But the Golden Boy, ah, the Golden Boy. In the past few months he has learned (unfortunately) about money, and made the connection between money and work. And he knows where his dad works, and that I work in the building across from school. These are things we have told him—for I have never heard him express any interest at all in what anyone does—we might all be wearing ninja turtle suits and running in sewers all day for all he knows and cares.
I would not mind this, so much, were it not for a series of disturbing conversations with various colleagues and friends. The dread phenomena of Lazy Young Men. You probably know of a handful too—your cousin, your brother, the son of your mom’s friend. You know. Those guys, hitting their thirties, (I know of cases older too), sitting around in a floor of their parents’ house. Not doing much. Playing video games. Stoned. Or not. Aimless. Drifting. Like Driftwood, as Travis would say. It’s not so glamorous, though, when your son does it. While I am furiously contemptuous of the middle-class sensibilities of forcing our children into university otherwise we would explode with shame in front of the neighbors, while I do not want yet another unhappy engineer who thinks he should have been a film critic or a coffee-shop owner in my family, yet, yet, yet.
I would like him to be a carpenter. Or a gardener. Or a farmer—oh yes, I would love that. I would love to live with him on his farm, and help him out with his garden and chickens. (Princess: “Are you crazy? Count me out—I’m not going to live on a farm!” Me: “It can be an “urban farm.” Princess: “What the heck is that?”)
I would like him to be happy, and have some income, so he’s self-sufficient. Is this too much to ask for?