It started soon after Glen and I sat down for a beer after the game at the R.A. Some might call it a rant. Never would that word cross my lips, but others have used it to describe my point of view.
“The guy hardly ever comes out of his room,” Glen said in a description of his stepson’s lifestyle.” He’s twenty-four years old and I don’t think he has a life other than what he’s got going online. He’s taking some course at Algonquin… I don’t know, heating and air conditioning, but who knows if he’s going to finish that or even if he goes to most of his classes. I can’t get a straight answer out of him, or even barely a word.” Glen took a long sip of his beer and glanced down at the hockey game taking place on the level below. “He doesn’t say shit to me.”
Stop me if you’ve heard all this before. Life can be frustrating enough dealing with your own progeny, but then let’s look at all the blended families of today. So many confused innocents find themselves living under the same roof, linked not by any nature or nurture, but only through a newly-linked couple’s latest passion. And even that relationship, started of course with firm resolve and I’m-going-to-do-better-this-time best of intentions, can be as permanent as an adolescent’s New Year Resolutions.
“He gets $400.00 a month from his father,” Glen continued, “because of his father’s psychiatric condition, but even that’s cut off when he reaches twenty-five.” I’ve yet to talk to a guy whose marriage breakdown wasn’t caused by his wife’s noisy descent into irrationality but in a curious twist of logic, the ex-husband of his new squeeze is usually either a boozer or at least a low-level psychopath.
“Yeah, I know…,” I let the words drift off into the bar. But I don’t really have a clue. I can’t figure out why two people walking down the street would each be texting someone miles away rather than just conversing with the flesh-and-blood and supposedly interested human being right beside them. But then I didn’t grow up in a time when my parents arranged ‘play-dates’ over a cellphone and I had to be driven to-and-from a park and watched over while I played there, lest I be kidnapped by some pervert in a white Chevy van. Lord knows the world’s full of them. Just look at the Internet.
It may take awhile for this millennial generation to sort all this out. But there certainly will be enough experts to advise them as they go.