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Saturday, May 24, 2008


Today's episode of Little Miss Know-it-All: I'm an annoying Gen-Whyer, and so are you!

I really shouldn't read Leah McLaren's columns, but for some reason, I always do. Leah, you see, represents women of my generation. I know this because she keeps insisting that she does, even though there is absolutely no evidence of this.

Today, Leah informs us that, like me and the rest of the approximately one million Canadians who happen to be our age, she is a gypsy who takes a casual approach to international travel. We just show up in Zanzibar with our Blackberrys and hang around.

This is really helpful. It's like Leah is peering right into my soul. I'm thrilled that she represents me to the rest of Canada through the Paper of Record, because I've been waiting for someone to express my desire -- no, need -- to drop everything and leave the country on a moment's notice. This is really the way I live. It's too bad that it took until now for someone to be pioneering enough to point it out. Thank you, Leah!

It's really unfortunate that Leah apparently does not know anyone who isn't an annoying childless freelance writer from Toronto. She claims that this lifestyle is very common and depends on "portability of work (i.e. self-employment)". I see. What she really means is "(i.e. unemployed wanna-be writer)": I can tell you from experience that self-employed people can't live this way. Clients don't like it when you run off to Libya. Only tortured, misunderstood, artsy weirdos can do this. The rest of us have to earn a living.

I suspect that Leah's friends don't actually do this, either. They've shown poor judgment by talking to her about their lives, but they've got to make money somehow. Organic food, lofts and Converse All-Stars aren't cheap, and used-book stores don't pay their staff as well as Leah would like you to think.

I had to read her column several times to figure out what is actually happening here. Leah provides four examples of this supposedly common behaviour:

  • Herself. She disappears to other countries without telling her family where she's going, because she is so hip and awesome. No indication of how often she actually does this. Also, she has a cell phone. People of the world: The 1980s are long gone. Cell phones are no longer a status symbol. Please stop telling us that you own them: We are not impressed.

  • A friend who books flights at the very last minute because it is cheaper. No indication of how often he actually does this or where he is going. I suspect he is going to Winnipeg.

  • A friend who likes to go to other countries without planning ahead. No indication of how often he actually does this. However, he has an iPhone, so you should be impressed.

  • A friend who went to Kenya without telling Leah. No indication of how often she does this, whether she tells other people, or whether the trip was planned.
I don't really like "trendwatching" articles, but this doesn't even meet the lowest standards for trendwatching. Thanks, Paper of Record.


scribe said...

Oh, my sides are splitting. You are so spot on. She is rapidly descending into into Icky Becky territory.