Labor Day started not as the day that the country breathes a collective sigh of relief as white jeans (aka, the bane of all launderers) and white shoes (aka, the hallmark of the ultra cheesy and/or the ultra chic) get stashed away for another year, but as a celebration of the labor movement in America. That the economic and social significance of the day has been lost in the sauce — ketchup, mustard, and mayo — isn’t surprising. With unemployment hovering a touch over 8%, it’s hard to imagine an esprit de corps, never mind how cute we all looked way back when, wearing our Esprit shorts on that last day of summer.
Times have changed, but the opportunities borne of hard work that America has always afforded actually haven’t — and I know that not from trite political ads, but from real life.
This past weekend I went to a party thrown by friends who embody the American dream. They came here a decade ago, leaving behind everything and everyone they knew and loved. While the husband worked his way up in business, the wife adapted to our totally foreign lifestyle, up to and including our society’s ridiculous idea that moms should do everything by themselves. Where she’s from, the government subsidizes childcare — not just for working mothers, but for all moms because… (insert incredulous gasp here)… being at home is hard work, too!