Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Where Have All the Grown-ups Gone?

Where are the grown-ups?  Is there an adult in the house?

I keep coming back to this, but I cannot help but be genuinely horrified by the immaturity at large today.  It's no wonder we have problems.  Still firmly entrenched in the "under 30" crowd, my husband and I (and probably most of our close friends) already feel like disappointed grandparents, shaking our heads at the rest of our peers.

The impetus behind this particular rant is an article stemming from the morass of the Obamacare debate.  It focuses on a Georgetown co-ed speaking in support of Obamacare, describing to Nancy Pelosi the onerous financial burden of contraceptives on the average law school student.  Once again, there are some extremely basic concepts here beneath all the "distracting" and "controversial" issues of morality and social agenda.  We could go on about how it's disgraceful that anyone is having sex at all at a supposedly Jesuit university, or about the immorality of contraceptives in general, but no.  That's actually beside the point, believe it or not.

Bear with me. I am stepping out of Catholic Moralist Mode for a moment and entering Secular Citizen Mode. . . .

If anyone in this generation remembers anything from the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, it would probably be that one or the other said something about being free to live and do what makes you happy.  However free we may think we are, there are (or should be) some common-sense restrictions on our right to the pursuit of happiness, and I'm pretty sure the founding fathers expected us to do the pursuing on our own dime.

Apparently, by their own admission, these co-eds can't afford all the contraceptives they go through.  How is that my problem?  How is that anybody's problem but their own?  Whatever happened to living on a budget?  If you can't afford it, don't buy it!  Whether it's condoms, pills, cigarettes, sodas, beer, or mascara, it's up to you to drag up the money or tough it out.  Cry me a river.

We already live on a budget in which there is no room for landline phones, data plans, TV, hair and nail appointments, or even real dining room chairs.  Eventually I realized we couldn't afford my World of Warcraft subscription, the mail-order DVDs, or extra trips to Chipotle, so we DID WITHOUT.  Remarkably, life didn't change much for the worse.  It is possible to just not have sex.  No one will go into shock and die, or miss class due to crippling withdrawal symptoms.  Believe me, we've successfully abstained before marriage and even for extended periods afterward.  We're not freaks or saints.  It is possible, nothing bad will happen, and life will still be worth living.  Whether the necessity is brought on by a difficult pregnancy or simple lack of pocket money doesn't really matter.  

It's time to start behaving like adults.  Start cultivating some willpower and self-control.  Own your problems, your responsibilities, your duties.  When the lights go out and "the most powerful nation on earth" crashes to a bone-jarring halt, what will still be important to you?  This world will eat you alive if you don't know what really matters.

I'm not going to pay your bar tab.  I'm not going to pay for your cable bill or your Netflix account.  I am absolutely not going to willingly pay for your condoms, pills, and recreational hook-ups.  Seriously, stop crying, put on your big girl panties and grow up!


  1. I know, seriously. I keep hearing about how this is all about "trying to control women's bodies" but it has nothing to do with that. You can take whatever pills you want. I can't and won't stop you. All I'm asking is that you not force me to PAY for your optional pills. It's hardly the end of the world.

  2. What a fantastic piece you wrote. My thoughts exactly, but better articulated in your blog. Fantastic.

  3. Thanks! Blogging has turned out to be much more productive than simply shouting at my computer screen. ;)