Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My target audience

A few recent comments made me realize that I should more narrowly define who I am generally addressing in terms of the lost art of self-preservation (for women).

My primary audience is 8 years old and calls me Tante (aunt).  She is being raised in a stable family with very responsible parents who are daily investing in her abilities and calling her on her crap.  She is lucky - not because her family is rich or influential - because it isn't - but because she has a stable environment, lots of people who care about her, and parents with good values.  Still, when she comes of age in 2019, the world promises to be an even more chaotic place socially, politically, and economically.  These blog pieces are the things, then, that I would tell her so that she can survive and, hopefully, thrive in that environment.  I want her to be able to marry and have children.  I want her to have a chance at a middle class life.  I want her not to sabotage herself from the get go. This blog is my meager wisdom set aside for her because I love her.  When I get done writing it I will put it in book form and give it to her before she can hit the world full stride and have it throw its manure back at her.

In the meantime, I hope this information is of use to people.  The media tells us that the American dream is dead, that no one can afford to purchase a home and have a middle class lifestyle.  That women have to work outside the home or families will wind up on the curb.  This has not been my experience, although I will admit that with outsourcing, terrible unemployment, government idiocy, heightened materialistic expectations, divorce/illegitimacy/lack of paternal investment and a general poor parenting  it is harder to get there from here than it was in 1971 when my parents were starting the family journey.  On the other hand in 1971 middle class families didn't have two cars, a microwave, cable, cell phones, or credit cards, and they vacationed in a tent.  In any case, if you start seeing the big picture early enough and avoid certain devastating mistakes and are able to discipline yourself, a modest middle class life is certainly still possible, with patience and effort.

My advice is aimed at creating and maintaining happy family lives.  This has always been my main priority.  I live near my parents, my sister's family, and my in-laws.  We see them all regularly.  I have lived in a number of other places in my university career, and I chose to come back because I wanted my children to know their grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and I wanted to maintain and add to the net of family security (since any other sort of Social Security is pretty much a pipe dream for my generation).  I also wanted to marry and have children, and I addressed that while I was still in my mid-twenties.  I work on my marriage because I truly believe that I am happier and more content in the situation I have now, even with its ups and downs and problems, than I would be divorced.  I believe my husband and son are too.

I don't have any advice re: the career ladder or grasping the brass ring.  My B.A. in Russian turned out to be mostly worthless, with one significant exception.  I chose my Masters degree in librarianship not out of ambition but because at that time I was still single and I wanted a job that I could use to support myself and one that didn't cause me to look at the clock every 30 seconds from 9 to 5.  But it was always just a job to me.  I wanted to make enough money so that I could have a little house someday and get a friendly dog and dig a nice vegetable garden.  My husband and I have accomplished those goals together, but I started on the path by myself.

Likewise, I know nothing about trendy cocktails, fashion, the club scene, or power flirting.  I have always been cautious, a risk-averse person with modest goals.  Those modest goals, however, are enough to make most people - people without serious entitlement delusions - content in the long run.  They boil down to a strongly connected family, responsible finances, meaningful work, and functional creativity.

I sound like the life of the party, don't I?  It's never really been hip to be square, but square people have more options.  Short-term work and self-denial pay off long term.  I wrote the check to pay off our mortgage in full when I was 37.  I have a solid marriage and a happy son.  And a vegetable garden and two very funny dogs.  I am happy.  My life, unlike those of many of my contemporaries, is not very stressful.  I have time to spend on things and people I enjoy.

If these are goals that sound desirable, I have something to offer in terms of advice, and the younger you are the easier these pieces of advice will be to implement.  I worry about our society, I worry about girls today, and I worry about my niece's future because I think, due to the disastrous social and economic choices our society has made in the past 40+ years, these girls:

will have a harder time avoiding the pitfalls out there than these girls:

did.  And I found it confusing enough back then (photo circa 1992).  


  1. Amen, this is beautifully said. What a great service you are providing to young women! Your niece may be the ultimate beneficiary, but your observations and advice are useful for all women, including those who have special girls in their lives.

  2. Very nice. Always good to have a plan and a proper approach. You have so much here that is of value.

    My girls are 11 and 12. There's an element of description of what they should be looking for in a husband in my blog for them to mull over in the future. If nothing else my future sons-in-law should have something to think about lol.

