to be adolescents:  they get low-level jobs (although it’s not always their fault in the Obama economy) and they still look to Mom and Dad for financial support and insurance.  Partying remains important.

The degree jockeys further extend their adolescence with further education.  Some actually study things that will prove remunerative (law, medicine, architecture, business, etc.), but many opt for purely academic disciplines, getting advanced degrees in History, Medieval French, Puppetry, Womyn’s Studies, etc.  They do so despite knowing that there is almost no chance that they’ll get a job in their field.  I would never make such a foolish decision with my time and money.  When I finished my undergraduate education, despite my abiding love for history, I knew I would never get a job in my field.  The grad students in the history department told me that, in my graduation year, there were only four PhD level job openings for history majors in the entire United States.  I went to law school instead.

People need to grow up.  They are just as stunted without mental maturation as they would be if a disease or dietary deficiency kept their bodies from growing properly.  I realized the truth of this when I had children.  Although I’d worked as a lawyer for many years, and had my own business, until I had children and truly had others entirely dependent upon me, I was still a kid.  Nothing I did really mattered.  When you have children, everything matters.  Your choices are suddenly monumental, since they affect not only you but a helpless human being, who needs you desperately and looks up to you with love and respect.  I definitely miss the irresponsibility of my youth, but I wouldn’t go back.  I was biologically destined to mature, and it feels right.

What triggered this post about the terrible effect of ObamaCare’s perpetual adolescence factor is an email that has been making the rounds in Britain.  Nick Crews, a British Navy retiree, apparently had a bad Christmas with his three adult children last year.  By February of this year, he couldn’t keep it bottled up any more, so he sent them an email saying that they needed to stop whining and flailing about, and needed to begin taking responsibility for their lives.  Crews is absolutely right, although I believe that, because his children were raised in a socialist nation that turns the state into a perpetual parent who feeds, clothes, and otherwise provides for the citizen-children, he’s fighting a rearguard action:

Dear All Three

With last evening’s crop of whinges and tidings of more rotten news for which you seem to treat your mother like a cess-pit, I feel it is time to come off my perch.

It is obvious that none of you has the faintest notion of the bitter disappointment each of you has in your own way dished out to us. We are seeing the miserable death throes of the fourth of your collective marriages at the same time we see the advent of a fifth.

We are constantly regaled with chapter and verse of the happy, successful lives of the families of our friends and relatives and being asked of news of our own children and grandchildren. I wonder if you realise how we feel — we have nothing to say which reflects any credit on you or us. We don’t ask for your sympathy or understanding — Mum and I have been used to taking our own misfortunes on the chin, and making our own effort to bash our little paths through life without being a burden to others. Having done our best — probably misguidedly — to provide for our children, we naturally hoped to see them in turn take up their own banners and provide happy and stable homes for their own children.

Fulfilling careers based on your educations would have helped — but as yet none of you is what I would confidently term properly self-supporting. Which of you, with or without a spouse, can support your families, finance your home and provide a pension for your old age? Each of you is well able to earn a comfortable living and provide for your children, yet each of you has contrived to avoid even moderate achievement. Far from your children being able to rely on your provision, they are faced with needing to survive their introduction to life with you as parents.

So we witness the introduction to this life of six beautiful children — soon to be seven — none of whose parents have had the maturity and sound judgment to make a reasonable fist at making essential threshold decisions. None of these decisions were made with any pretence to ask for our advice.

In each case we have been expected to acquiesce with mostly hasty, but always in our view, badly judged decisions. None of you has done yourself, or given to us, the basic courtesy to ask us what we think while there was still time finally to think things through. The predictable result has been a decade of deep unhappiness over the fates of our grandchildren. If it wasn’t for them, Mum and I would not be too concerned, as each of you consciously, and with eyes wide open, crashes from one cock-up to the next. It makes us weak that so many of these events are copulation-driven, and then helplessly to see these lovely little people being so woefully let down by you, their parents.

