Quotes of the day

posted at 9:00 pm on August 22, 2010 by Allahpundit

We’re in the thick of what one sociologist calls “the changing timetable for adulthood.” Sociologists traditionally define the “transition to adulthood” as marked by five milestones: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child. In 1960, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had, by the time they reached 30, passed all five milestones. Among 30-year-olds in 2000, according to data from the United States Census Bureau, fewer than half of the women and one-third of the men had done so. A Canadian study reported that a typical 30-year-old in 2001 had completed the same number of milestones as a 25-year-old in the early ’70s…

The 20s are like the stem cell of human development, the pluripotent moment when any of several outcomes is possible. Decisions and actions during this time have lasting ramifications. The 20s are when most people accumulate almost all of their formal education; when most people meet their future spouses and the friends they will keep; when most people start on the careers that they will stay with for many years. This is when adventures, experiments, travels, relationships are embarked on with an abandon that probably will not happen again.

Does that mean it’s a good thing to let 20-somethings meander — or even to encourage them to meander — before they settle down? That’s the question that plagues so many of their parents. It’s easy to see the advantages to the delay. There is time enough for adulthood and its attendant obligations; maybe if kids take longer to choose their mates and their careers, they’ll make fewer mistakes and live happier lives. But it’s just as easy to see the drawbacks. As the settling-down sputters along for the “emerging adults,” things can get precarious for the rest of us. Parents are helping pay bills they never counted on paying, and social institutions are missing out on young people contributing to productivity and growth. Of course, the recession complicates things, and even if every 20-something were ready to skip the “emerging” moratorium and act like a grown-up, there wouldn’t necessarily be jobs for them all. So we’re caught in a weird moment, unsure whether to allow young people to keep exploring and questioning or to cut them off and tell them just to find something, anything, to put food on the table and get on with their lives.

***
Where I get confused around this plight-of-the-20-something issue is when it’s suggested by the generations above us that our crawling or churning is immature or foolish, that one day — sometime after we cross over the 3-0 threshold, apparently — we’re all going to wake up and realize we should have buckled down, gotten married and quit the charade because the real joy/purpose in life is to “be an adult.” That slow and steady actually loses the race…

What am I gaining by taking my time versus what I’m losing by just getting to it already? With every year I wait to be ready to get married, am I letting all the people there are to marry pass me by? Will I be a better, more mature mother at 35 or would I have been just as adept and instinctual at 25? If I live at home with my parents for one more year while I save up to be a full-time writer, will that leave an eternal mark of lame on my life résumé? Does being an adult mean having the maturity to know you’re not ready for adult things, or having the maturity to dive in and just figure it out? Won’t I be a better, happier, healthier adult if I take my time getting there?

If someone could please write the article that answers those questions, we’ll kindly decide at what speed we’d like to “grow up.”

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Comment pages: 1 2

Can you ID “that girl in the corner“?..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 1:40 AM

Not sure… she looks like a 12-year-old version of Eddie Van Halen’s wife, Bertinelli.

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 1:53 AM

Not sure… she looks like a 12-year-old version of Eddie Van Halen’s wife, Bertinelli.

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 1:53 AM

Bingo!..I had such a crush on her when I was young..She was Hot!..at least to me..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 1:55 AM

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 1:55 AM

She was the ONLY reason I watched One Day At a Time.

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 1:57 AM

When I was young I had crushes on Ricardo Montalban and Edward Mulhare. Looking back it’s kind of creepy that I ‘liked’ gentlemen that were old enough to have grandchildren my age.
My husband has 11 years on me-that’s plenty.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 23, 2010 at 1:58 AM

She was the ONLY reason I watched One Day At a Time.

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 1:57 AM

You got that right..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 1:59 AM

I want Mark Harmon to adopt me.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 23, 2010 at 2:01 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on August 23, 2010 at 1:58 AM

Boss..The Plane!..the plane..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:01 AM

No-not him.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 23, 2010 at 2:03 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on August 23, 2010 at 2:01 AM

You were not into Erik Estrada from C.H.I.P.s..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:04 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on August 23, 2010 at 2:03 AM

I know..just being silly..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:05 AM

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 1:57 AM

Did you have THE POSTER of that time era?..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:08 AM

Did you have THE POSTER of that time era?..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:08 AM

Nope. But still got the lyrics burned into my brain:

Up on your feet
somewhere there’s music playing,
don’t you worry now
you just take it like it comes
one day at a time

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 2:13 AM

Mr. Rourke was the smoothest cat evah.

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 2:13 AM

You were not into Erik Estrada from C.H.I.P.s..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:04 AM

I can’t tell you how many times I bump into that guy. He’s still talking like a bigshot, too. lol.

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 2:14 AM

I don’t know what all this has to do with Victory Mega Mosques and Iran about to get the bomb anyway.

