Well, Jason, I haven’t known you all that long, but maybe you should listen to your friends. Maybe you’ve become something of a fuck-up. I mean, I, for one, did not choose a life that was defined by what I did for a living, so I would never lecture you on that. But this is the cold hard facts of life, neighbor. You spend the bulk of your day doing something for money. Welcome to America. So start looking for what it’s going to be. Who cares what it is? Find something that makes you happy, it’s not a vision quest. And by that I mean, look harder than you are.
– Advice from a character in James Rosen’s new novel, I Just Want My Pants Back.
(I have to admit, I had a hard time enjoying this novel. Jason is supposed to be a lovable scamp, I think, but he reminds me too much of some students I run across, putting off adulthood indefinitely, smoking and drinking their way into perpetual oblivion. The quote above puts my frustrations into the mouth of one of the characters, but I guess I found Jason a hard guy to care too much about. I may have the above quote printed up so that I can hand it out to students who seem to think that life–if not their parents–will somehow provide for them.)