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Jared Gardner

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Why Can't I Have It All?

Posted: 06/23/2012 1:48 pm

I woke up this morning, and like so many Americans today, I found myself wondering: "Why don't I have it all?" I mean, I have a good job, a family a house. But do I have "it all?" No. By any objective measure, I do not. I drive a minivan, for one thing. My kids have never been featured in a national magazine and have never won a spelling bee. My wife has aged something like 20 years in the two decades I've known her. And I don't even own a Playstation 3. Yes, I am pretty much the poster child for the 21st-century tragedy known in technical terms as "Why Have I Not Everything" (or W.H.I.N.E.). Being phenotypically White myself, my own version -- arguably the most vicious and epidemic in recent years -- is known, of course, as White W.H.I.N.E.

Needless to say, I was in desperate need for something or someone to blame for this state of affairs. The cover story in the Atlantic excluded me on the basis of my secondary sex characteristics, being only interested in white women who don't have it all and totally ignoring the plight of me and my fellow white male W.H.I.N.E.-ers. Unlike the heart-rending tale unfolded in those pages by that less-than-all-having Endowed Professor at Princeton University, I could not blame the fact of my not having it all on institutional sexism. So I passed the issue on to my wife -- who, it turns out, also does not have it all (it is frankly a veritable epidemic around here).

Since the Atlantic, usually such a reliable fount of self-satisfying diagnoses, had let me down, I knew there was only one other explanation. As if we needed any further proof, it was now clear: the "American Dream" was well and truly dead. It was promised to me when I was born 46 years ago that I would be richer, better and sexier than my parents. And where am I now? Slathered in testosterone patches and subcutaneous fat, that's where. My mother, meanwhile, lives in a three-story brownstone in Brooklyn, while I am consigned to a two-story house in Columbus, Ohio. No one who reads the Atlantic or teaches at Princeton University would think that constitutes doing better than my parents. If we ever needed any evidence that the Dream is dead, surely I am it (thanks a lot, Obama!).

Still, hope is not lost for me. Just look at that Bus Bully Lady. To say she doesn't have it all is putting it mildly (I mean, those kids did make a few good points). And yet here comes the Internets to the rescue to send her on the "vacation of her life," which will at least be a welcome respite from the usual not-having-it-all. And how much have the infinitely generous anonymous voyeurs of the cyber-universe raised? Over a half million at last count!

So, maybe the best approach is for me to be publicly bullied, violated, or victimized on YouTube and then to start a Kickstarter campaign to send me on a vacation from my life. After all, once you've watch the video of my humiliation a half dozen times, what is going to make you feel better about the time you wasted not actually working, taking care of your kids, or otherwise, you know, having it all? Sending $25, that's what!

Honestly, half a million would help a lot. A better car, a younger wife, maybe even a corner of an apartment in New York. I still won't have it all, of course. But you'll feel much better about yourself for helping me -- and the American Dream -- overcome what has been, by all measure, a pretty rough few years. And maybe we'll be just a few dollars closer to a cure for the White W.H.I.N.E. One can only dream.

 
 
 

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