Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quarter Life Crisis

As many of my peers are faced with indecision and uncertainty following their graduation from college and entrance into the "real world," quite a few of them find themselves experiencing a "quarter life crisis." This depresses me no end, in part because it means my friends are unhappy and in part because it implies they will all die somewhere around the age of 88-92.

Personally, I anticipate living until the ripe old age of 117 (at which point I plan to OD on heroine), so my quarter life crisis should come around the age of 29.25. As a result, I cannot at all identify with the life-in-transit crisis that my dudes are experiencing. I can, however, reflect on the absurd depreciation of the value of a quarter in our modern economy and the profound sense of loss I feel as a result.

Now, unlike my mother, I cannot recall a time when a quarter could buy you a Coke (and a smile!) and a couple pieces of candy at the corner store. However, I can recall a period in which a quarter could get you a massive handful of candy (although I suppose my hands were smaller), most of which would end up on the ground (damn you, tiny hands!). A quarter was also enough to get a really cool toy, like a bouncy ball infused with glitter, a rubber finger puppet, a temporary tattoo or maybe - just possibly - one of those jelly-like sticky elastic things that you could fling onto the car window on the way home from the grocery store, or maybe at your little brother's face.

Well, America, I may not be having a quarter life crisis myself, but I am worried about the state of a quarter dollar for us all. It is with this in mind that I embark on my newest (and most exciting!) project: $0.25 for 25 days! That's right, you guessed it... we're gonna test how far a quarter can go in the world of today (and in the City of New York, no less). After the purchasing period has ended, the amassed tchotchkes will be analyzed, and we will know better the value of a quarter in the world in which we live relative to, say, a purchase at Starbuck's and, perhaps more importantly, how much better off we were as kids than the runts being raised today.