About lunch date with daughter (finally bonding after 12 yrs)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997
About lunch date with daughter (finally bonding after 12 yrs)
6
Tue, 04-16-2013 - 10:41pm

Can I FINALLY say after 12 or 13 YEARS that my daughter & I actually enjoyed our lunch date together.  She took me to a Cuban restaurant in Times Square (NYC).  The one thing I did right was exposing both kids to a variety of cuisines.  Far different than me growing up with a French mom who REFUSED to expose my sister & me to anything else besides French, American, Italian & occasionally Chinese.  I was in my mid 20's when I started eating a variety of foods.  Anyway, my daughter was quick to point out that all the restaurants in Times Sq. are mediocre in quality & overpriced.  I understood that point because as a native New Yorker, Times Square is for tourists - not residents.  Employees will bring their lunch to work vs. paying $$$ to eat out.  The restaurants just have to pass the Health Dept. regulations to stay in business.  They don't have regular customers, so they don't care about quality.  And for the tourists, they can charge whatever they want, since they know the tourists are not going to complain.

Anyway, NEWS FLASH HERE - Apparently, BOTH my kids are going to Australia May 6th.  I was told by my Mom & father in law that only my daughter & her boyfriend were going for a month.  Now my son & their mutual friend (from middle school days) are going for 2 weeks.  So the 4 of them are renting a 2 bedroom apartment outside of Brisbane, Australia for $350./week.  My son & his friend will pay for the 1st 2 weeks while they are there, then my daughter will pay for the last 2 weeks.  Her boyfriend has been unemployed & is waiting to hear which graduate school accepted him.  They will be renting a car too.  Worries for Mom - Australia drives on the left - what if they get confused & drive on the wrong side of the road?  She also indicated her boyfriend wants to go scuba diving - with the SHARKS!!  No my daughter is not going - my concern is what about his mother - yes, she thinks her son is nuts.  By the way - nobody is certified to dive - she said they will look into getting certified while in Australia.  I'm kind of laughing at this - because these 4 kids (young adults) all grew up in a suburb of NYC.  Meaning their water experience consists of a pool & the beaches near NYC.  In all my life, I think there's been only 2 sightings of sharks along the beaches & that does not include the movie "Jaws". even though "Jaws" was supposed to represent a Long Island beach town.  Since her boyfriend will be studying marine biology in grad school, I understand him wanting to go diving with sharks. 

Next - We got into a discussion about student loan debt & my kids college choices.  Her opinion is she's happy she went to a public college for free & graduated with no debt.  However, she also stated her brother going to a private university near Boston & graduating with $69,000. of student loan debt was a complete waste of time & money.  She thinks it's a heavy burden for graduates to have to repay thousands of dollars in student loans.  That her brother will be 50 yrs. old before the loan is paid off & he will have to work until he's 80 while my daughter thinks because she had no loans to repay & she has been saving all her money that she can retire when she's 50 yrs.   Here's the facts - SHE graduated college in 2006 BEFORE THE RECESSION.  It took her 3 MONTHS to find a job & she had no help from her college's career center & this was a good economy.  HE graduated college in 2010 at the height of the great recession & he had 2 job offers BEFORE graduation and the job he picked was paying him $55,000/yr + benefits.  How many 21 or 22 yr. olds do you know that got $55,000./yr jobs in 2010 at graduation??  Considering in 2010 nobody could get an interview or get hired for anything - my daughter should realize how lucky her brother was - even though he was graduating with student loans.   Today it's a case of my son hates his job, is looking for a different position, but because of the economy, nobody wants to pay him what he's worth.  Also my daughter is saying her brother wants to move back to NYC.  What??  Where is he going to find a decent job with a high income - Wall Street?  Investment funds?  You get the idea.  He can't take a low paying job because he needs to pay off the student loans.  And then if he moves back to NYC, where is he going to live?  Housing is VERY expensive here & so is the cost of living here.  I don't have the room in our place for him.  The only option is if we pay 1/2 his loans & he pays the other 1/2.  Unfortunately, my husband is about to retire & we don't have the money + I'm unemployed right now.

Finally - a correction from an earlier post - my daughter's boyfriend was admitted to Univ. of Maine, however it wasn't for the program he wanted.  The remaining 2 schools are Univ. of Miami & Univ. of North Carolina.  Previously, I thought it was Maryland or Virginia.  Sorry - my bad.  Everyone they know is telling them, they hope its Florida because when you live up north, who doesn't want to visit somebody in Florida during the winter months.  I told her, count me in - I'm taking off from Thanksgiving - Easter.

Kathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997

Just adding 1 more topic we discussed.  My husband's retirement - my daughter thinks my husband should retire this June instead of June 2014 because his salary can pay for 3 new teachers.  His school among others are laying off teachers who have only 1-3 yrs. in the system because whether the schools like it or not, they are forced to keep the senior teachers working because of union rules.  Her attitude was "why lay off teachers with young kids who need to pay rent & feed them when Dad can retire & save these teachers their jobs."  I reminded my daughter that when Dad was 1st teaching, he got laid off 2x & we had a mouth to feed (our daughter who was 2 yrs. old) + pay rent.  I was the only one bringing in the money. And she has this attitude?  I reminded her that there was a recession in the early 1980's & we delayed having children because of that.  She was born in 1984. 

