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SLUGS IN THE GARDEN

BLUNT LOVE AND WAR ADVICE
FOR YOUNG COLLEGE WOMEN
IN CHOOSING A CAREER PATH

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Copyright 1996, 1997, 2002, 2006, 2011



PROMISES, PROMISES...

This advice is stark, realistic, cynical. It is meant to shock you out of any immature, histrionic perceptions of the college experience. Wishful thinking dreamers may not appreciate or be able to accept the cold, hard facts.

But, for those who can accept and profit from the truth: A healthy trace of cynicism will give you a skeptic's insight into the shaky validity of promises and vows made when the lights are low. Most of the world's tragic decisions are made in the dark or in romantic candlelight!

THE PROPINQUITY MONSTER STRIKES

When a young couple meet and fall in love only as a result of being in the same place at the same time, the relationship is spoken of as being triggered by "propinquity". If they had not both been in that particular place at that exact time, they never would have known that the other person even existed.

RICH PARENTS STAGE PROPINQUITY EVENTS

Knowing this trait of human nature, cynical rich parents have always sent their daughters to an appropriate high mucky-muck university just so "propinquity" would have its chance to work to her (and their) advantage. In this way they control events so they will not appear as ogres to their daughter for failure to bless her "true love" at a mundane state university or city college.

PROPINQUITY PEERS DEFEATED BY TRAVEL AND TIME

In other cases rich parents would try to prevent "propinquity" peers from working against their interests by sending their daughter on a foreign vacation trip for just long enough for her to forget her pauper beau, but not long enough for her to meet and fall for a debonair but pauper Frenchman or a sweet-talking but pauper Italian. Then with "coming out" balls and other staged social scenarios, the rich have insured that their daughter would meet and marry a talented son of a wealthy family instead of the unskilled offspring of a poor laborer, farmer, or shopkeeper.

INEPT ADULTS GIVE BIASED ADVICE
(See Appendix)

Now, their favorite daughter has reached that magic age. Because she has no practical home-making skills or ambition and they don't know what else to do with her, her parents tell their friends that they are sending her to college to get an education (to learn what she should have learned in high school). But, they don't have the foggiest grasp of the requirements of an honest college program, especially for professional training:

The grueling work, the long hours, the pressure, the social loneliness, and the myriad temptations to fall by the wayside, both as a person and in career goals.

DOES HE HAVE CLEAN FINGERNAILS?

These parents never openly share with their daughter their almost unconscious hope but certainly unspoken real goal for her: that she will meet and marry a nice college boy instead of a foul-mouthed truck driver who would track mud in the house and spit tobacco juice in the kitchen sink while stacking half-empty beer bottles on the kitchen counter.

DREAMS AND FAIRY TALES

All the time everybody is kidding everybody else, including family and friends. Nobody really acknowledges the truth, that if the daughter were to even dream about going for broke to finish her higher education, the family would be bankrupt.

PARENTS DUCK OUT IN THE CRUNCH

To themselves the parents are thinking "She will meet a clean-cut boy in a year or so, fall in love, maybe even get pregnant. Then we will have a nice wedding, meet the other family, say all the blah, blah, blah ... wishing the kids health and prosperity, and then be off the hook. The boy's family will have to support them both until he finishes school and his father sets him up in the family law firm or medical practice or whatever."

PARENTS GIVE THEIR DAUGHTER INTO SLAVERY

In practice, it doesn't work out that way. The young man is going to school on a wing and a prayer, and his family doesn't have a pot to pee in. His uncle is serving ten years for tax fraud, his brother sells dope, and his older sister was tarred and feathered and run out of a Deep South fundamentalist town for flagrant prostitution. (He doesn't tell you any of this.) If and when he gets his "paper" degree he is going to have to work at an ordinary job like everybody else, if he can get one. The girl's parents know or guess all this from experience, but don't tell their daughter. She is in no mood to listen to them, anyway. The parents just hope the new (romance) airplane doesn't crash close enough to the end of the (time) runway that they could be blamed. In this way they preserve in her the illusion that they should be loved and revered into old age, even though their silence condemns her to a life of poverty and probably horror.

SOME COLLEGE ADMINISTRATORS TELL THE TRUTH

The last thing you want to have happen is to start college on a shoestring, get a little way along, and then have the inevitable romantic interest lead to a marriage based on a view through rose-colored glasses. University administrators have told me this:

A young woman away from home with high potential may come into college too soon, not yet being "focused" on her career goals. Blundering along, she meets some emotionally immature guy who has no motivation whatever for real work, but sets the imaginary stage for an illusory dream goal for their future. He hypnotizes her into believing what we used to call THE BIG LINE. The lonely young woman is captivated by all the rare attention and falls in L.U.V.V.V.V! He takes up so much of her time that she is forced to reduce her course load and settle for a no- future "paper" degree. Then, she either flunks out or he decides that she should drop out of school. Married or not, at that point the girl's education is usually over and she never reaches her true potential.

