We go to Oregon quite often to visit family, so I generally save any shopping for when we head in that direction. Oregon doesn't have a sales tax, and Nevada's continues to rise. Which brings me to an annual event my daughters and I share. Fall shopping for warm clothes. Both Portland and Tahoe require such expenditures. Some things just wear out by the end of the season, and warm boots take a beating in the snow and rain. I purchased just what was needed, and so did the girls. Basic layering t-shirts and a sweater or two, to spiff up last year's winter jeans and skirts. I looked at all of the things people probably wouldn't buy this year, and thought this economy is not going to improve through consuming. I think those days are over. People are being very conservative. Our country, and maybe the world, needs to retrain and retrench.
My younger daughter needed a few things in order to segue from college hippie to working girl. Baby steps with that one - she doesn't feel the need to dress up for much. But she actually seemed pleased when I took her shopping, explaining that going to work with holes in your leggings should be a thing of the past. That, no, it was not okay to save all of her good clothes for going out at night, and wearing the worn ones to work. (She doesn't work with the public, except by phone.) It was time to think about moving up from her basic job and maybe into a more interesting position in the company. Hers is one of the few companies actually growing in this economy. That if she wanted a different car, that held friends and camping equipment - she would have to improve her income. Parental units are pretty much finished with their responsibilities. She knows she is lucky to have a college education minus student loans. She is lucky to have a job that has health insurance, including eye care and dental. She is lucky to have the possibility of upward mobility. Her dream of farming may have to be on her own time, however, starting in her own yard. Travel will have to wait until she can take a leave of absence, but she is lucky to work for a company that will allow her to leave for three months and come back! In other words, it is time for her "to paddle her own canoe," as my father used to say. She graduated into a new world. A new economy less forgiving, and not at all conducive to moving around looking for just the right fit. More like the world her father and I knew when we graduated high school. The Vietnam war was raging and inflation was double digits. Gas lines were long, and finding a good job was a blessing.
I actually think she was listening.
Hmmm... Maybe we are entering a new era, she and I. She is growing up, and I am learning to let go. Maybe, just maybe, we did a good job raising her. She is capable and prepared. Smart and industrious. She is loyal, honest, and works well in a team environment. Good workplace qualities. She always earns an additional bonus at the end of each month, given to those making few errors.
In a country where one in ten Americans are out of work, an estimated 15.1 million and growing, I'm grateful. And more importantly, I think she is, as well. At least for the moment. And isn't that where we're supposed to be living?