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High Lonesome

High Lonesome
Location
Southwest desert and mountains, U.S.
Birthday
June 06
Title
Hey, could you ...?
Company
Sometimes
Bio
Flamingo chick.

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Salon.com
MARCH 5, 2012 9:10PM

Get out, kid, and keep running

Rate: 11 Flag
This weekend, my daughter posted on her Facebook page a link to a magazine article about a national park near here. One of her cousins, a junior in college, commented that he'd like to see it again, because he'd been too young to truly appreciate the only time he visited. She replied that he should visit and assured him that my husband and I would welcome him and show him around.

All that was very  low-key and cordial.

Then my husband's brother got in on the exchange and said that travel was for the upper class. He meant it.

We had extended the offer before, and my brother-in-law had torpedoed it in short order.  His son had to stay home and work. (We offered to find him a job here, one that was more appropriate than earning minimum wage fixing flat tires.) What if he got lost? (We'd find him.) What if his car broke down? (We'd get it fixed.) Don't make him want things he can't have.

Well. 

The kid is 21. Are they going to let him out soon? 

I was far more irritated than my daughter, who was just laughing at being lumped in with the 1 percent.  What a bizarre idea, using her Facebook page to criticize her, her friends and her family for succeeding. And what else could she have said when the poor kid expressed interest? "Neener neener neener, loser"?

Inviting him to visit us isn't exactly luring him into sin. This is not Aspen; it's a beautiful but impoverished place. We are not Beautiful People; we live in an 1,800-square foot house and get up every morning to go to work. We weren't going to sell him into slavery or even try to talk him out of voting for Rick Santorum - if he's allowed to vote. She just thought we'd show the kid a good time, as we have a lot of other kids.

There's an old adage about crabs in a bucket. Whenever one gets close to the rim, the others pull it back down. I'm trying to remember that. I'm trying to empathize with my brother-in-law.

But wow, resent much? Does sniping at my beautiful, well-traveled, upwardly-mobile, gracious daughter make you feel better?

My brother-in-law has made choices that have not served him well, and he continues to do so. This isn't all about the economy and the 99%. It's about being afraid to venture out, being afraid to fail, being afraid to even talk about trying. Those aren't traits to pass on.

I want to kidnap the kid and bring him here for deprogramming. I want to say, "Look! We got out; you can too! There's a wide world waiting!" I want to tell him, in a thousand different ways all summer long, that his dreams are worth dreaming. 

And I want to smack his dad for picking on my kid.

 

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My video wouldn't embed, but you get the idea.
You know, H. L., I can empathize with your righteous indignation. That being said, sometimes we have to ask ourselves whether the juice is worth the squeeze. A 21 year old man has to decide for himself sooner or late, don't you think?
Indeed, but by 21, some of us had a good running start. We can choose to feed our children on dreams or on fears.
Yeah...a touch of bitter is showing through there perhaps. Having to stay home and work sounds like the proverbial father wanting his kid to take over his business....and embrase his life.....and being concerned the son may choose not to.
But I also know you can make the best of a tough situation.
What would Jesus do?
I have a pretty mean imagination if someone hurts my kids. No limit is what it feels like. A redneck whose name I don't divulge thought that military life exposed innocents to too much homosexuality. Same with college. I think Jesus would have said, "Suffer not the fools to come unto me."
If the kid is 21, maybe it's time to get out. I hope he finds the world before he's married and has two kids and a mortgage. What a sad story.
It takes a lot of tries to break free from a situation like that. You've made the young man a clear offer. It's up to him now to man-up and take it. I hope he does.

R.
The image of the crabs in the bucket says so much... ~r
Living in a small town, I see so much of this. It makes me sad. Travel--even to the next state--gives you much needed perspective on your own place in time and space. And if there's anything we need right now, it's perspective. (Sigh).
This needed to be said. I know young people who have quit trying and use the bad economy and wealth inequaility as an excuse for lack of trying.

That doesn't make the current situation right, but it doesn't help to play victim. R