I can now tell you that I for one, and I sense Mum feels the same, have had enough of being forced to live through the never-ending bad dream of our children’s underachievement and domestic ineptitudes. I want to hear no more from any of you until, if you feel inclined, you have a success or an achievement or a REALISTIC plan for the support and happiness of your children to tell me about. I don’t want to see your mother burdened any more with your miserable woes — it’s not as if any of the advice she strives to give you has ever been listened to with good grace — far less acted upon. So I ask you to spare her further unhappiness. If you think I have been unfair in what I have said, by all means try to persuade me to change my mind. But you won’t do it by simply whingeing and saying you don’t like it. You’ll have to come up with meaty reasons to demolish my points and build a case for yourself. If that isn’t possible, or you simply can’t be bothered, then I rest my case.

I am bitterly, bitterly disappointed.

Dad

Despite the letter’s harsh tone, at least one of his children said it was something she needed to hear.

In Obama’s America, a lot of parents will soon feel like writing to their children the same letter Crews wrote to his.

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Comments

  1. Danny Lemieux says

    Unfortunately, perpetual adolescence can be very habit forming and there is a point where people lose the ability to mature. As this recent election demonstrated, we have become a nation of children.

  2. Caped Crusader says

    As a person nearing the ninth decade of life, I have some perspective of changes over an extended period of time. Today young people suffer from both a lack of being expected to assume the duties of adulthood, and a lack of doorways to enter adulthood. The generation preceding us suffered through the great depression and a “poverty for all” environment and assuming adulthood was a matter of surviving and eating, or not surviving at all; no easy choice here. My generation of the thirties, forties, and fifties had it easier but knew that life would not be a bowl of cherries. The world was in turmoil and our country was in mortal peril. You were EXPECTED to assume the role of an adult at least by the age of 18. In high school, ROTC was mandatory for all; boys 16-18 wore a regulation US Army uniform, learned basic military science and tactics, learned close order drill, and could care for and field strip and maintain every small arm used by the military (M1 Garand rifle, M1911 .45 pistol, M1 carbine, BAR ‘Browning automatic rifle’, Browning .30 and .50 machine guns, Bazooka, mortars, etc. Young men with such a background viewed themselves as young adults and acted as such. After 3 years you received a certificate allowing you to enter the armed services 3 ranks up from the bottom since you had already received most of what is learned in basic training. The best students were selected as officers the final year and carried a saber when in full uniform. One of the very proudest moments in my life was during the Armed Forces Day Parade 1951, marching at the head of our battalion with the other officers and hearing the battalion commander barking cadence, with all our sabers flashing in the sun as we came over a rise in the broadest city street and looking down on the city and the State Capitol, and realizing that I was on my way to becoming someone worthwhile. I grieve that young men today have no similar experiences and this only promotes delayed and in many cases no development as adults and their responsibilities. Reflecting back on these years and my classmates, I cannot think of one who did not become “somebody” and led a fulfilling and successful life.

    Military training is a great advantage to a young man, and in my opinion was one of the greatest  factors in my success in life. In my era it was born of necessity, for all knew they were headed to the military in their young lives and it was to your advantage to prepare for the best placement in the future. It was an era of constant war, threat of war, and a chance of annihilation. I happened to be on active duty in 1962 during the Cuban Missle Crisis. It was an era that kept the mind focused and the bowels loose.

    “If you desire peace, prepare for war” — Benjamin Franklin

  3. Danny Lemieux says

    Caped Crusader, I agree wholeheartedly with what you said. However, I believe that the quote you cited was uttered by a famous and very wise and successful Roman General, Publius Flavius Vegetius.

  4. shirleyelizabeth says

    I’ve had reason to ponder on this topic this week as well. I think that one reason people are fighting so hard to keep the right to kill babies accepted, fashionable, and prevalent, and you could add in the defense of birth control against the bogus evils that would take it away, is because they are so terrified their extended adolescence will be snatched from them. It’s those same that say the world is changing and we must change as well and accept every societal deviation. But when asked to change? When nature calls on them to change? It is ignored.
     
    I have three facebook friends from high school (and before) that sent me off on this tangent. They are 25-26, and I weekly see their pictures from nights of going to clubs, weekends in Vegas, and just overall drunkenness in continuation of a lifestyle that, for some reason, is generally accepted for those in the 19-35 range. (of course, I have more facebook connections that fit this description, but this isn’t their story.) Earlier this week one of them posted:
    “A woman loses 90% of their eggs when they turn 30??!! Is this true??? Dear g– ..”
     
