I realized the other day my oldest son doesn’t have anything approaching the same goals for his “future” that I had when I was 17. He said he wanted a career where he would have to wear a tie, maybe a suit and really good shoes. He didn’t want to go to work like a schlepp everyday. At first I thought, what an extremely shallow and vain thing. Then I reminded myself, “He’s YOUR son, Lisa.” Nothing he says is shallow. Everything he says aloud he has considered and reconsidered many times before spoken aloud.
When I was 17, I thought I’d be rich. Not just rich but CRAZY, fucking rich. Insane rich. House on Starr Island, deep water access, cigarette boat at the end of the dock, mansion, Leer jet, globetrotting rich. We were all gonna be stars, celebrities, “beautiful people”. Right? We were weaned on Miami Vice and Dallas and Dynasty. And in pure and total honestly, I will offer up my mea culpa. Was I INSANE? I like my life. Nay…I LOVE my life. I love my house and the simple rising sun in my back yard and growing my own strawberries and pulling weeds. I love that my ‘commute’ is eight miles of two lane country driving. I am a consumer and I love nice things and I am a top-self kinda girl. I’d rather eat nothing than eat crap. I’d rather mend a favorite pair of jeans than buy new. I like comfy…beautiful but comfy. And I realize I never had the extroversion and Teflon ego to be one of the “beautiful people”.
So, when my beautiful son who can rant and dish like an apple who has fallen right at the base of the tree says he wants to wear a tie and good shoes he is saying more than, “I want to look like an A&F model everyday.” He wants to feel important….be important. What he is talking about is power. Maybe he means simple ‘personal power’ but it is a distinctly different thing than to say (or think) I want to be RICH. It might be that he has grown up privileged. Let’s be honest. In a small town, his mom is a doctor; his father owns his own business. He’s not had much scrap. Sure the emotional toll of the divorce cost him but to hear him talk, it helped him. It shaped him. It made him stronger. And now who does he sound like? Let’s take adversity and an upside down world turning event like your parents divorcing and turn it into something positive, useful, beneficial. I raised an optimist. Bam! See what I did? Now mind you, this optimist child has a scathing tongue and a keen eye for bullshit and no qualms calling bullshit. I think he’s gonna do just fine.
Now let me get my keester moving and slog myself “into the city” (do you hear me laughing?). It’s all the way into town! My life is so hard, right? My life is great and I am rich. Beyond measure. Rich with satisfaction.