Tav on August 22, 2010 at 11:59 PM

Wouldn’t it be an interesting survey to find out how many of those 20-nutins who mooch off their parents , are in favor of the hamasque at G-0 ?
You know….. since they vote ? And drink too ?

macncheez on August 23, 2010 at 2:16 AM

Really?!?..Is he still in the business?..A lot of the girls my age thought he was so cool!..

PS..I confused you (my bad)..here is THE POSTER!..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:20 AM

THE POSTER!..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:20 AM

Ah, yes. Poor woman. RIP.

And then there was this poster.

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 2:26 AM

Really?!?..Is he still in the business?..

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:20 AM

Nope. He did some ads for The Villages some years back, but now he’s just like a million other has-beens running around the Valley pretending their career resurrection is just around the corner.

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 2:27 AM

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 2:26 AM

WOW..you are really bring back the memories..Cheryl was very Hot!..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:28 AM

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 2:27 AM

ok..I know I have not seen him in anything lately..

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:31 AM

G’night, folks. Big week ahead!

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 2:37 AM

Later..My pleasure as always..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 2:41 AM

G’night, folks. Big week ahead!

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 2:37 AM

G-nite..we all need some sleep. Us peeps gotta work for Hussain’s ramadan break …and Moochelle’s next vacation
We owe
We owe
So off to work we go …..

macncheez on August 23, 2010 at 2:44 AM

Women should not waste their time because they’re a depreciating asset. Men have more time because what women want from us, our status as provider, is only enhanced with age.

By age 30 a woman’s sexual appeal is plummeting.

Bill C on August 23, 2010 at 3:13 AM

Won’t I be a better, happier, healthier adult if I take my time getting there?

Honey, you have a great deal of growing up to do–”happiness” is not the goal of adulthood, it is the by-product of good character, good decisions, and hard work. You set up the conditions of your happiness through these things.

DrMagnolias on August 23, 2010 at 3:19 AM

I got married for the first time two months from my 40th birthday and have had two children since then.

Personally, I’m happy as hell and don’t regret anything.

What I would have regretted is not getting married and not having children.

I’ve done it all, all over the world and nothing compares to my children. Nothing.

NoDonkey on August 23, 2010 at 3:36 AM

NoDonkey on August 23, 2010 at 3:36 AM

+1..Amen..Hear ..Hear..:)

Dire Straits on August 23, 2010 at 3:39 AM

You aren’t a person until you have children. Healthy, capable adults without children are a drag on society, and heartless greedy self centered consumers.

Rode Werk on August 23, 2010 at 12:35 AM

Take a hike, placenta-brain! By your illogic, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Emelia Earhart, Florence Nightingale, and Ayn Rand weren’t really people because they didn’t breed.

You’re as bad as the libtards.

Dark-Star on August 23, 2010 at 4:19 AM

Dark-Star on August 23, 2010 at 4:19 AM

Of course they were people and you can live a pretty full life without children, true.

But it’s unfortunate they didn’t allow themselves one of the best (some would say THE best) thing in life, which is to have children to pass down your family history, your traditions, your knowledge and best of all, you love.

Having children completes your life like nothing else.

NoDonkey on August 23, 2010 at 4:30 AM

Having children completes your life like nothing else.

NoDonkey on August 23, 2010 at 4:30 AM

Absolutely!! That is the truth, until your grandchildren are born! That’s the ultimate gift you receive. I never in a million years would have thought that one’s heart could expand with more love than you have for your children – then your ‘baby’ has babies!! Wow!

ladyhawke53 on August 23, 2010 at 5:26 AM

ladyhawke53 on August 23, 2010 at 5:26 AM

That might be one of my regrets – I’ve had children so late that I might be too old for that but I’ll stay healthy to live a good long time to see that day I hope.

NoDonkey on August 23, 2010 at 5:31 AM

Having children completes your life like nothing else.

NoDonkey on August 23, 2010 at 4:30 AM

Nice opinion. Now please get off your high horse (or is it a jack@$$?) and back on topic.

Dark-Star on August 23, 2010 at 5:48 AM

Dark-Star on August 23, 2010 at 5:48 AM

Who appointed you blog safety patrol?

The sash looks good on you, though, I must say.

And I am on topic, child.

NoDonkey on August 23, 2010 at 5:52 AM

You aren’t a person until you have children. Healthy, capable adults without children are a drag on society, and heartless greedy self centered consumers.

Rode Werk on August 23, 2010 at 12:35 AM

Please explain how they are “a drag on society”–are you assuming they are not paying their own way through life? Are making no contributions to society? Please also explain how being a consumer is a bad thing. Please explain how you have such knowledge into the lives and qualities of millions of people.