    And a sampling of the responses and ensuing conversation between the three:
    “thank god”
    “too bad you don’t lose all your eggs..like oops sorry, times up, you lose.”
    “ya, marry a real religious guy.. they’ll want kids out of you asap”
    “you can have my eggs shelli.. i dont’ want any”
    “Can we like rent them out and then take them back when we’re ready?”
    “how do the eggless women compensate?”
    “plastic surgery”
    “they compensate by just not having kids.. i see it as a win.”
     
    I could be wrong, but I think that one day they will be very sad over their current choices.
     
    My dad has used this analogy in lessons to his adult children that put off marriage and children (or any other responsibility):
    An man was walking down a road as part of a long journey. An old sage appeared and told him that if he stopped to picked up as many pebbles as he could and carried them with him then in the morning he would be both happy and sad. The man thought that advice strange, and perceived no benefit in carrying any extra load, but wanted to see what the sage was talking about, so he put a handful of pebbles into his pocket and continued on. In the morning when the man emptied his pocket he was indeed happy and sad. He was happy because what he had in his hand were beautiful, precious rubies, but sad because he did not take more.

  5. lee says

    I am your Peter (Petra?) Pan. And for the most part, I hate my life. (Usually, I talk about in terms of the any and the grasshopper. I have been the grasshopper most of my life. I needed a lot more “ant” going on… Now it’s winter, and I am screwed…)

    As an undergrad, I was like a kid in a candy store–all those classes sounded so INTERESTING! I “major shopped” and finally majored in something I enjoyed and found interesting, but it was never going to get me a job. Of course, I was too clueless to realize that until I graduated and found no one was interested in hiring me because I had no secretarial skills. Pre-computer days–my typing stank, I did not know shorthand. I knew the alphabet, so I could at least theoretically file. I ran scurrying back to school, and got a second BA (in a year), majoring in something else in which I was never going to get a job. But I was going to go to GRAD SCHOOL, get my terminal degree, and TEACH COLLEGE. (I hope no one is drinking anything while they read this, or that would’ve sent your beverage skirting out of your nose as you snorted.)

    (In my defense, I managed to graduate the first time during a SUCKY economy–getting a job for even someone with good secretarial skills was going to be a challenge. If you look at the BIG SPIKE in unemployment in the 1980’s, why right then is when I graduated from college. The first time.)

    But going back to my undergraduate years a but–I partied. Too much. I was lazy about doing homework. I had friends in ROTC who tried to get me interested, but I was not–I didn’t want to get up at 5:00 to do the physical training. I soaked my parents for a lot of money. I do thank God that the licentiousness of today was not as rampant back then–I was not someone who “hooked up”–that is NOT something we did back then, indiscriminately. We still deluded ourselves into thinking we loved the person. I so envy the friends I had who waited for marriage. They married nice young men, not long after they graduated, and are still married to them. They have families… good jobs…

    Back to my undergrad years–when the going got tough, I dropped the class or changes majors. I did the minimum I needed to get by. My grades were okay, but one would never guess that I was a National Merit Scholar, with a pretty high IQ. But I did have FUN, FUN, FUN! Football games, parties, concerts, parties, basketball games, parties…

    So, I graduated, couldn’t get a job, got a second BA and WENT ON TO GRAD SCHOOL. Yeah. That was miserable. I still was not working very hard, skating to get by–and HAVING FUN! I learned a VERY important lesson–one can NOT tell one’s grad advisor to go **** themselves; that is the END of one’s grad career. So… I was 6 credits shy of earning my terminal degree. Out of school, and once again, into a crappy economy. I got work, but it was killing me. I worked as a stage hand. Hours were awful, I was low on the call sheet, so I worked rarely. I was barely getting by. Actually, I wasn’t getting by. (If you look at the 1990’s unemployment rates, this is the time of the first spike.) I had no idea what to do… so I took to my usual escape route–I WENT BACK TO GRAD SCHOOL. (In something completely different.)

