"Today's 20-somethings have built lives around friendships instead of creating new nuclear families."
"Adultescents," "kidults," "the boomerang generation"-they all mean essentially the same thing: Something has gone terribly wrong with today's 20-somethings. They are-or, I should say-we are something less than fully adult. Piled into group houses and shared apartments, we are part of the Friends generation. Whether by choice or by circumstance, we've built lives around our friendships instead of creating new nuclear families. The numbers bear this out. According to the latest census stats, the median age of first marriage for an American woman is almost 26, up from nearly 23 a quarter-century ago. The percentage of Americans who've never been married is climbing fast.So what's the cause of this alleged retreat from adulthood? For some, the culprit is the economy: This generation, "Generation Debt," is simply financially strapped. For others, the culprit runs deeper. Somehow this generation isn't prepared for the rigors of real adulthood defined by the holy trinity of the American Dream: a family, a career, and a house in the suburbs. And so the gentrified precincts of our brightest and biggest cities are full of recent college grads packed tenement-tight in "multifamily" buildings that include hardly any families at all.
|If it sounds as if I'm calling for a return of the commune, that's because I am.|