Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I'm calmly sipping my morning coffee, browsing the Internet and thinking about heading upstairs to put on my face and clothes for the day before heading to work, when I hear Al Roker screaming.

"Do you have a 20-something at home? Tell them to GET OUT!"

Images of weddings and homes are flashing on the screen, and Roker is still apoplectic.

"WHAT is taking these TWENTY-somethings SO LONG to GROW UP?" If his shirt wasn't choking him to death already, I'm sure the veins in his neck would be standing next to Meredith Veira. His head is extra shiny today.

Why is Roker so passionate about twenty-somethings "growing up?" Does he have a twenty-something at home?

Well, Roker, let's see. All those jobs promised to my generation after college? Gone. Our future? Contingent on how much money we can personally sock away since our social security will be all but gone. Our college education? Much more expensive than our parents anticipated, riddling us with student loan debt. Oh, and that Bachelors degree? Equivalent to a GED these days. Jobs are scarce, insurance policies are daunting, and the price of housing when we first graduated was obscene.

It's taking us so long to "grow up," Roker (according to your standards, which means getting married and buying a home, APPARENTLY) because our opportunities are limited. This wasn't the world we were promised. However bratty that might sound.

And I continue to argue with this point of what "growing up" actually is. I know many people, myself included, who don't own a home or are married, but who are financially independent and working up a career ladder. I'm sure Roker means the twenty-somethings that are living at home with Mom and Dad, but everyone is neglecting to point out the middle-ground of twenty-somethings. Yeah, we might wait until the 30s for marriage and home-buying, but that doesn't mean we're not grown up in some ways. I take issue with this gross generalization that if you're unmarried and unburdened with a mortgage, you're somehow "not grown up."

Of course, I agree that there is a degree of settling down that takes place when these things happen. And there is just as surely a sense of the temporary when you're working your way through your twenties and making decisions and figuring out your path. But to claim that we're all at home, sponging off of Mom and Dad, is ludicrous and unfair.

You annoy me, Roker.


Anonymous said...

Two tidbits...

1- When my parents attended college (1965-1970), the federal student loans were about $2,000 a year. This would pay for one's room, board, and books, leaving only tuition (about $5,00 a year for them, being out-of-state students at a public school) not covered. When I went to college (2002-2007), the federal student loans had increased to a whopping $2,500 a year, barely covering the cost of my books. The cost of a higer education has significantly increased over the years, but government support of such institutions has decreased.

2- Upon their graduation, my parents rented a one-bedroom apartment in Bethesda. Their monthly rent was a mere 10% of my mom's monthly teaching salary. I don't think I could find a legal place to live in Maryland for 10% of my monthly salary. The cost of living has far out-paced increases in income.

So yeah, Roker can go stick his head in a beehive.


Doctor H said...

This concept of 'responsibility" coming from a man with such little self-control over his self that he had to have gastric bypass surgery to lose weight.

michaeil said...

ghod...lower case g intended..hope he doesn't start on 50 somethings...I might have to excommunicate myself from my dwelling place :-)