    Still soaking Mom and Dad, still putting off the growing up. I had less fun in grad school this time around, and I did actually work hard. I made more decisions based on how it might look on my CV–getting involved in the student government, presenting papers at conferences, etc. But there was no way I was every going to get a job with a PhD in an obscure field… What they hell was I thinking? I was scared–in my thirties, my only real skills were those needed to  be stage hand. Thanks to advent of personal computing, my secretarial skills were improving…  I also didn’t really want to grow  up… I still ENJOYED being part of the university community. I enjoyed the free time. I enjoyed traveling overseas (I “had to”–for my “research.” Snort.) I still made fun of the people who “drudged” along as “working stiffs”… (BTW, I was also still voting Democrat.)

    I finished my MA and went on for my PhD. I managed to get accepted (and get a good fellowship) to a prestigious enough program that, had I finished my PhD, I really would’ve had a decent shot at getting a teaching position, possibly even a tenure track position. But I couldn’t afford it. I was in a program with either young people with wealthy parents, or married people with wealthy spouses. (One of my fellow grad students owned his own Cessna!) My parents, who I had soaked for so many years, were not made of money–no one would every mistake them for “wealthy.” And I was FINALLY starting, almost to GROW UP.

    I was tired of soaking  my parents. I also realized that here I was, almost 40, and I had never held a job for more than two years. I had never had a relationship that lasted longer than two years. I had no savings. I was still acting like a kid.

    After three years in the PhD program, I quick. That is three years of my life, and several thousand dollars I will never get back. Time and money totally flushed down the toilet. (Despite my sizable fellowship, I STILL needed to take out student loans just to survive.) Yet, I still think I dodged a bullet. I was in grad school when “post-modernism” became chic. It’s idiotic. I might’ve been able to slog my way through a dissertation, but I could never have been able to stomach working in a field steeped in the academic equivalent of the emperor’s new clothes. Anyhow, I got a SECRETARIAL job, working for a bank. I rather enjoyed it. I was envious of the VP’s and associates, that they knew what they wanted to do, and that they were interested in MONEY, both at such a young age.

    I did go back to school, yes, one more time, and got a degree in something useful. Ish. No, not accounting, or IT, or anything that can make some decent money, but in a design field. And I am still working in a field tangential to that. But I am still a bitter individual.

    I wasted most of my life, and I wasted an unimaginable amount of my parents’ money, getting nowhere, doing nothing. The people I sneered at when I was undergrad, for selling out and majoring in business, are successful, living in very nice homes, and planning retirements. (I might have enough money in my 401K by the time I am 75, to live a few descent years of retirement.) I just got married, for the first time. (One of the ONLY things I do love about my life is my wonderful husband, a man who really, truly loves me.) By never really working, I never put in much time anywhere. So I have almost no savings, and after twelve years of ACTUALLY WORKING, I still little practical leadership or management experience. I have two BA’s and two masters degrees, and so, I am basically a secretary. I make a terrible salary. I have no children–there is no one who will remember me once I am dead. Except for my husband, I really hate my life.

    I am also bittter about the fact that I “did things right” and my life still sucks. I grew up in a very rural area. There were a number of girls who got pregnant in high school and dropped out. They were the “bad” girls. Now, thirty odd years later, they are also the ones with savings, families, and some of them have nice careers. (One of the dumbest boxes of rocks managed to get a masters degree and is now teaching college. Adjunct position, but with her husband’s career, she can afford to be an adjunct. And she just loves her students! One of the smarter girls took a lot of computer science classes, now has her own business and does EXTREMELY well.) My life still sucks because it took me so long to grow up. The round-heeled girls of my high school HAD to grow up, when they were 17 with a baby, possibly a husband. Not like I recommend that, but you know…

    Some of the Peter Pans out there have parents with enough money that they will never reach the nadir I have–money cushions the blow. And there are some who fall into careers that pay well enough that they can still postpone growing up. (Hollywood people come to mind.) But I so wish I could go back in time and make changes–have my parents boot my off their dole once I graduated; listened to them about majoring in what they thought I should major in; living at home while going to college instead of going away and living in the dorms; joining ROTC as an undergrad, taking the secretarial classes in high school; graduating and STAYING out of school…

    Thirty odd years ago, in high school, I was going to be SOMEBODY. I was going to SHOW those rednecks who treated my like crap. They were going to EAT MY DUST. Hah! The laugh is on me. I am the one who is nothing, nobody, and nowhere.  No one cares that I got a degree from the University of Michigan–no one looks at your resume on a daily basis. No one cares how much education I have. No I am in my early fifties now. I am probably in the last job I will ever have. It may or may not be dead end. I am doing affordable-ish things to try and improve my skills to improve my job–working on credentials that employers like. Improving my skills at certain things. But I hate my life and just don’t see it improving much.

