Friday, July 19, 2013

Generation who refuse to grow up: No mortgage. No marriage. No children. No career plan. Like so many 30-somethings, Marianne Power admits she's one of them...

The other day I had lunch with my father, who was in London on business. He took me to his favourite pub and somewhere between the tomato soup and the mains he started a conversation that he has, until now — miraculously — avoided.

He glanced nervously at the waiter and sank his glass of wine before launching in, asking me what my plans are for life: Did I see myself settling down and starting a family? Am I saving up to buy a house? What is going to be the next step in my career?

There was a pause as I looked at him blankly and shrugged, before muttering that immortal phrase, loved by teenagers across the land: ‘I dunno.’

Except I’m not a teenager. I am 34.

Refusing to grow up: Those adults who do not acknowledge responsibilities like marriage, children and their career have been dubbed 'the Peter Pan generation'
Refusing to grow up: Those adults who do not acknowledge responsibilities like marriage, children and their career have been dubbed 'the Peter Pan generation'
When he was my age, my father was putting my six-year-old sister and eight-year-old me through prep school, and had another three-year-old daughter at home. He had been running a business for ten years, owned a house and had a pension.

In short, all the usual trappings and responsibilities of a middle-class man of that generation.

I, on the other hand, live in a rented flat with my youngest sister and have few savings to speak of. I certainly don’t have a pension.

As for the idea of marriage and children, well, it’s exactly that: just an idea — it’s no closer to being a reality than it was when I was 23.

    My ‘life plan’ as my father so sweetly called it, goes as far as this weekend.

    ‘Don’t you think you should start thinking about these things?’ he asked. ‘You do know you’re not 20 any more, don’t you?’

    I’m not sure that I do.

    While I am a fully paid up member of adult society in many ways — I pay taxes, cast my vote and give money to charity — in other ways, I am in hopeless denial about my age.

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    Anonymous said...

    At least she's not a NEET.

    IT.Sheiss said...

    Hi Anas,

    Remember what the Chinese say about the first generation building up the wealth, the second generation maintaining it and the third generation squandering it?

    It's the same in this case, especially with middle class youth in the west and don't be surprised, even here.

    Like what future were Alvin & Vivian looking forward to with their sex blog and bak kut teh prank?

    The hippies of the 1960s and 70s were somewhat the same. They came of age at the height of the western world's post World War II boom when life was easy.

    Most of those hippies were white, middle class youth. How many Black, Hispanic or Asian hippies were there?

    They couldn't afford to "turn on, tune in and freak out" when they had to struggle for to make a living.

    Here are two humourous renditions of The Battle Hymn of the Baby Boomers.

    Anonymous said...

    That's one person. Say there's a whole lot of them out there, say a whole nation's population.
    Ayo, it spells the death of society itself.
    What is it with these types? They have no ambition? No hunger for life? Do you become like this because everything's been made easy?