So yesterday I took the teenager for her quarterly haircut and overheard the following conversation between her and her hairdresser, a lovely young woman in her late 20s who has been working since she graduated from high school and is about to be married to her long-time beau:
The Teenager: When I graduate [from college], I'm going to live on Hawaii -- and in Paris. And you can come stay me!
The Hairdresser: Well, I'm going to live on Hawaii, too, so I won't have to stay with you.
The Teenager: Awesome! Well, you can come visit me in Paris!
The Hairdresser: That would be great!
Me: And, um, how exactly are you going to maintain homes in both Hawaii and Paris, Teenager? Are you going to be someone's private chef? [The Teenager is an excellent cook and wants to become a nutritionist and private or personal chef when she graduates from college, or graduate school.]
[Over 40 years of feminism flashes before my eyes -- and dies.]
Me: How about you become the rich woman?
The Teenager: ---
Me: Never be dependent on someone else, Teenager. Even if you do marry a rich man, work or make sure you have your own money.
The Hairdresser vigorously nods. The Teenager does not reply.
For those of you wondering where she got this idea, it wasn't from me. (I've been working since I was a teenager and have worked all of her life, albeit mostly from home and part time recently, though that hasn't been entirely by choice.) And she's not the only young woman -- far from it -- who dreams of marrying a rich man, or the man being the rich one.
Ladies, where did we go wrong?