  3. Very nice indeed G/R, So which one was/is you? Cheers, 'VJ'

  4. Thanks for the comments, everyone - I appreciate the support.

    Athol - your girls have you at home parenting them and looking out for their interests. That is SO important for their success as women. I would not be who I am without my dad, no chance.

    VJ - I am the short white girl in front in the black and red dress. :)

  5. Hi,

    I'm a first time visitor, but it won't be my last. This is good stuff! Even though this is targeted at your niece, her friends and contemporaries will find this helpful also.


  6. MarkyMark - Welcome and thanks for your kind words.

  7. OK, I think I'm in love with you. Also, Huey Lewis agrees with you: it IS hip to square so you're in good company.

    P.S. my word verification is Skanki, so...ouch, Word Verification?

  8. Grerp,

    Need your insights on the "I have a boyfriend in the UK" line of BS some of the younger men are no doubt liable to run into.

    Here is a lengthy descirption, but you get the idea I'm talking about




  9. Grerp,

    This is my first visit.
    I regret not having seen this blog before, I would have really helped to not make many mistakes in my life, please keep writing, people with your values ​​are rare in our society.
    Reading your articles has restored my faith that we still have a chance to turn towards what is important.
    From now on, your blog will be my daily reading.

  10. Your presupposition that girls are incapable of creating successful lives for themselves without having a dad (or a man) is offensive and insulting. Contrary to what you and others might be inclined to believe, YOUR values are NOT the ONLY valid ones. Everything is relative. Everything is subjective. The definitions you choose to attribute to various aspects of humanity and/or society are yours alone. If others disagree, that does not make them WRONG and you RIGHT. Never has. Never will.

  11. Anon, you suggest there is no such thing as right or wrong. We suggest there is. What of the notion that you simply don't know what right and wrong are? Or are you suggesting that there are circumstances and belief patterns wherein it is perfectly acceptable for me to rape you and your family, and these are *legitimate*?

  12. Why did you eleminate your 'Links' Section? I have an idea "why";but I'm still curious.Also,why do you believe I BELIEVE you eleminated it?Also,I still find your Twitter comments more intriguing than your Posts.

  13. I took down the links because I wasn't monitoring them very closely and some of the content had changed. I felt like I wasn't properly vetting them enough to "recommend" them. Why do I think you think I took them down? I don't know. Maybe pressure from other women? I'm glad you enjoy my twitter feed, but I'm sorry this content is less interesting. :(

  14. "..you think.." Oh,please; 'pressure from other women'? Oh,come on !!!! I'm giving you far too much credit(responsibility/freedom) to get away with such a flippant comment.

  15. Great stuff. Although I am an MGTOW male and have given up on women and dating, as a human being I still care for the future for young boys and girls. I have a 10 year old niece and I want her to be happy and find a good spouse if she chooses in the future.with so many men calling for gender separatism ad opting out of the dating scene, the same men need to at least care about the dating and marriage welfare of future generations.

  16. Thank you so much for this blog.
    I am 34, I live in Italy and I am very happy to have found it, I admire your attitude toward life and your character values.

  17. Eh, like your outlook. You seem rational and well-adjusted. Not sure about your headline going on about this supposed wave of scary male backlash that's supposedly around the corner. That's kind of offensive really. Why do women always operate out of negative emotions when dealing with men? If not fear then ridicule or resource manipulation etc....

  18. Grerp I just love everything you've written - you really put it in perspective. I'm also a mom, housewife, and professional living close to all my extended family so the kids feel secure and belong, and have many great examples in front of them and no entitlement - still on my mortgage (not too long!) and still not started the vegetable garden I think of it more often than I've made any attempt to make it a reality! Love my husband more than I'd like divorce, too! Everything is so well said and so much in common LOL - vacation was in a tent -I feel like we were separated at birth. Keep up this great work. I know you are helping younger girls to THINK.

  19. http://grerp.blog-city.com/twoyear_anniversary.htm link is not working

  20. I was born in 1958.... and I think you've been camping out inside my head because everything you've written sounds like something I've said at one time or another. Keep writing - the world needs to hear more of what you and others like you have to say. Your niece and other girls like her are being taught all kinds of feel-good BS without learning that to receive something you must earn it. Oh, I could go on, but you're saying it much better. And your comments on men & women & relationships? Spot-on perfect. You go, girl!