Saturday, October 28, 2006

originally posted in August '04.

Here is my "life with teenagers" moment for this weekend: We're sitting at dinner last night with some friends who have teenage boys who are avid soccer players. One of the boys comments, "Cody's dad bought him an eighty dollar pair of Beckham's."

I am feeling proud of myself that I know who "Beckham" is. He's married to that former Spice Girl, you know.

"Wow," I say, naively. "Eighty dollars for a pair of shoes! I will never get used to that."

He looks at me blankly. "Oh, no, they're gloves."

My jaw drops. "Eighty dollars for a pair of gloves?"

The two boys are a bit defensive. "Well, they're goalie gloves," one says, and the other nods enthusiastically, as if this explains everything. I say, "Oh," as if I understand, but inside I'm still thinking dumbfoundedly, "Eighty dollars for a pair of gloves????"

It continually strikes me how different a world they are growing up in than we did. It's not that they're spoiled, or that they're wealthy. If you adjusted for inflation, I bet the families of the Texas oilmen and financiers I grew up with in the 70's were wealthier than these families. It's just that there's so much more stuff you can get, specialized stuff that you don't really need, but once you try it and see how well it works, you decide you really do need it. And it's marketed so incredibly well. I just feel so old.That's happening to me a lot these days, as you may have noticed.

Aunt B.
(who has never paid more than $60 for a pair of shoes for herself, but has paid $75 for basketball shoes for her daughter)

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