material girl?

So my post today is accompanied by my home brewer son’s version of an IPA. He and a friend have been churning out some pretty good stuff of late. They certainly have an array of beer consuming pals among them to cheer them on…but the brews still have to pass the parent test.
As it goes, this one is not overly bitter, which makes the IPA grade for me. Regardless, he and his buddy are young. Unafraid of making mistakes and learning from them, because that is how one produces good beer. And a good life, right?
Ah, the young.
Today I was in our local nail salon, getting a pedicure. This lovely soaking, massage and scrubbing is the one thing I treat myself to somewhat regularly, partly because it’s one time of the day I can get distracted from the gnawing ache in my shoulders. And taking a break from my writing of the great American novel. I have to tell you though, that I have sat there wondering the entire time, f the Vietnamese technician’s shoulders and neck ache at the end of their day from the perpetual bend of their head. The only thing that has stopped me from asking is that their English is usually limited to, “pick your colah,” and “watah.”
Here I am so busy justifying why I was there, I am getting off track.
So this very young, maybe nineteen or twenty, attractive young woman was next to me. Slim, with perky boobs (of course) in a tight white tee. I do think she had on one of those padded push up jobs on, but I didn’t want to look like a wierd old lady staring, so I can’t be sure.
Anyway, her technician happened to be a little more comfortable conversing, so she asked the girl: “So, what you do today?”
Girl: “Just going to the gym.”
T: “You go to beach?”
G: “Nah. I live right next to the beach. I can go anytime. No big deal.”
The girl kept looking at her Apple watch, and the technician asked about it.
Girl: “It’s not that different from the phone, really, except you can’t make a call. It’s really kind of pointless.”
T: ” It’s nice colah though.”
G: ” I know. I like the blue. It’s really sort of useless, but it’s cool.”
T: “Yes, cool. Like this colah I put on toes,”
G: (silly laugh).”Yeah, I know. I like it because it makes me look tan.”
At this point, I am striving not to cast a scathing look in said girl’s direction. Dear God, I think, was I ever this vapid and clueless? Even at my most vain and self-involved teenage level? Did I EVER take the lucky proximity to our beautiful lakeshore for granted? I rack my feeble brain.
I do remember liking and wanting nice things as an adolescent, but I honestly think it was pretty simple stuff. I asked for Love’s baby soft perfume at Christmas, and records. I remember coveting Izod and Ralph Lauren polo shirts, but having to work my ass off to buy even one.
If this girl had worked a day in her life, nothing would surprise me more.
I know these attitudes are a function of youth and our insane get more, have more, be more, culture. But the fact that she acknowledged having this overpriced gadget was “useless” and “pointless”, but worth having anyway because it was cool, says volumes.
At least my polo shirts provided covering for my body, right? And I was the one who bought the damned shirts, not my parents. 

Sigh. How best to give a mouthful of reality to this silver spoon?
I have heard various prominent people over the years advocate for youth to perform mandated military service of one year.
I think this could work, but I wonder about depositing their soft candy rear ends in the middle of a third world country for a few months. Seriously. Where they are sleeping in dirt huts and have to walk for clean water, fighting malaria, eating unknown food and Internet access is a distant dream. I wish someone had made me do something similar. Really, it wouldn’t even take a third world country to rattle their perspectives. We have more than enough poverty and different ways of living right here, to open their eyes. In the world according to Ellen, they would be forced to work in homeless shelters and live in the Appalachian mountains, and/or visit inner city schools, while mentoring fatherless children desperate for stability, love and decent food.
Isn’t it scary that we are in danger of raising a generation full of young people whose biggest concern is obtaining the newest Apple creation? They claim to be so much more open minded and accepting than us geezers, but they are also the most entitled-minded and narcissistic. Millenials admit to having very little to no spiritual commitment, and this is a shame. I understand the divide, because organized religion has effed it up for so many inquiring, eager minds. But when you look at doing the tasks I listed, this is the work Jesus would do, and did. Serving others is not in many a young one’s radar, unless it serves them.
I know that every generation bemoans the one before them; parents of the sixties’ flower children thought the world was coming to an end through drugs and rock and roll. But what scares me is that many teens of today view social justice as something to devote two weeks to, to be able to put on their college application.
If they can give up their beach, gym, and nail days, of course. 

No use going into the myriad of reasons why, but we can each do our own world according to Ellen with these misguided souls. So along with non-voluntary services of some sort, all twenty somethings must learn about making beer, and provide free, copious samples of their best to their stressed-out parents. All that sampling will get the crankies out, and the students can learn all the hands-on science they should have learned in high school. 

Today’s ranting aside, I am grateful for my hard working, caring sons, nephews and nieces who give me hope. I am more optimistic than not, but these incidents make me pause and fear a future of iPhone, addicted robots. And with that weary thought, another home brew is in order. 

Friends, cheers to you and the young people in your life…if they can’t bless you with a homemade concoction…may they at least gift you with a pedicure.