    And it’s pretty much because I was a Peter Pan most of my life.
    Back to my undergrad years–when the going got tough, I dropped the class or changes majors. I did the minimum I needed to get by. My grads were okay, but one would never guess that I was a National Merit Scholar, with a pretty high IQ. But I did have FUN!

    So, I graduated, couldn’t get a job, got a second BA and WENT ON TO GRAD SCHOOL. Yeah. That was miserable. I still was not working very hard, skating to get by–and HAVING FUN! I learned a VERY important lesson–one can NOT tell one’s grad advisor to go **** themselves; that is the END of one’s grad career. So… I was 6 credits shy of earning my terminal degree. Out of school, and once again, into a crappy economy. I got work, but it was killing me. I worked as a stage hand. Hours were awful, I was low on the call sheet, so I worked rarely. I was barely getting by. Actually, I wasn’t getting by. (If you look at the 1990’s unemployment rates, this is the time of the first spike.) I had not idea what to do… so I took to my usual escpate route–I WENT BACK TO GRAD SCHOOL. (In something completely different.)

    Still soaking Mom and Dad, still putting off the growing up. I had less fun in grad school this time around, and I did work hard. But there was no way I was every going to get a job with a PhD in an obscure field… What they hell was I thinking? I was scared–in my thirties, my only real skills were those needed to  be stage hand. Thanks to advent of personal computing, my secretarial skills were improving…  I also didn’t really want to grow  up… I stilll ENJOYED being part of the university community. I enjoyed the free time. I enjoyed traveling oversease (I “had to”–for my “research.” Snort.) I still made fun of the people who “drudged” along as working stiffs…

    I finished my MA and went on for my PhD. I managed to get accepted (and get a good fellowship) to a prestigious enough program that, had I finished my PhD, I really would’ve had a good shot at getting a teaching positiong, possibly even a tenure track position. But I couldn’t afford it. I was in a program with either young people with wealthy parents, or married people, with wealthy spouses. (One of my fellow grad students owned his own Cessna!) My parents, who I had soaked for so many years, were not made of money. And I was FINALLY starting, almost to GROW UP.

    I was tired of soaking  my parents. I also realized that here I was, almost 40, and I had never held a job for more than two years. I had never had a relationship that lasted longer than two years. I had no savings. I was still acting like a kid.

    After three years in the PhD program, I quick. That is three years of my life, and several thousand dollars I will never get back. Time and money totally flushed down the toilet. (Despite my sizable fellowship, I STILL needed to take out student loans just to survive.) Yet, I still think I dodged a bullet. I was in grad school when “post-modernism” became chic. It’s idiotic. I might’ve been able to slog my way through a dissertation, but I could never have been able to stomach working in a field steeped in the academic equivalent of the emperor’s clothes. Anyhow, I got a SECRETARIAL job, working for a bank. I rather enjoyed it. I was envious of the VP’s and associates, that they knew what they wanted to do, and that they were interested in MONEY, both at such a young age.

    I did go back to school, one more time, and got a degree in something useful. Ish. No, not accounting, or IT, or anything that can make some decent money, but in a design field. And I am still working in a field tangential to that. But I am still a bitter individual.

    I wasted most of my life, and I wasted an unimaginable amount of my parents’ money, getting nowhere, doing nothing. The people I sneered at when I was undergrad, for selling out and majoring in business, are successful, living in very nice homes, and planning retirements. (I might have enough money in my 401K by the time I am 75, to live a few descent years of retirement.) I just got married, for the first time. (One of the ONLY things I do love about my life is my wonderful husband, a man who really, truly loves me.) By never really owrking, I never put in much time anywhere. So I have almost no savings, and after twelve years of ACTUALLY WORKING, I still little practical leadership or management experience. I have two BA’s and two masters degrees, and so, I am basically a secretary. I make a terrible salary. I have no children–there is no one who will remember me once I am dead. Except for my husband, I really hate my life.

