So, I’m overhearing a conversation between two hip Millennials (ages 23-38 in 2019) at the brand new Counter Cafe — shout out to the best blueberry pancakes in ATX, trip worthy — at the end of 29th Street close to Guadalupe (The Drag).
I’m having a late breakfast with a pal, also addicted to the blueberry pancakes. Like you could resist these babies? No way.
So, M #1 says, “I moved out of my Mom’s home.”
“No way,” says M #2.
“I got a Job.”
“A paid Job?”
“Yeah, pays $20/hr and I go to $25/hr in 90 days. I have a freakin’ degree, dude.”
“Wow, how did that happen? The Job? Cause I thought you were working on your music and volunteering at the Co-Op?”
“Mom, says it’s the Trump economy.”
“Yeah, my Dad says this is the best economy in his whole lifetime. You think?”
“Could be. I was the only applicant for the Job and they hired me on the spot. Said they’d been looking for two months.”
“Wow. You get an apartment?”
“Yeah, but I had to have my Mom co-sign, but still, hello, Adulthood, no?”
“Definitely. Laundry? You still going to do your laundry at home?”
“Well, I tried doing it myself. First, I had to steal quarters from my mother, but then I found out I can buy a washer/dryer of my own.”
“Yeah, but your Mom has a maid, right? Why not let her do the work?”
“So, what’s the meal plan look like? Still eating with Mom?”
“Most def. Mom loves to cook and the food is . . . FREE. Have you priced cereal? It’s expensive as crap. Milk?”
“Excellent point. Car?”
“I can walk to work, but I took Mom’s old SUV. She has a BMW now, but the SUV really rocks. Trying to get her gas credit card, but no bueno thus far. Want to go to San Antonio this weekend?”
“Yeah, but I’m going to a hackathon. Bad timing.”
“So, amigo, Job?”
“Laundry with the maid?”
“Yeah. Makes sense. Maybe I can get her to come pick it up and drop it off.”
“Yeah. I will still eat at Mom’s. She loves to cook. Like I said.”
“Check, but I still don’t have Mom’s gas card. Maybe I can get her to just give me a Visa?”
“Totally. Wow. Dude, you are a freakin’ adult. How does it feel?”
“Damn good. Oh, I forgot to invite you to my birthday party. Next Friday.”
“How old are you?”
“Twenty-eight on my birthday.”
“So, all this adulting? Feels how? Level with me.”
“Yeah, it feels great.”
I had been having lunch with a pal of mine who had been in the Army, like me, when we were that age. I ask him, “Amigo, WTF were you doing on your 28th birthday?”
“Second overseas tour, Germany. Had a tank company. How about you?”
“I had a combat engineer company that was hopelessly overstrength with more than 600 soldiers because a lot of them were awaiting discharge. Draftees. The war had just ended. It was a zoo.”
Sure, those were different times. Sure, we were forced to grow up a little faster because of the draft and the war, but the future marches on.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Have a great week and buckle down and get your piece of the American Dream.