I have my high school classmate Amanda to thank for helping craft my sharp opinion. Senior year in high school we were the opposing viewpoints of The Hatter’s Herald (1), our school newspaper. Our main function as the opinion/editorial page editors was to find out what was going on in Danbury High School; get our finger on the pulse and then quickly turnaround in opinion form what the people were talking about. It was a pretty good gig; one where I quickly found myself on the opposite side of whatever argument Amanda was making; I think, for arguments sake. Amanda and I would spar in class over subject matter, tone, and stance; hence I thank her for helping me sharpen my game and keeping my mind spry.
Amanda and I would go on to drift apart after high school, as most friends do; but we’ve found a virtual connection in the online world. Amanda and I recently reconnected on Facebook and all the usual “so what have you been doing,” conversations started up.
I saw on her Facebook status that my old friend Amanda had recently come back to my home state of Connecticut; I had thought she’d been on the west coast. So being the stalker-troll with too much time on his hands, I inquired; hey, what’s going on? She told me that she’s living with her girlfriends parents in Connecticut for the same reason that my wife and I are living with Grandpa; tough times.
Getting shunned out of a major metropolitan city is fast becoming par for the course in many of my relationships. I need look no further than the next bedroom to see my little brother who’s been dancing this living with grandpa dance even longer than I have; something has got to give sooner or later, one would imagine.
It’s almost as though our lives are taking on the premises of well-worn sitcom rituals. George Costanza moves back in with mom and pop; Alan Harper and son move in with brother Charlie. This is the way for people these days; jobs are just harder and harder to come by, wages are stagnant, and everything costs a whole lot more; especially in big cities.
Recent reports from the New York Times (2) show that, even those of us who have jobs are making far less than old standards. Recent studies found that “job expansion to this point has been skewed toward industries with median wages that are low to middling, with a disproportionate share of job growth happening in industries whose median wages fell below $15 an hour.”
As soon as you can live off of $30,000 gross in major cities of this nation like New York City, Los Angeles, or Seattle, you let me know. Until then Amanda, her girlfriend, my brother, his girlfriend, my wife and I will be with our respective families; marking time to this cadence until the floodgates of new, well paying jobs wash over us.