Sometimes (but not too often) I
wake up with the idea that possibilities exist to resolve problems big and
small in my family and the outside world.
Today was one of those days. Dare
I say that I felt hopeful? I’m not even sure
what “hopeful” means anymore in a world where little girls are deprived of the
right to an education, and even shot for making the effort. And right here in America our
government—supposedly a world leader and shining example of democracy—has
totally shut down and is on the verge of financial collapse. While the House and Senate have continued to
collect their hefty pay checks and enjoy better health benefits than many of
their voters, thousands of citizens—especially young people—have been out of work. Why? Because the Republicans want to
dismantle Obama Care and the Democrats refuse to be blackmailed. That law was already passed—for better or
worse—but the Republicans want to erase it or else allow the world to suffer
the financial consequences by refusing to raise the debt ceiling.
So how could I possibly feel
hopeful or optimistic today? On Friday
night, I happened to see Diane Sawyer interviewing Malala Yousafsai , the
Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for pursuing her education
and for having the courage to speak out for the right of all girls to go to
school. Malala almost died, suffered nerve damage,
months of painful rehab and still has trouble smiling. Nevertheless, this sixteen year- old spoke at
the U.N. to thunderous applause and was even nominated for the Nobel Peace
Prize. She failed to win the Nobel
Prize, but she has returned to school and continued to speak up for the rights
of young girls to be educated in those countries where it has been forbidden by
male extremists. Despite her brush with
death, her voice and spirit have become more powerful than ever.
Today I picked up the New York Times and was
pleased to see the front page head line: “Senate Women Lead in Effort to Find
Accord.” Although the majority of
senators are men, it has been the women—Republicans and Democrats—who have
managed to create a negotiated plan.
Bravo, Lady Senators, let’s have a round of applause for adults who were
willing to compromise and risk political fall-out from the Tea Party extremists
in the interests of accomplishing an urgent task—governing. We’re not out of the woods yet, but women are
leading the way.
Today was also Max’s first
interview for a really great entry level job, since graduating from Vassar
College in May. Even if he doesn’t get
it—and I pray he will—at least Max has managed to get through the door. Finally, somebody somewhere has actually
RESPONDED to one of the hundreds of resumes sent into the black hole of
The unemployment rate for 22 year olds has
jumped from 4.5% in 2000 to 10.4% between 2009 and 2011. According to a Georgetown University Study,
the unemployment rate among Film majors in 2013 is at 11.4%, second worst after
Architecture majors, whose unemployment is at 12%. Equally depressing is the fact that half of
recent college grads are working at jobs outside their majors that don’t even
require a degree (thus creating worse unemployment for high school grads).
just called to say his interviewer—second in command of a top flight
magazine—took one look at his resume and said:
“It looks to me like you want to be a film maker….”
also very interested in writing, and I really like your magazine,” he replied
“We only publish award-winning
writers here,” the editor told him, in an icy British accent.
“I know, but right now I’m looking
for an entry level job.”
It obviously didn’t go the way the
Elisofons hoped. No relief from the
purgatory of two generations forced to live together, with us continuing to
support him. I’d like to think that if
he could get one of these high-level interviews, there will be more—however few
and far between. Otherwise, at some
point Max will be forced to do what 50% of college grads do—take a job outside
of his field. You’d think that being a
young film maker AND writer would double his chances of entering one of his
fields of interest. Well, it didn’t go
that way today.
But there’s always tomorrow….
On a positive note, Sarah told me
she has a date with Jake—her first since the bedbug scare two weeks ago. Jake has invited Sarah out for dinner and to
hang out at his parents’ house, where he’d been staying while his own apartment
was being fumigated.
Suddenly, the plans changed. Jake called and wanted to hang out chez
“Is that okay?” Sarah asked,
bringing the phone into my room so Jake could hear my answer.
“Yes. That’s okay.”
But would it be OK? Jake was
welcome, but the bedbugs were not invited along. I called his parents, curious
about the switch from their house to ours.
They assured me that bugs were not the issue. What Jake wanted was “his privacy with Sarah,”
and his parents didn’t have the space to offer it. At least in our apartment, Sarah had her own
room and could close the door.
Of course her bedroom shared a wall
with ours, and her bed was right next to that wall…. Something I tried not to
think about. Besides, Max had a female
friend staying over because they planned to shoot a video early in the morning,
so how could I tell Sarah she couldn’t bring Jake home? At least Jake wouldn’t be sleeping over. But my nest would be crowded. The
farthest thing from empty, we would have six people and a dog doubling (and
tripling) up in our three small bedrooms.
At least the possibilities for
romance had opened up.
Labels: bedbugs, college graduates, debt ceiling, democracy, Democrats, entry level jobs, Georgetown University, government, magazines, Malala Yousafsai, Nobel Prize, Obama Care, Republicans, Taliban, unemployment, women