Thursday, July 06, 2006

The American Dream

Okay, it's a theme people, it's a theme.

What is the American Dream? What does it mean to you?
I think it use to be; married by 21 (at the very latest, because, gasp! that's old!) buy a house in the burbs and have a child by your second anniversary, because gasp! What's taking so long? Finish with a nice pair of 2.5 kids, get a good job, join a union and ta dah! Living the good life.

Now? I still think it's about the different shade of beige house in Wonder Bread white suburbia with a 2.5 pair, Playskol set in the backyard that is remarkably always vacant of the 2.5, SUV in the garage, two good jobs in the city, thanks to two college degrees, and ta dah! Living the good life.

But, marriage is later, 24--ish and kids are around late 20's-ish and a college degree is essential. Homes are two story models instead of a ranch and the station wagon is an SUV. Things are bought on credit and we overextend ourselves to the point of bankruptcy, literally.
If you don't have a college degree, good luck with that good job in the city.

Is the American Dream what it once was?
Do you think the American Dream is obtainable?
Is it harder or easier to obtain the American Dream than it was for our parent's or for the Baby Boomers?


Crimson said...

I think the American dream has changed. I think more and more aren't following the "expected" American dream, if that makes sense. I've met alot of couples that are more adventurous, no children, etc.
Just my thought, though :)

THE DUKE said...

I'm not really sure there is an "American Dream" any longer. Good question though!

Jay said...

Honestly, I don't think the "American Dream" has changed at all. I think people tend to confuse the American Dream with the American Ideal. The American Ideal is the perfect spouse, owning your dream home with the white picket fence, nice car, 2.4 kids, etc. That will change with every new generation. The American Dream is quite simple: to be the master of your own destiny. How you get there has changed and evolved over the years, but the fundamental premise has always been the same.

TrappedInColorado said...

The American Dream has 300 million shades to it. Living in a small apartment with lots of books. Living in a condo and travelling all the time. Living in a 2 bedroom house with a significant other and disposable income. In all cases though.. consuming massive quantities of resources as if they will never run out. Damn! I had to get environmental. Sorry.

Old Man Crowder said...

Whoa...Jay went WAY deep on that one! I'm a little shocked and somewhat nervous.

Yet, I have to agree with him.

Party Girl said...

Crimson: I agree that it's all about choices now. Which is what it should always be about.

Duke: I think there will always be one, it will just always be ever changing and driven by the media. What we need vs. what we want.

Jay: Ah, yes, the American Ideal. Quite true. What are the 30 second sound bites telling us we can't live without?? The old mighty dollar and Madison Ave.

I think family, house, job, money will always be part of the equation, if not the sum of, ages that it happens and who and what will always be evolving.

Master of my own destiny, exactly. If you only knew, if you could only feel, how true that statement is for me at this very moment. At more core, at this very moment.

Trapped: True. Ages, places, apartments, family, friends. I think it's ever changing with the person that you are at the time and what is foreseeable in your future when you are planning. If you can't see it, does a person have it in them to plan, hope and dream it?

OMC: Yeah, amazing isn't he?


Jay said...

I have a tendency to overthink things and ramble on about stuff that really doesn't matter much.

Ultimately, the American Dream is a lot like life: it's what you make of it.

Party Girl said...

Jay: damn it! Stop minimizing your thoughts, ideas, your knowledge and your brain!

All of your thoughts and ideas matter.

Don't you know that's what makes me lust after you?