Thursday, December 22, 2011

A man provides

I am never going to be a millionaire.

It's just not going to happen. And I could blame it on the government, or the fatcats hoarding all the wealth, or the foreigners taking all the jobs. But the truth is that I'm scared. The thought of that much money scares me. I'm convinced that the more money I earn, the less I will sleep. Whether it's what I would have to give up to come by that money, or what risk I would have to take, my fear is what holds me back from going after it as hard as I could.

This wouldn't be much of a problem if I didn't have a family to put food on. The standard line of thinking for a breadwinner goes like this: the more money you make, the less time you get to spend with your family. You hear it over and over again: "I don't get to see my kids much, but those kids live well." Presumably, the lifestyle you are able to provide for your family is supposed to make up for all the time when you're not around. I don't think that necessarily follows, but that's not what bothers me.

What bothers me is this hypothetical scenario: What if you hardly get to spend any time with your family, but they don't, in fact, live well? Are you still a good man? If you work as hard as you can but don't bring in enough to afford a particular standard of comfort, can you still be considered a good provider? Or are you limited by your circumstances?

I don't have an answer to this any more than I have a million dollars. But I know I would do anything for my family, including stuff that depresses me and hours of my life that I know are not worth it (not that any of that is relevant -- it's just, if I had to). They are the priority, not me. The truth is, I don't feel like any amount of money I could ever make would be enough for them. I would give them all my money just for existing, because there's nothing I could spend it on that could equal what they've given me. I don't care how corny that sounds, this is real talk. But if no amount of my money would be good enough for them, then no amount of time would be good enough to spend with them either.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Star Wars for girls

The one thing that all boys from my generation have in common is that we all loved Star Wars growing up. I don't know if that still applies to all boys, but I do know that a shared fanhood of the original trilogy was pretty much the only thing we all had in common.

(This isn't to say that Star Wars can only appeal to boys; obviously Leia is one kick-ass chick and Han Solo is God's gift to the female gender. But Star Wars love was universal in my pre-prequels age group, and almost nothing else was.)

What I've always wanted to know is, what is the female equivalent of Star Wars? What is the one pop culture thing that all the girls my age grew up loving? I've raised this question with different women before, and I've heard suggestions ranging from Little Mermaid to The Last Unicorn. But I have my own guess: I think it's Grease.

Face it: If you were a girl growing up in the early-to-mid-80s, you loved this. It pushed all of your female buttons and taught you what you were supposed to be like. I have not encountered a single women in this category who has disagreed (except for my wife, but I'm going to consider her a sole exception for now).

Of course, I'm probably totally off base. But if I am, what would be a better choice? It pains me to think that all the little girls growing up today are going to share an undying love for Twilight in common. So there had better be something good that women from my generation all loved.