TRUE LOVE TURNS TO HATE

Well, "society" (what is that???) expects the chosen fall guy to slay the dragons outside while she is condemned to slavery at home, trapped by little torture monsters who give her no peace. Over time dragons and monsters will tear the couple apart. They are unable to cope. Bickering and arguments follow. The police are called. The strain and uncertainty turns the "true" love to hate.

YOU CAN BE A CYNIC, TOO

But, if you absolutely insist on being a dreamer, on taking a chance on breathing second-hand smoke and uncertainty from unknown and unperceived fire-spewing dragons and monsters, then, by all means, calm down just long enough to be cautious, to be cynical, to be unpleasantly nasty skeptical, to be everlastingly ruthless and crudely callous (even with yourself), and get those expectations and promises down pat in a very long, tedious, detailed, formal, written document prepared by an experienced, RUTHLESS older attorney ON YOUR SIDE that you would TRUST WITH YOUR LIFE, BECAUSE YOU ARE!

ADVERTISING FOR FUN AND PROFIT

Then tell all your friends, all his friends, the whole damned neighborhood, the entire world, what the poor, misguided fool and his rich (hah, hah!) family have promised, and make sure he and his family know you are prattling away like some mad banshee, and that you fully expect to hold him and them to all of the promises, and that you will get the community to ostracize him if he doesn't.

TELL YOUR PARENTS TO KEEP QUIET!

Don't let either of your parents give him any soft soap crap or false illusions about what he is getting into. Don't you or your father "tell him just what he wants to hear" either. Instead, tell him that you are taking him on a nightmare ride in hell that will drag him through years of dead-end jobs interspersed with periods of terrifying unemployment, working for unethical bosses who demand that he scrape and bow and constantly dance to their tune to support their devious ways of cheating both employees and customers.

IT IS TIME FOR RELAXATION, SUCKER

Be sure that you tell him that no matter what horrors he has been through that day, he must come home at night all relaxed and happy and ready to take you out to an expensive dinner that he can't afford, all because the children have left you too tired to clean the house or fix any meals. Then, in the morning you will be too tired and depressed to fix breakfast for him or the kids, but they can stop by McDonald's on the way to work or school.

IN THE LURCH AT THE CHURCH!

In that way you have some tiny protection. If he has any misgivings about following through with the one-sided promises he made when he was drunk and delirious, even when you have told him all along that you never intended to keep yours, maybe he will leave you in the lurch at the church! If that happens, praise be! You are saved! He didn't mean any of it, and it is far better that you know now!

MAKE YOUR DECISION

If neither you nor a beloved can afford an attorney from your own self-supporting earnings, then you have no business even getting involved in the first place. Tell the guy to take a hike if he has no job, has not completed his career training, and has no formal plan to get either one, except by sponging off of you while you work at some exhausting waitress job.

FIX YOUR GOAL AND SET YOUR PLAN

It is urgent that you map out your entire college program with annual costs all the way through a six-year master's degree, far enough along to be eligible for a PhD science fellowship or to be competitive in the job market. Add up the total expected cost for the entire plan, including tuition, books, and living expenses. Take the worst case scenario when coming up with your numbers. Make sure you have allowed for all expenses. Don't do any wishful or fuzzy thinking!

CAN YOU EXPECT REAL HELP FROM HOME?

Finally, sit down with your folks and present your figures to them. It is better to face the music now than to be trapped downstream a ways with no place to go except a job at K-Mart. You need to know what you are getting into, and how much help you can expect from your parents.

CROWDED UNIVERSITIES ARE FORCED TO BE RUTHLESS

Remember to tell your family that the university experience is like getting hit by a huge truck. You can't mess around and play games. I remember the first day in an enormous physics lecture hall, with standing room only. The professor said "Don't worry about seating. Look around. Your neighbor won't be here in a few weeks." He was telling the truth. Similar stories are told by many science and engineering graduates.

BUT, YOU CAN BE RUTHLESS, TOO

And, more than anything, you need to know what it is that your parents really expect you will do with your college life and just how supportive they will be in the crunch. Get serious now. It is your life, and you have a right to know where everyone is coming from at this point.

