Jan 4th, 2005

(Heaves Big Sigh) Ennui

I've been reading the surrogate daughters' blogs. Number One is in her junior year of college, Number Two is in her senior year of high school, Number Three is in high school too, and I've lost track of the year.

Number Three is all about boys and friends and I have to bang my head against a wall when I read it. It's just so jejeune and sophomoric and mostly so badly spelled that it takes all of my loyalty to her mother to read it. Cause, you know... Mom can't read it, and someone has to keep track.

It's Number One who makes my heart hurt so much. I am reminded of the story of Gertrude Stein telling F. Scott Fitzgerald "Oh, we are ALL a lost generation."
My N1SD is wallowing around in those deep and heady days of being away at school, drinking and getting stoned. She thinks that her generation invented ennui and depression and philosophical angst. "Oh," she laments "The world is so lousy, the job market is so lousy, what's the point of it all?"

Imagine, if you will, this being said by a facially-pierced young woman with fuschia streaks in her hair and an English major, whilst posturing with the back of her wrist against her forehead, and you will know why her mother and I want to slap her senseless... except that she's pretty senseless right now anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I love this girl. She is smart, and talented, and utterly, utterly lame at this moment in her life. She is cynical and jaded, only without the experience to back it up. She is scornful of her peers, but exhibits the same lax habits and mental shortcuts she disdains.

I love her to death, and I want very much to slap the bullshit out of her. She is, and it pains me to my core to say this, turning into a female, less libidinous version of her wasterel father... a companion of my own salad days, when I was young and green.

Except, stoned as I was, drunk as I was, I maintained my GPA. I graduated cum laude and was in an honors fraternity. I rarely, if ever, skipped class and I never, ever went to class high. I worked enough to pay for my own bad habits, and never had to call my parents for more money. I lived in the dorms, despite that I rather would not have. I ate in the cafeteria, and managed just fine on tuna melts and gallons of coffee.

I was not, nor do I pretend to have been, perfect, or even good, but I was always punctual about turning in work and getting to class, and meeting my deadlines. I learned a lot in school, and being responsible for my own vices was one of the most important lessons. I hope N1SD learns that one thing before she graduates.