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To me, this was my way of showing her my gratitude: to take her to a place that was out of the ordinary.
At the table, I was distressed to see her obviously struggling to enjoy herself.
Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch.
Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop.
Her mom saw unfamiliar words on the menu, and felt stupid.
Today, a Tex-Mex restaurant is one of the most popular places to eat in that town. Said he, “I would have just sat there in the hotel until it was time to go back to the airport.” He wasn’t joking. I admit it was gratifying to my twentysomething self to discover that there was something I could do that my omnicompetent father could not.American upper-middle-class culture (where the opportunities are) is now laced with cultural signifiers that are completely illegible unless you happen to have grown up in this class.They play on the normal human fear of humiliation and exclusion.And even if you’re able to see that your kids will find plenty of meaning, but in different things and in different ways, you might well worry about the possibility of ever really understanding and relating to them.The inability to bond over profound common experience would itself constitute a grave loss of meaning for both generations.