As a part of the It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation I am required to be filled with angst concerning my joblessness in a quite cynical, martyred kind of way. I am supposed to be lamenting the woes of graduating into "a recessionary/post-bubble economy" and stamping my foot angrily, confounded by my inability to live a bourgeois life at 24.
Instead, I am poring over cook books, consulting my mom on beef stroganoff strategies and waiting for a kid to come home from school. Don't get me wrong. The stroganoff will probably be sub-par and the kid's not really mine, but these are the things I find enjoyable these days. I used to have some fleeting notion that by now, I'd be commuting to some high-pressure publishing job in the city from my own Ikea-appointed apartment and having rendezvous at trendy night clubs with sexy up-and-coming artists or young edgy software engineers who just made their first million. But let's face it, folks. I was never a part of that upper-middle class throng of kids my age who really do have these expectations of life after graduation. Not to say that I don't have goals, but this type of goal was never a factor in my reality, and was never that interesting to me, anyway. Call it defeatist, call it delusional, but I am just as amused by The New American Cookbook (c. 1942) as I would be by the indy music scene downtown or a wine tasting at my fabulous friend's condo with a view.
Seriously, folks. This book is better than the TV picture-box. Where else am I going to learn how to make a Pineapple Lime Frost (As Lovely as Old Lace), and how to serve a dinner party where "loveliness is the first and lasting impression?" Apparantly, loveliness is a very high priority. "Whether served on snowy linen, gay oilcloth, or on dainty, lace doilies through which gleams the brillian luster of highly polished wood, lovely and efficient service adds to the value of meals."
Yeah...y'all don't have to worry about me abandoning my post as an independant woman willing and able to kick butt and take names in the workforce when and howsoever I choose, blah, blah, blah. I really don't think I could ever achieve the level of loveliness required of the 1940's housewife. I'm just not that interested in hors d'oeuvres or doilies. At least I'm not a foreign homemaker, for "foreign homemakers in many ways have been less fortunate than their American sisters...not having available to them knowledge of hygenic food preperation and modern cooking equipment." Forget unemployment, debt, and post-grad disillusionment. I would totally be up a creek, without my steam-pressure canner. Totally screwed.
Am I rationalizing and making light of my situation to cover my dissappointment over a life more ordinary? Maybe. But i don't think so. Besides, I'm only 24. When I start thinking that wearing velour sweatsuits to the supermarket is sexy and consider the middle school band concert a social event...maybe that's when you should stage an intervention.