Although I would prefer to see conservatives have six or more children per family, it is not up to me to make such decisions for anyone. And, although I assume you use the word “healthy” to give those who cannot have children a pass, you don’t have the power to do such a thing–if having children is what makes one a person, then nothing can mitigate that. Your idea does not withstand scrutiny.

DrMagnolias on August 23, 2010 at 6:10 AM

And then there was this poster.

John the Libertarian on August 23, 2010 at 2:26 AM

Her arms are so weirdly skinny, almost like they were photoshopped, way in the days before photoshopping.

But of course, you guys didn’t notice her arms! ;D

Rosmerta on August 23, 2010 at 6:31 AM

Nice opinion. Now please get off your high horse (or is it a jack@$$?) and back on topic.

Dark-Star on August 23, 2010 at 5:48 AM

Keep proving yourself the sad asssshole we know you are.

CWforFreedom on August 23, 2010 at 7:22 AM

The fear of failure has starved a generation of real adult life. Thanks to the boomer parents who gave trophies to the losing team and never kept score. The kids needed to taste failure to learn to overcome it, now they are living in your basements with all those loser trophies in boxes.

Osis on August 23, 2010 at 7:41 AM

So….kiddo meanders through his twenties and does nothing of importance and becomes what? …a beta male?

lovely.

ted c on August 23, 2010 at 7:49 AM

Can’t move on without a full time job and even if you get a full time job, who knows how long that job is going to exist. There’s far too much insecurity to put down roots.

El_Terrible on August 22, 2010 at 9:31 PM

I would beg to differ. That is life. Your job is NEVER secure. And I know lots of people (my husband is one of them) who have resorted to lots of jobs, 2 or 3 or more, to keep paying the bills.
Your life is what you make it.

Badger40 on August 23, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Psssssstttt…you have been had!

The last baby boomers were slackers and knew it. The next generation, was kinda lost but reveled in issues of easy sex and equality since they had become mainstream. In high priced housing areas, things were bad but mom and dad could usually help out. Well paying technical jobs were scarce and a union or trade job as rare as a balanced budget. Numerous kids with engineering, business and law degrees found themselves in worse shape after each wave of grads hit the streets.

Eventually the general economy came to be troubled and forbidding to new people. Those kids born between 75 and 85 are screwed by inflated home prices, a sluggish economy and bills coming due from our lovely wars, trade deficits and now the management of our favorite community organizer.

Enjoy your Acura with the quality you think you are getting, the films of our troops leaving Iraq on HD TV, the zest of a truly cool POTUS and the rationalization that life will be better if you delay becoming an adult. You are the first children of a truly lesser America. And more pain is coming.

You can be sure that the Comedy Channel and the whole pop culture will never dwell on the fact that you have the life of a special needs child of your age fifty years ago. The only difference is that you have school loans and a small glimmer of a life as an independent adult, on your own.

IlikedAUH2O on August 23, 2010 at 8:18 AM

You aren’t a person until you have children. Healthy, capable adults without children are a drag on society, and heartless greedy self centered consumers.

Rode Werk on August 23, 2010 at 12:35 AM

That’s a little harsh! No it’s a lot harsh!! And flat out wrong. There are a multitude of reasons ‘healthy, capable’ adults do not have children. Some people are not cut out to be parents and if ‘you’ recognize that and choose not to be is certainly not a selfish statement. It would be more detrimental to have a trophy child simply because ‘it’s the accepted thing to do’ Some people have no children just ‘because’ – there is no medical reason, they were just not blessed with children. I had an aunt who was not lucky enough to have biological children – but her nieces and nephews were richer for being the recipients of her love, knowledge and yes her ‘consumerism’!!! She wanted children and they would have had a fabulous Mother but it was not to be so she shared her maternal instincts with us. How dare you label her with your denigrating conclusion!

ladyhawke53 on August 23, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Bill C on August 23, 2010 at 3:13 AM

What’s good is that most gals get married in their 20s; the country still is quite traditional in most areas, even in some political blue areas, e.g. the pacific NW and upper midwest. Only in a few culturally blue areas, NYC, DC, LA, SF etc, do you still see lots of women partying past 30.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on August 23, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Not to dump on the “get their butts out of the house” crowd, but in our agrarian past, GENERATIONS lived on the same property and frequently in the same house.

Part of kicking the kids out of the house at 18 has lead to stick grandma in the nursing home at 70.

barnone on August 23, 2010 at 9:41 AM

barnone on August 23, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Good point. I think my parents gladly would have had me remain in their house, but I’ve been working since I was 14 (and babysitting before that), and always took responsibility at home, as well. They wouldn’t have had to wonder if I were ever going to grow up. So, I would say that I don’t really care where the 18-year-old (or 30-year-old) lives, as long as he is working and in all other ways taking adult responsibilities.

DrMagnolias on August 23, 2010 at 11:25 AM

I blame Adam Sandler. No, really.

mojo on August 23, 2010 at 2:06 PM

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