Kathy

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
I find my kids have their view point based on their life experiences which will change as they age. My DS1 feels that once you aren't a "productive" member of the workforce then it's time to take you to the tar pits & hurl you (from old comedy show). My DD can also be critical of her brothers' choices but some of the time, I think it's because she is jealous. She got upset with DS1 when he chose to move to BC to do his masters & is now considering going to Europe for his partner to do his masters. She just wants him close by. I have learned to keep my mouth shut & just listen to all their comments & thoughts as they are still at the "expert" stage of their lives where they know everything. lol So glad you are bonding with your DD now. It must have been hard to lose that closeness. Dee
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

Kathy, were you surprised by your dd's views? When you told her your perspective did she seem to understand and appreciate it?

Like Dee's kids, mine also can think they are "experts" about things---they must wonder how we made it to our ripe old ages without knowing anything! And my SIL reports that her dd (34yo) is starting to treat 64yo SIL like she is going senile....so who knows at what age they outgrow it. I also tend to bite my tongue unless they say something that I just cannot let pass, and I try to be openminded about their opinions because they could be right, they just need to improve the overbearing delivery LOL. 

Does your ds share dd's opinion about his education and its cost? Does he have any regrets about that decision, or how he needs to live while he repays the loan?

The trip to Australia sounds great, and nice that they will vacation together for a couple of weeks. As for the diving with the sharks, isn't the diver in a cage? And if they can't get certified then I guess there won't be any diving. The snorkeling is probably pretty breathtaking anyway.

How did you like the Cuban restaurant? I found it interesting that you both say that the Times Sq restaurants are tourist traps but went to one anyway!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997

elc - as for college career centers - I don't want to generalize but in NYC for ex. the 2 private universities (Columbia & NYU) have world renowned career centers with global alumni networks & partnerships with major corporations.  The City Univ. of NY which has several colleges is a public university geared for NYC residents. Because its publicly funded, their career centers don't have the resources of a private university.  The exception is Baruch College which is a renowned business school and Baruch maintains partnerships with NYC corporations primarily on Wall Street.  But for all other degrees, students are left to find jobs on their own.  Because my son's degreee is in economics & finance, yes he could have gone to Baruch College & graduated with no student loan debt.  I don't know if he would have found a job on Wall Street given that in 2010, Wall Street was laying off everybody & asking Congress to bail them out.  Remember AIG & Lehman Brothers, etc.?  So was it a better choice to attend a private university with an excellent career center near Boston?  Who knows?  I agree with my daughter that graduating with $69,000. in student loan debt is a heavy burden for a 21 yr. old, but he is working for Liberty Mutual Insurance that pays him $60,000./yr & his rent is $1100./month, so he can afford his apartment + pay the student loans, food, etc.  Also, my husband & I are paying 2 of the loans - he has the other 2.  What kills me is the interest rate - 6.5% - insane!  You can refinance a home & get a lower interest rate.  Even our mortgage is 3.7%  Anyway, if you ask my son about his college choice (I did ask) he states "I don't have anything else to compare it to" (his exact quote - not mine)  I still say, I think Bentley Univ. has a fantastic career center if they managed to walk my son through the entire job hunting process.  That said, I'm sure Harvard & MIT probably have better career centers but then try getting admitted there.  LOL   P.S. You're right about snorkeling in Australia - getting certified may be an issue.  I saw the website for Bribie Island near Brisbane (where they are staying) - I am SO JEALOUS.  I want to pack up & fly there.  What a vacation they're going to have.  I need to save some money. 

Kathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997

Forgot to answer your question about the Cuban restaurant - I paid $44.00 + tip for lunch.  Too expensive but it was a nice lunch.  My daughter knows which restaurants to avoid - roughly 90% of restaurants near Times Sq., the Empire State Building, Broadway and Central Park are rip offs.  They are either overpriced, mediocre or both.  They're all tourist traps.  Ask your daughter, I'm sure she will agree. 

Kathy

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

Since my dd has been working as a server at a number of different restaurants since she arrived in NY she has a pretty good take on the "foodie" scene there. She's met a lot of people in that industry and related businesses like bakeries and bars. I don't get the idea that she goes out to eat very often unless its at a friend's restaurant so she gets comp'ed---dining out in NYC is too expensive--so she may not even know much about the places near the tourist sites. She typically eats for free at work although she said that one of the trendy foodie places she worked usually served the employees a crappy Family Meal of cheap food, nothing that was on the menu. I think she spends her going-out money on cocktails. 

When we visited her we ate at the restaurants where she was working at the time, one was on the LES and the other in LIC. One was a place I would never have gone to because of the high prices--not because the food was so original or even good, but because it was so trendy they could get away with it. OTOH she was making a good living because expensive meals= big tips. We figured that we were just helping her coworkers make money that night lol.