PARENTS HAVE A SECRET AGENDA FOR THEIR DAUGHTER

Maybe they secretly think (and hope) that you will "come to your senses" in a year or two and want to get married like "normal" women and raise cute grandchildren for them to play with on Sunday afternoons. Your clue to their secret thoughts is their financial support plan for your college education. If they have budgeted ahead for only a year or two without being able to give you any concrete long-range details, then you must accept that you are on your own. It would make more sense for you to scrounge your way in to Yale, Harvard, Stanford, or MIT to meet the appropriate rich guy who is "on his way". Then, you would have to be goal-oriented and ruthless and avoid "true" love like the plague! But the new goal is a planned "MRS" degree in upper class style!

ANYONE FOR A SILVER SPOON?

Certainly, at the state university or city college you wouldn't meet anyone with a silver spoon. You would be lucky if he had a spoon at all, and even then you would be expected to wait tables or scrub floors to put the food in it! Rich kids don't go to the state university or city college.

SLUGS IN THE GARDEN

Many of the southern boys we have met seem to have no more ambition than a slug. They don't see anything wrong about a slug's life , living with their divorced mama indefinitely, without any workable plans to strike out on their own.

We met one creep who shacked up in his mother's house, under her nose, with his college student girlfriend. He himself never went to college, but just drifted from one nebulous sales job to another. His only skill was arrogance. He "doesn't like yard work", his mother told me. She had not accepted it yet, but his values did not include any "work". His religious grandmother, mother, aunt and aunt's family gave him plenty of rope, repeatedly borrowing money to pay his DWI fines. When they eventually figured out that he was an albatross, it was too late. The rope turned into an anchor chain and his mother lost her home to foreclosure.

CATS HOWL ON THE BACK GARDEN FENCE

That girl's parents probably supposed she was just "rooming" somewhere, or "staying with friends". Or, maybe the members of her "tribe" were "all from the same breed of cats" and knew exactly what she was doing.

TRUTHFUL PROPHETS TELL THE TRUTH

Have I scared you a little? Good! Maybe I saved your neck! In Biblical times there were prophets. We were always told that they had supernatural powers. Maybe they were just smarter than most people, and had learned to "stop, look, and listen" to the facts of life!



APPENDIX

WHY ADVICE FROM INEPT PARENTS
IS BIASED AGAINST YOU



THE CYCLE REPEATS - BIOLOGY CONTROLS CHILD PRODUCTION

Biology does not require a man and a woman to have a license or any schooling for the production of children. The government does not require a parent to be emotionally mature, financially sound, or to have a license or any training to rear a child. There is no direct tax on child production. Instead, there are "politically correct" tax exemptions! How stupid...

BUT RELIGION TAXES YOUR FUTURE

As an evil holdover from the medieval need for expendable soldiers, myth-based world-wide religious morality still DEMANDS that children be produced IN ENORMOUS NUMBERS, even in the face of mounting evidence that there is no need for them, no room for them, and no resources for them. Moreover, nobody is physically or mentally prepared to provide for them, to take care of them, and to insure that they have a viable future.

CAN YOU VISUALIZE WHAT THE NUMBERS INDICATE?

The world population is growing at the rate of 10,000 an hour, 250,000 a day, 90 million a year. When I was college age the U.S. population was 110 million. It will be 400 million in 2050.

THE DEVASTATING "SOLUTION" - A LEGACY OF HITLER

There is "no more room at the inn", so the "Merchants of Death" continue to GIVE deadly armaments to any country that will agree to use the guns to kill off the excess population. Social ethics disappears when the endemic religious morality virus demands mass production of genetic weaklings as expendable "commodities", to be warehoused like sausages until the next bloodbath. Isn't it time to ask "whose agenda are we following, and what is the real purpose?"

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PET EASTER BUNNY?

After the "cute" stage is over, unprepared and harried parents psychologically abandon a typical older or difficult child to the tender mercies of layers of invisible, high-salaried "experts" in bloated bureaucracies, for a fate not unlike that of a growing pet Easter bunny.

MOST ADULTS HAVE NO APPRECIATION FOR UPSCALE GOALS

Poorly-paid high school teachers and advisors and most salaried or wage-earning parents who attend college at all earn only nominal "paper" degrees. They have no more than a passing interest or experience in the business of business or the professions. Their roles and impact in society are limited and peripheral, and they have no comprehension of the tasks or responsibility involved in operating a successful private enterprise. They have only a fuzzy idea of the meaning or importance of "profit", and may have been brain-washed by "intellectual" professors to believe that "profit" is a dirty word. Completely beyond their mental grasp are the true statements that money really does not grow on trees and that taxes and profits are two radically different creatures engaged in a perennial death dance.

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"Love Story"
arranged by and
used with the permission of
Don Carroll



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