Before I get into any of this, let me be clear: things aren’t so bad. I have a lovely and continually pregnant wife, two lovely and preternaturally intelligent kids, a lovely and relatively remunerative job in an only-perceived-as-dying-but-not-really-dying industry, most of my teeth, and whatever additional things one might think of to connote basic, boring, lame-ass middle class ambrosia.
Now onto the complaining.
So I took JP to a baseball game this past weekend, which is a fine thing to do. Good seats, better hot dogs, and a fireworks display at the end. The only problem was that it wasn’t to a game contested by my favorite team–the Mets (whatever)–or his favorite–the Yankees. No, we weren’t watching the Major Leagues at all, but the minors, the Met’s a-ball affiliate that plays its games on the boardwalk in Coney Island. This was a reasonably priced evening, as these things go: $16 a pop for the tickets, plus whatever I spent on two dogs and a two cups of ice cream (served in a tiny cup that resembles a Met batting helmet–souvenir!) Fun was had by all (although the woman sitting next to us that JP spent the night describing videogames to might disagree).
As a kid, my father, who, at the time at least, occupied a fairly similar place in the middle class as I do today, took me to a few ballgames per year–major, not minor–plus the Knicks, and don’t forget the U.S. Open, a couple of Broadway shows, the opera or ballet once or twice when he could sedate me into going, along with a few other pricey cultural activities that slip my mind. He also sent me, my brother, and my two stepbrothers to an uptown private school.
Again, Tomoko and I are doing all right. It’s just that times have changed in this brutal and vicious city we so love, that the middle class lifestyle is now only the prerogative of the super-wealthy. Or, a better way to put it–I went looking for the middle class (in my wallet) and discovered there was no there there.
Final complaint: brother, can you spare a dime (I’d like to retire some day).