Quick-Fix Vanity Machine

Ego is the new rock star

Me and My Quarter-Life Crisis

My first job ever was as a clerk at a small, independent book store. One day, while going through a new shippment I ran across a book about people in their 20’s and the attendent quarter-life crisis.
I remember scoffing at the book. After all, who had ever heard of anything as indulgent? To my naive and sheltered mind a “crisis” was something that plauged politicians and rapidly aging boomers with too much money. What, I thought, was a 20-something with their whole life ahead of them and a world of possibilities in front of them doing with something like that?
I knew that Generation X was pampered and self-absorbed, but come on! A quarter-life crisis? I was beginning to agree with Bart Simpson when he said, “What we need is another Vietnam to thin their ranks out.” (Full disclosure: depending on who’s writing the thesis paper, I may qualify as the last of the Gen X cohort… I disagree on the grounds that I’m too young to remember a pop culture without Nirvana and I don’t get the appeal of either loving Starbucks or protesting it. Also, I can’t think of any Generation X characteristics that don’t involve Seattle, proving that everything I know about them I got from Singles and Reality Bites – two movies I’ve never actually seen.) The whole idea of a quarter-life crisis just proved that all those angry, bitter apples didn’t fall far from their neurotic, gimme-gimme-gimme trees.
A few years later I got out of college and into the “real world” (and yes, I’m one of those people who overuse quoatation marks and parentheses). I worked at a pizza joint, sold windows door-to-door, clerked at a courthouse and then got a layout job at a small specialized newspaper. I’ve joined and dropped out of two different writing groups, lived with five different roommates and spent a semester in grad school at a college best known for it’s varried veneral diseases. Along the way I got engaged, married 19 days later and moved twice.
I’m now nearly 25 and that whole quarter-life crisis thing doesn’t seem so far fetched any more.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think people who whine about having no direction are full of shit. But on the other hand that strange, certain ennui does lurk in the corners of my (landlord’s) house and suns itself on the grassy median of the freeway I take to work.
I’ve named his Goes To becuase I hate Ernest.

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January 21, 2007 - Posted by | Personal

1 Comment »

  1. I have read and reread the last sentence about five times. I still cannot make heads or tails of it.

    To answer your profile’s dilemma, neither. This will be your child; odds aren’t good for freakish basketball genetics (though not terrible; I’ve met your sister), and neither you nor the kid’s teachers will be able to keep up with him/her on the computer, so if s/he tends that way, your pushing will only slow the lad/lass down. Instead, read him/her the great depressing works of literature, to instill early the lesson that life is crap, so you’d better get used to it.

    Man, I should give out parenting advice professionally! I’m awesome at this!

    Comment by James | January 24, 2007 | Reply


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