“Up in the Air”

“I don’t mean to play bad sociologist, especially with my own sons, but I’ve got to tell you that things have changed.” My friend, whose sons are in their early 30’s, continued.

“I’m not saying we have to live in Mayberry or on top of Walton’s mountain any more, but it’s so incredibly different. It’s like they’re still at UCC in terms of how they socialize. It’s still the pack. And when I ask my sons, as I do occasionally, if they are at all serious about anyone in particular, they give me that look that says, ‘Are you out of your mind?’ They and their friends, they’ve got good degrees and good jobs, but they are not at all interested in moving on to what I always thought was the natural next step of life…”

I thought of this as I watched George Clooney in “Up in the Air,” a film about an affable businessman who enjoys financial success but isn’t at all interested in or burdened by personal relationships. I won’t ruin it for you, but I’ll just say it’s not a Disney film. George Clooney is the anti-George Bailey, and  for him, Bedford Falls is strictly fly over country. “Up in the Air” is sobering for mid-lifers, and for my friend’s sons, it may be something akin to the ghost of Christmas future.

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