Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic
The young woman at the counter handed me her credit card, and pushed another of Oprah's book gems, The Seat of the Soul,* across the counter. I was working at New York City's Strand Bookstore, where cashiers stood on a platform, allowing me to look down at customers (something I really, really enjoyed). The credit card read "Steven Smith."** "Um...," I said, "Are you Steven?"
"No," she said. "That's my dad's."
"Oh," I said. "Is this for school?"
"Uh-uh," she chirped. "I'm out of college."
Reader, I judged her. She was that cheerily subsidized college grad that I encountered often in the city -- cheery, I assumed, because they rarely paid their own New York rent, or were running around buying self-help books and silk cargo pants.*** This was X**** years ago, of course, and now that the economy has turned into a craponomy, the urge to subsidize kids post college is even stronger. Writing in Newsweek, Melody Serafino objects, suggesting that her peers' withdrawals from the parental bank is causing a raft of debt -- character debt. It's tough to say when your safety net becomes a safety hammock -- but I think we can assume that the seat of one's soul is probably not in your parent's credit card. Too judgy? You decide.
*Dated myself, big time, huh.
**Not the name, because I am too old, now, to remember.
***Triple point if you can pinpoint the year to which I am dating myself.
****A long time.