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10 Things You Should've Learned In High School: Arguments For Home Ec Class

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If my college-age neighbors are any indication, the next generation is an absolute mess.

I'm not even talking about "life" messes (finding a job, getting married, etc.) but physical messes. Not to go all Andy Rooney on everyone, but kids today... go out with buttons missing on their coats, wrinkled pants and shirts that, clearly, haven't been washed recently. The problem goes deeper, even on the older end of the Millennial spectrum. Think: Adults who can't boil an egg. Adults who can't grocery shop without filling their cart with Doritos. Adults who have no idea that there is a fuse box in their homes.

This is my grandmother's generation's nightmare.

These basics are what we should've known before we were allowed to enter adulthood. Back in the day, most of these topics would have been covered in Home Ec class, but those have fallen by the wayside due to budget cuts. (Or, they are rebranded with a confusing name and cover such obvious basics as making a cake from a boxed mix.) With most parents working around-the-clock, there is no one left to teach people the ABCs of adulthood. Therefore, we need to bring back Home Ec. I've taken the trouble and designed a curriculum, which covers everything that should be covered in order to be a reasonable facsimile of a grown-up.

- How To Cook Something Besides Grilled Cheese. Seriously, this was the "recipe" that my brother learned in his equivalent to Home Ec. If you need instructions on how to make grilled cheese, we're basically rubbing two brain cells together and hoping an IQ point comes up.

- Basic Car Maintenance. My father, who was a distinguished service director with GM, attempted to teach me how to maintain my car. I glazed over like a girl-shaped donut, then sped off in my 1985 Buick Skyhawk, blasting Rush. Later, I'd have a minor meltdown when my car's oil light went on.

- How To Sew A Button. Given that 99% of clothes are now manufactured in fly-by-night factories where people are paid in tenths of cents an hour, our clothes are getting shabby immediately after wearing. Buttons have now become suggestions rather than reliable clothing fasteners.

- How To Properly Answer Your Phone. It's only acceptable for Ed Asner to answer the phone with a "What?" You are not Ed Asner.

- Laundry. I've heard horror stories of college kids who would rather travel to their parents' houses than actually wash their dirty clothes. This is not acceptable. Your mom should consider your 18th birthday (at the max) her official freedom from having to wash your stinky gym clothes. Also, you can't wash everything on the "hot" setting. And for the love of all that is holy, don't be the person who said to me, "Dry clean only? That means you just put it in the dryer, right?" See also: Irons and why you should own one.

- Grocery Shopping Without Unleashing Your Inner 5-Year-Old. No one is perfect. When I had my first apartment, my dinner was a single s'more every night for at least two weeks. I don't do that anymore. The problem really is with meal planning: If you don't know how to put together a meal that isn't grilled cheese, then you're going to end up with a cart full of blue soda, "nutrition" bars and Oreos.

- How To Use A Plunger Says one treasured colleague, "ESPECIALLY HANDY when one of your friends clogs your toilet and wants to die of embarrassment when you can't help them make it stop overflowing."

- Patching That Hole In The Wall. In college, you could "repair" the pinpoints in a wall with a little toothpaste. That's not going to be an option when your idiot cousin accidentally opens a door so hard, the knob punches a hole in the adjacent wall.

- Fuses: They Exist. Nope, it's not a blackout isolated to your living room. Don't call the power company. Also, you shouldn't plug in all of your appliances at once, turn them on and expect success.

- Credit Cards Have To Be Paid Back. No, really. I overheard two young women marveling about that at Starbucks. (And of course they ordered Frappucinos.)

Did I miss anything?

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