    I am also bittter about the fact that I “did things right” and my life still sucks. I grew up in a very rural area. There were a number of girls who got pregnant in high school and dropped out. They were the “bad” girls. Now, thirty odd years later, they are also the ones with savings, families, and some of them have nice careers. (One of the dumbest boxes of rocks managed to get a masters degree and is now teaching college. Adjunct position, but with her husband’s career, she can afford to be an adjunct. And she just loves her students! One of the smarter girls took a lot of computer science classes, now has her own business, and does EXTREMELY well.) My life still sucks because it took me so long to grow up. The round-heeled girls of my high school HAD to grow up, when they were 17 with a baby, possibly a husband. Not like I recommend that, but you know, it makes me wonder…

    Anyhow, some of the “Peter Pans” out there have parents with enough money that they will never reach the nadir I have–money cushions the blow. And there are some who fall into careers that pay well enough that they can still postpone growing up. (Hollywood people come to mind.) Some Peter Pans marry, and their combined income helps them stay that way. I recommend GROWING UP, instead. I so wish I could go back in time and make changes–have my parents boot my off their dole once I graduated; listened to them about majoring in what they thought I should major in; living at home while going to college instead of going away and living in the dorms; joining ROTC as an undergrad, taking the secretarial classes in high school; graduating and STAYING out of school…

    Thirty odd years ago, in high school, I was going to be SOMEBODY. I was going to SHOW those rednecks who treated my like crap. They were going to EAT MY DUST. Hah! The laugh is on me. I am the one who is nothing, nobody, and nowhere.  No one cares that I got a degree from the University of Michigan–no one looks at your resume on a daily basis. No one cares how much education I have. I am in my early fifties now. I am probably in the last job I will ever have. It may or may not be dead end. I am doing affordable-ish things to try and improve my skills to improve my job–working on credentials that employers like. Improving my skills at certain things. But I hate my life (for the most part) and just don’t see it improving much. I am much poorer than my parents were, except for the year or two right after they first got married. (And I am DEFINITLY much, much poorer than they were when they were my age.) I feel that most of life is, and has been, a waste. And it’s pretty much because I have been a Peter Pan most of my life.

    Admittedly, things could be worse. And I do have one very bright spot: My husband is a wonderful man. He grew up on a farm, went into the military out of high school. He married very young, but stuck it out and tried to make the best of it for far too long. He has been responsible since he was very young. He actually values some of my grasshopper-ness! He said he has not allowed himself to have fun in over twenty years. He always felt that weeks were made for working, weekends were made for working around the house. He says that thanks to me, he is starting to appreciate taking a day off on weekends to do something fun. Thanks to him, I am starting to appreciate taking care of the house. And the value of hard work. He is the one bright spot in my life.

    So, I highly recommend to people: GROW UP! AS SOON AS YOU CAN!!!

  6. Caped Crusader says

    lee:
     
    Congratulations, you are finally “home”. You have found someone who truly loves you, never let that slip away, for far too few ever reach this destination. Cherish, nurture, and cultivate this relationship every day of your life. Never let petty disagreements last more than one hour. Don’t sweat the small stuff; it’s all small stuff compared to one who loves you. Whenever you take leave of this person, tell them you love them, for it may be the last time you ever have to chance to do so. You will yet have a wonderful life!

  7. Caped Crusader says

    Danny #3:
     
    After conferring with a psychiatrist friend, he feels that Ben Franklin most likely suffered from a yet unnamed disease, now known as “Doris Kearns Goodwin Disease“, in which the offender copies off the paper of another famous person.

  8. Danny Lemieux says

    DKGD – I will need to remember that! It should definitely be included in the list of approved psychological disorders. Can I nominate Joe Biden for membership in this illustrious club?

  9. Caped Crusader says

    Danny Lemieux
    DKGD – I will need to remember that! It should definitely be included in the list of approved psychological disorders. Can I nominate Joe Biden for membership in this illustrious club?
     
