Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Rich teenage girls are wasting their parents' money by going to Ivy League schools with the intention of being stay at home moms. Is this a surprise? Only if you've been hiding under a rock. I had been thinking about writing about this "new" trend, but my laziness means that the Times got there first. This isn't rocket science-after watching many of our mothers approach the adult diaper years while still having to work before we're even done with undergrad, having kids at a younger age at the expense of career advancement does seem just a little bit more appealing than those monster gauge in vitro fertilization needles.

This is not to say that I think we should all embrace a return to the home as the future of the women's movement. Being a stay at home mom(or dad) is really only fun if you have enough money to hire someone to do the dirty work for you. I'm sure it's a blast to hang out with the kids all day, shuttling them from playdate to baby music classes to soccer practice when you've got a Nicaraguan immigrant doing your cooking and cleaning.

I don't want anyone to think that I really believe that it's a good thing that so many young women are so flippant about the importance of a career to overall satisfaction with one's life. I am, in my own way, one of these girls. My mother stayed home with my sister and me and did all the icky household stuff, and she's always said that she's glad she did it. She also tells me she always knew she just wasn't a good enough multi-tasker to have a job and raise kids and manage to do both to her (admirable but unreasonably high) standards. I'm lucky to have grown up in a part of the country that made it possible for the four people in my family to survive on one state bureaucracy salary. It was a huge luxury to know that my mom would be around when I was done with school and that, unless it was summer golf-league Wednesday, my father would walk through our front door by 5:30 every night. This anachronistic security was great because I walked away knowing that the way to make things work better is not by making more money or having two full time career hounds or a total return to 1950's labor division. A return to slightly more "traditional" family setups might actually work if BOTH people made sacrifices, which seems to be exactly what these girls aren't looking for.

This article, much more interestingly, lays bare exactly how dumb today's youth is. Observe:
"I accept things how they are," she said. "I don't mind the status quo. I don't see why I have to go against it."

After all, she added, those roles got her where she is.

"It worked so well for me," she said, "and I don't see in my life why it wouldn't work."
There are no words. I take that back. I do have some words, and a suggestion for these women-Thalidomide vaccines. Wave of the future. Make your kids smarter and many times more special. Maybe even up to four times more special.

No comments: