Linguistics; propaganda; "Dad, I need 80 bucks...."
I don't know what you think of that "Dad, I need 80 bucks.." Ameritrade commercial running on CNN and the other news channels right now; I know what I think of it. It turns my stomach.
When the teenage girl tells her Dad she needs 80 bucks for a pair of jeans that she has to have because everybody has them, Dad asks her who the designer is, runs to his laptop and orders 100 shares of the designer's stock, and turns over the 80 bucks -- which, needless to say, he has right there in his pocket.
Not even one of the dialogues below takes place [and should be what really happens].
TEEN: "Dad, I need 80 bucks."
DAD: "You don't need 80 bucks. You want 80 bucks."
TEEN: "There's these jeans....."
DAD: "And you have to have them."
DAD: "You don't have to have them, you want to have them."
DAD: "Do your friends have them?"
TEEN: "Everybody has them!"
DAD: "Then shame on their parents."
DAD: "Like you don't have enough jeans."
TEEN: "So, can I have the 80 bucks?"
DAD: "Absolutely not. All the kids in this world that don't even have clean water to drink, and you want 80-dollar designer jeans? No way. Go wash your mouth out with soap."
Do you ever worry that your kids will grow up spoiled? I fear it.
BTW, for a good charity (when you are looking for something to remind yourself of why you are grateful):
Donations for the Pine Ridge problem would go to the Link Center Foundation, P.O. Box 2253, Longmont, CO 80502-2253, with the check or money order marked "Elders Heating Fund."
I can't vouch for the charity personally. The information comes from a Native American source. There's a website for the Link Center at http://www.LinkCenterFoundation.com.
Direct Link to the project.
BTW, I do have a teenage daughter and when I talked with my wife about this commercial it was more on the line of but gosh, that is a funny thing to see on TV.
A lot of it is relative. My current boss used to work in men's clothes. He just can't bring himself to pay retail for clothing. I've lost a fair amount of weight, but I buy my non-work clothes from Wrangler ($15.00 a pair for pants) and my dress pants from Lands End. But, I know that sometimes, if you want fit and appropriate clothing that is going to last, you can end up paying money. Might be $20.00 for a dress at Nordstrom's Rack, might be ten times that (or more). I know that things I think of as essential are someone else's luxury.
I've read Shantaram and my parents served most of one of their missions in Tanzania. But, the issue, of how not to spoil your children, is significant to me.
We used to share our chapel with a ward that had pro sports players (active and retired) in it and others at a similar income level. People that buy the $200.00 jeans and think of the $80.00 ones as the cheap ones. Some of the people were great, but some walked out on their turn to do the dishes at girls' camp. I don't want my children to be like that, especially now that we are better off than we were.
Anyway, just thinking on the topic of kids wanting things, "needing" things, and being a parent. My teenager is preternatural. It is the five-year old (almost six) who worries me, who always asks for things. I worry about raising her.