Thursday, January 14, 2010
Hold On to Your #2's Kids, It's Gonna Be A Bumpy Ride
I have realized that I should have been a professor.
Not just any tortoise-shelled glasses wearing professor mind you, no. I am a genius. I would have prepared the masses for what they were really in for in life.
None of this algebra and diagramming sentences nonsense. No historical references, no political banter. Nope. I would have revolutionized the entire educational system I tell you.
Taken it by its stuffed shirt and ridiculously over-priced tuition and turned it on its head damnit.
I would have prepared the world for what was really out there.
My syllabi would have included such life lessons I wasn't prepared for. The things I wish I had known could happen but thought were only a reality on Jerry Springer and on cheesy Lifetime movies.
There would have been a plethora of classes offered including some of the following:
Single Parenting for Dummies
Baby Daddy Drama: It CAN Happen To You
DON'T Get a Credit Card at 18
How to Avoid Collection Calls
How Crying Can Get Your Cancellation/Disconnect Notice Extended/Reversed
It's Wine O’clock Somewhere
Relationships Suck, Just Accept It
How to Get Government Assistance (Even IF You're an American)
I'm sure if I sat here long enough I could come up with a slew of other priceless gems that I wish I knew then. I wish someone had told me about.
What good does all that tuition I spent, all those student loans (thankfully paid off now) do for me now while I am pending lay-off yet again? What good does knowledge bring you in a fight-for-you-life existence in a job market that is tooth and nail, kicking and screaming, hair pulling tough and not may the best man (well, woman) win?
Qualifications, schmalifications. Jobs are being passed over day by day by people who are over qualified, under qualified, or just who knows what other bogus reasons they give. Oh she's a single mom? That could be trouble. Does it matter that there are glowing recommendations and a resume that makes her look like a Saint? No. She comes with child? Game over.
Why weren't THOSE classes offered in college? Screw college, why weren't they offered in high school? Instead of taking SATs to prep for who could analyze which train got to which station first and who could whip out a 500 word essay in a little blue book faster and more efficiently, why weren't they doing their job? Preparing us for what was really out there?
This dog-eat-dog world that was ready to chew us up and spit us out?
As I struggle in my day to day existence, I never dreamed it could ever have been this hard. No one warned me. No one even gave me a hint that anything could ever go wrong. You grow up, go to school, go to college, you get a job, you get married, have kids, retire, you die. Done.
No one ever tells you that more often than not your life is completely derailed. That this Master Plan as it were doesn’t actually happen, or that when it does you are miserable. You grow up sure, and go to college. Example 1, a vast majority of people I know do NOTHING remotely close for work that they went to school for. Having wasted billions upon billions of dollars over the years on useless tuitions that were pretty much the equivalent of paying $40,000 to go to a party and come out of it 4 years later with a piece of paper. Hooray.
Example 2, once they are in said job, most people hate their jobs. The daily grind in which they spend 40-60 hours of their week devoted to bitching and moaning about people they can’t stand, tasks they hate to do, and usually a boss that is either incompetent or Hitler-like.
Example 3, they get married. Now granted 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce, that’s statistically proven. The ones who actually stay together, are the ones who are either in the minute percentage that are actually happy (which I believe to be a lie cooked up by being mostly drunk a majority of the time, or too busy to actually interact with each other. Avoidance makes the heart grow fonder.) or they are devoutly religious and won’t divorce no matter how much they despise their spouse. Either way doesn’t sound like a good time to me, so I believe I’m going to pass.
Example 4, now yes I put the cart before the horse. And as a matter of fact, these days, most people seem to. No one prepares you for that one in life. That once you have a kid things will be ok. Sure I love my son more than life itself. But fuck, it’s HARD. They don’t tell you that there is a possibility you’ll get NO help from the “other” parent (sperm donor as it were). They don’t tell you about court battles and custody drama. They don’t tell you about fighting for Child Support and having to struggle to keep a roof over your kids head. They don’t warn you about the Single Parent Stigma, that they might as well call you Hester Prynne and bear a Scarlet Letter on your chest.
Example 5, retire. Well, with the abundance of the Ponzi schemes and thanks to Bernie Madoff and the like, most people my age will never retire. Hell, even my 63 year old mother, even though semi forced, is not afforded ability of retirement. You live off a fixed income that doesn’t cover the cost of living. You are in limbo between which agencies consider you technically a Senior Citizen and when you can get certain benefits. It’s crap.
Life’s a bitch and then you die. They weren’t kidding.
Damnit, I'm getting myself a Mister Rogers sweater and I'm gonna teach the future generations how little they have to look forward to.
Hold on to your #2's kids, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.