    Go right ahead. If you need a doctor’s excuse or note, feel free to call on me anytime.

  10. says

    Can I comment on this, as a young man aged 23?
     
    First of all, insightful and very strong post by lee. I will have to keep this one on my mind.
     
     
    I must say that I most certainly recognize this “Peter Pan” attitude of perpetual adolescence in my peers. I won’t portray myself as holier than thou, because that is something I absolutely abhor. I may be and probably am guilty of some of the same things and many other things that might also fall into the perpetual adolescent category. 
     
    The first thing that comes to my mind, is the frequent partying. Many of my peers do a lot of that and some actually seem to be dragging themselves from party to party. Most of these parties take place either in student (dorm) rooms, private residencies or in bars and cafés. Related to this partying is the drinking behavior of many of my peers – male and female.
     
    The late teenage, early twenty guys are often the worst in my experience. I have known quite a few who seem to like to drink as much alcohol as possible, as often as possible – resulting in them regularly getting absolutely stone drunk and doing all kinds of stupid and disgusting stuff that I do not dare mention in decent company, and often would have preferred not having heard about. Yes, you hear about these things, because these guys actually boast about and laugh at their alcohol-soaked anthems. Girls have their own alcohol-soaked excesses too, of course. The number of cases in which these are sex-related isn’t unsubstantial.
     
    Not only is there alcohol, drugs are also fairly widespread. Cannabis/marijuana is quite popular, but there’s a lot of other crap that’s also circulating. I know multiple stories of guys my age (guys in my own class, in fact, amongst others) who grow their own marijuana or before the Netherlands banned marijuana sales to foreigners, went to the Netherlands to get stocked up on marijuana. I have also heard stories about the use of stimulant pills during the exams.
     
    The lack of responsibility, thought of the future and in some cases just common, basic decency and morality is also present and sometimes quite shockingly so. I can also recognize the stuff about living off parents, although I do know quite a few young people who hold holliday or weekend jobs.
     
    I won’t even talk about the sexual behaviors amongst young people – at least for now.
     

    Now, as I said, I’m not holier than thou. But I must say I am often disgusted at the behavior of some (many?) of my peers. The frequent partying and the copious amounts of alcohol disturb me. In fact, together with some moral considerations and a justified or unjustified fear of lack of self-control, the drinking behavior of my peers is what pushed me to choose to become a teetotaler a few years ago. I abhor the (ab)use of drugs like marijuana and consider them to be filth that I do not want near me (not that I haven’t been offered that stuff). I rarely, if ever, go to a party or a bar. The only kind of party I somewhat like is one with my family.
     
    I honestly really prefer sitting in a corner reading a book or sitting behind my computer reading (and writing) to going out, partying and stuff. Yes, I guess I do have some perhaps fairly marked anti-social tendencies.
     
    I’m currently still in university. If things go according to plan – and I’m going to do everything to make sure they do – I will finish in June of 2013 and attain my Master’s Degree. After that, the working life looms for me.
     
    I have already discussed this with my parents, and we have arranged that once I have a job and still life with my parents, I will have to pay a yet to be determined amount to them every month to help cover costs like heating, water, power, internet, phone, satellite television et cetera – call it rent or whatever you wish. I will also have to cover the expenses for my pets and my transportation myself. I think this is not a bad idea at all – my mother used a similar system with her parents after she graduated and up until her wedding. 
     
    I can  envision me getting married and having my own family one day. I certainly want to, but I’m not sure if its going to ever happen. I’m not an easy person to get around with, I’m afraid.
     
    Now, I do have my problems, indulgences and guilty pleasures. One -minor, perhaps – example is that I still listen to – and love – different kinds of (heavy) metal music. Perhaps that isn’t really an adult thing, although I have met responsible adults who are into it. But still, maybe I’ll have to call it quits with this one day. I DO actually ocassionnally attend concerts and music festivals, although I do not engage in some of the behaviors common at such events. Another problem I have is a temper and, at times, whininess and complaining.
     
    Like I said, there are many things wrong with me and I have lots of work to do. I would never say I’m not guilty of the perpetual adolescence. But I do attempt to grow up. And I see this world not necessarily making it easy.
     

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