Tag Archives: Households

Bouncing Back Into The Nest

by Richard

No, I’m not done editing the book. Not by a long shot. What I am done with is whining about it. So, step back. I’m climbing back into the saddle and gonna start blabbing again. So there.

Saw an interesting stat the other day. Interesting as in, I started sweating and my heartbeat raced up into the danger levels and I started swaying back and forth as my lungs labored to bring oxygen to my shock-starved brain. Yeah, that kind of interesting.

According to the latest statistics, more than a million members of the Class of 2008 have come back home to live with mom and dad.

*ack*

The Class of 2008, born during the historic bull market that closed the past century, reached a dubious distinction last year: More than a million of the college graduates have gone back home.

The number of 26-year-olds living with parents has jumped almost 46 percent since 2007, according to Census Bureau data compiled by the University of Minnesota Population Center. Last year, the number of 18- to 30-year-olds living with their parents grew to 20.7 million, a 3.9 percent gain from 2010.

The figures underscore the difficulty that millions of young people have had in finding jobs and starting careers in the U.S. following the longest recession since the Great Depression. About a quarter of American adults between the ages of 18 and 30 now live with parents, while intergenerational households have reached the highest level in more than 50 years.

If you’re smart, you’ll just hit that website link there and try to only read the interesting bits about the kids moving home and try to avoid the clumsy politicking the writer gets into there.

Anyway, I’m not sure this is a good trend. I mean, yeah, I think it’s good that people can have a relationship with their parents that extends after high school, but I think it’s all too easy to fall back into old habits and patterns of rebellious teen and dictatorial parents. I know when Sarcasmo went off to try his hand at college and then returned home, it was an even bigger kerfluffle than before. He kept insisting that he be treated as an adult and could do what he wanted when he wanted.

That did not turn out well. And, it could be that we did not have a unique experience.

About a third of adults 18 to 34 who live with a parent said the move has been good for the relationship, according to a March report by the Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends Project in Washington. Only 18 percent said the move had caused relationships with their parents to deteriorate.

More than 60 percent of adults 25 to 34 know friends or family members who have moved back with their parents in the past few years because of economic conditions, according to the Pew report. It cited a December telephone poll of 2,048 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Still, economic realities might just be crashing into issues of privacy and autonomy. That is, if your young dude can’t find a job, there might be no better place to go than home. Though, one thing I’m quite certain of, should we get another boomerang kid, just like we did before, we’re going to insist on getting paid a rent.

We love our boys and want them to have a good life, but we need to realize that we as parents have lives of our own as well.

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10* Things I Hate About You**

by Richard

If you dudes watch tv (and, would you be dudes did you not), you’ve no doubt noticed the following commercial screaming off your screens so many, many times.

After watching it the first time, I actually had to rewind the tv and watch it again. While, on the surface, I’m sure the folks who created the commercial like the sound of that, it wasn’t because it was so good. I just couldn’t believe any company could be so stupid as to run a commercial like that.

Here. Take a look and I’ll be right back to talk about it.

Yeah, so there’s that. I’m not even going to get started on the obvious misogyny of the whole thing, but let’s talk stereotypes. There’s so many in such a short period of time, I’m not even sure where to begin. Women only like romantic, smooshy movies. Men only like testosterone-fueled action movies. Really? No, not really.

The strangest thing I get out of the commercial is the implication that drinking a diet drink somehow makes you less of a man. As if there’s something wrong, something “limp” about drinking a coke with no calories. That’s bad, you see, but we put in 10 calories for our coke because we’re MEN! None of that wimpy healthy drink for us! We’re MEN! No one, no one at all, in the entire approval process thought this was a bad idea?

I get that this is supposed to be funny and ironic and all that. I get it. Really I do. But they’re wrong. The only thing I found myself laughing at was the poor people who actually came up with this ad.

Because, you see, here’s the big reason this ad is so wrong. In the majority of homes, women do the shopping. So a coke that advertises itself as not for 51 percent of the population has already lost a significant customer group. And if they don’t like it, they’re not going to buy it for the males in their households. So that’s a large portion of the remaining 49 percent gone as well. What? Dr. Pepper’s target demographic is the tiny section of men, aged 18-40, living alone? That’s a pretty small demographic.

Sure, predicating sales on a model of exclusivity can work, provided your business model is geared toward high prices selling at a lower total amount. But Dr. Pepper, like every other coke company in the world, has a business model geared toward selling large amounts of product. I just don’t see that happening.

So, really. What’s wrong with these dudes?

*or possibly fewer. Or maybe more. (Definitely fewer. A lot fewer.) I picked the title before I started writing. Bad habit. Sorry. I’ll try to get over that. And I’ll try to get over using all these *s. I understand they can be annoying. So. No more of those.

**Not you you. I was talking in general. And to the commercial. And, well, obviously I just blew the resolution not to use the * but I think it was understood that I was talking about not after this post. I mean that would be pretty silly of me to promise not to use something and then use it right after. I mean I’d have to be some sort of idiot dude to do something like that. And I’m not. Really.

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Give A Little

Well, Mother’s Day is over, but you’re still not done giving gifts. Trust me on this one. There is one gift that you need to give your wife, the mother of your children, right now. Give her the gift of time.

In most traditional households, it’s the dude who goes out of the house and does the work. Now, in these recent economic times, the wife — more than likely — also goes out and works to bring home the bacon. However, it’s also the wife who usually does most of the care and feeding of the little dudes and dudettes.

There’s the household cleaning. Cooking nutritious meals that kids and adults will actually like. Grocery shopping. Ferrying little dudes to and from soccer practice or gymnastics. Organizing sleep overs. Helping on school projects. Finishing up on work she neglected during the day so she could get home to see the little ones. All these things bite deeply into time that could be, and should be, spent at least partly on herself.

My wife, known to many as She Who’s The Best Ob/Gyn Around, sees this sort of thing almost every day in her practice. It’s one reason she helped start an organization known as Tri It For Life. She’s a triathlete, which means she’s uncommonly obsessed with swiming, cycling and running. As a doctor, she’s pretty sure it’s not only good for her body, but good for her mind and disposition as well. She also thought it would be good for other women to do. With that in mind, she started recruiting other female triathletes to go out and find women who wanted to do more than just daily chores and work, and who would be willing to spend a little time on themselves.

In the last three years, the Tri It For Life group has run more than 300 women through its training program, getting them ready for and helping them participate in a women’s only triathlon here in Charlotte, the Ramblin’ Rose. Many of these first-time triathletes have gone on to become mentors to other newcomers. They’ve taken the time they need for themselves and are all the better for it.

Now, I’m not saying that this is the only thing suitable as a gift of time for your wife, but it’s a really good idea. Driving to and from work shouldn’t be the only time a person has to themselves. Even if it is the only time you get to control the radio and listen to some decent music.

Taking time for yourself, even if it is just a few minutes here and there, is important to your mental and physical health. Give your wife the gift of time. She’ll be happier and, as you know, if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

— Richard

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