Home > Uncategorized > Been There, Done That

Been There, Done That

I was having dinner at a friend’s home when a sparkly pink cell phone began shimmying its way across the kitchen table.  Her 14 year old daughter ran over and picked it up.  The conversation went as you would have expected, first about one boy, then another, then about the jealousy of some girls, but just before she hung up, she mentioned that she was “getting a Louis Vuitton bag and wallet for Christmas.” 

When she got off the phone, I first asked her why she wanted, or needed a Louis Vuitton.  Her response was, “why can’t I have one??? YOU have one!!!”  After I took a deep breath and regrouped, I asked her how much she thought a Louis Vuitton bag and wallet cost.  She replied, “The bag is $900 and the wallet is about $600.”  Her nonchalance almost made me cough up my pork chop, but I managed to ask, “Do you have $900 and $600 to put IN them?”  She laughed heartily in response.  Silly me.  

At that point, her mother came to the table and said, “all the little girls have them.”  And it was then that I realized that it was not all about little Sally trying to keep up with little Susie, but as sad as it is, it was also about their parents trying to keep up with and outdo each other.

Children today are a different breed.  At 12 they’re wearing makeup, high heels, and carrying $300 cell phones.  At 13 they’re getting their hair and nails done and have their own laptops.  At 14 they have significant others and are in “relationships.”  By 15, they’re wearing $300 jeans, $200 sneakers, and carrying $900 purses.  And by 16 they are driving $50,000 cars, traveling out of the country unsupervised, and getting plastic surgery.

It’s obvious to say that it is the fault of the parents, but I just don’t get it.  I’ve spoken to some of my upwardly mobile friends and heard them say things like, “she’s a great student,”  “she’s a good kid,”  “she deserves it”; or “but this is what all of the kids have.”  Well, I grew up in a two-parent household and my step-father and mother never believed in the philosophy of keeping up with the Joneses.  They operated under the  philosophies of  “so the hell what,” and  “you were supposed to.”  I did well in school? So the hell what, I was supposed to.  I cleaned my room and washed the dishes?  So the hell what, I was supposed to.  I was respectful, and stayed out of trouble at school?  So the hell what, I was supposed to.  Don’t get me wrong, my accomplishments were acknowledged and celebrated.  But my mother celebrated to the tune of a  congratulatory greeting card and a meal at a nice restaurant, not a boob job and a handbag that costs as much as a mortgage. 

The parents of today want it both ways.  They want to give their children everything they never had at that age, but yet they expect the kids to act like they did at that age by respecting their property, understanding its value, and being grateful.  The irony of it is, that the very reason our generation respected what we had and understood the value of dollar was because, we weren’t handed everything on a silver platter.  Most of us worked for our extras, and bought them with our own money.  And besides, luxuries for us were quite modest.  A video game here.  A tape/CD there.  Pager service.  A new beeper.  Nothing too ridiculous.  It’s tragic that these parents are raising monstrously self-indulgent children with entitlement issues, but it’s even sadder still that they’re dooming them to be perennially unfulfilled because they won’t have a thing to look forward to. 

So if you’re a parent and you’re feeling bad because your kid works part-time, goes to school, pays his/her own cell phone bill and juggles multiple responsibilities? I applaud you and say, “So the hell what.  They’re supposed to.”

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Nicole
    December 19, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Wow I’m first…. This post is sooo on point. Mike and Des work, go to school and pay for their own stuff. Shoot they even pay some of the bills here. I don’t play that mess. I agree with your mom “so the hell what. They’re supposed to.

    • December 19, 2009 at 7:39 pm

      Exactly! Please when I turned 15, my mother was on this serious “get a job” kick. ANYTHING I said to her, the response was “well, get a job.” I started working at 15, and never stopped. And that’s EXACTLY how it should be.

  2. Yolanda
    December 19, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Girl, you said a mouthful. This is the type of ish I’ve missed from you.

    And, I wish any of mine would think they’re about to come upon something like that JUST because. They get no haps, and best to be buying it with their own dough, which they wouldn’t have for long. Lawd, I’m so happy you decided to full-ass blog again. 😉

    • December 19, 2009 at 7:41 pm

      Aww… thanks mama. LOL I know that’s right. I mean, what have you done to warrant rolling like I ROLL? I’m almost 40 years old. You think you should roll like ME? And thank you. I’m gonna try. LOL

  3. jo
    December 19, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Smh. LOL I have to say that i learned the “your’e supposed to” a little late but I totally feel you on this.

    i refuse to have any other children because they will totally pay for what I didn’t do to my current child.

    • December 19, 2009 at 8:13 pm

      ROFLMAO Don’t take it out on lil Jr!

  4. December 19, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    The thing that gets me is that these kids don’t even know what to DO with things of that caliber, much less actually APPRECIATE it. I mean, great, you have a $900 bag to go with your school clothes…. that is NOT how you rock those kinds of things, in the hallway of MLK Jr High School… getting ketchup on it in the lunchroom. LOL

    Not only does it set a bad precedent, spending that sort of money on children is a bad investment.

    • December 20, 2009 at 7:40 pm

      So true. I completely agree. I bought my first Coach bag (the large duffle sac) and 17 (I was working) and after I told my Aunt how much it cost (back then it was $188), she asked me if I had $188 to put in it, and I never forgot that. LOL The crazy thing is I STILL have that duffle sac. I would never carry it 22 years later – it looks every bit of 22 years old, but I appreciate it, because I bought it for myself. If my mother would have gotten it, who knows where it might have wound up.

  5. Jstone
    December 20, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Parents need to spend more time educating their children, teaching them to respect themselves as well as other and that honest hard work is the reward to success! My 20 yr old has not asked me for anything since she graduated from HS. She’s now employed and looking forward to continuing her education. From the examples that were set forth for her, she’s learned at a very early age, how to be independent and is not afraid to work hard and honest for what she wants. I want to thank you for sharing this with us.
    Oh and that was my favorite line as well… get a job get a job, well she has been employed now for 3 years strong!!! LOL but true!

    • December 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

      See! A success story!!! Congrats to you!

  6. PHILLYGYRL
    December 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Very nice blog! I followed the link you left for me, thanks again. What u wrote is all true! WE had to work for the things we wanted as teenagers!! Im 41 and still do not own a Louis Vitton bag!

    • December 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

      Thank you – I can’t believe I’m doing it again, after I JUST said to you that I was “NOT blogging again.” LOL Yes, so am I and even though my friend’s daughter said I did, I’m 39 and neither do I!!!

  7. PHILLYGYRL
    December 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    My daughter is 22 and she works for everything she has. I guess i will get my coach, vitton, prada and whatever else when i turn 42! lol!!

    • December 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

      Yeah, I dont know, maybe one day (for me) I just can’t seem to come up off $1500 for a canvas and vinyl bag with leather handles. LOL I can’t do it!!! LOL

  8. PHILLYGYRL
    December 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    $1500 will last me a longggg time, lol!! In the meantime, I can buy pocketbooks at Tar-jay! lol (Target)

  9. December 24, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Luxuries for Pro when he was 15, circa 1975: The Ohio Players’ 12-inch vinyl “Skin Tight” LP, or maybe an 8-track of the Commodores’ “Caught In The Act.”

    My folks definitely weren’t ones to keep up with Jones, Smiths, Hardys, Adams or anyone else. If we wanted leather jackets, we had to buy ’em ourselves. My bro and I did paper routes (back when newspapers entrusted young kids to distribute their product) and then worked out of state at a camp for the mentally handicapped. I think I would have gotten slapped if I asked for the equivalent of a $100 wallet or something like that.

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