You can’t underestimate the life changing effect of having children, which is why we’re sticking with Critter (despite his drug habit and different views on hunting). That doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate some friends of ours new baby, but I do wonder when they admit it’ll never be just the two of them again for 20 years. Twenty years is looking most optimistic. I read that 148,000 people are still claiming pocket money beyond the age of 44.
This isn’t something I can relate to. I couldn’t wait to get out of purgatory and when I left for Salford University, that was it. Graduating in the early 1990s, not one of my contemporaries had a job (Katharine was the only one from her cohort to have a job on graduation day), but we lived on the dole renting a house on the Old Trafford/Hulme border (before Hulme was redeveloped) from a convicted drug dealer. And it didn’t do us any harm, just the opposite. Like Barbara Ellen says; ‘We must be getting things very wrong if we’re turning out a new generation so soppy and spoiled they won’t move out of the family home until they can buy their own place – missing out on all those formative years renting doss-holes so cheap and scary you need a rape alarm to walk to your own bathroom.’
But I blame the parents. After all they’ve built these cocoons and they’ve made it too easy for a whole generation to grow up without making decisions for itself. Well protected from anything tough and character building they’re not just a boomeranging generation of kippers, they’ve been made soft and useless.