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If Ebenezer and Emma were Related

Imagine the initial attitude at the beginning of A Christmas Carol we find in Ebenezer Scrooge and Emma Rouault's character from Madame Bovary sitting together as distant cousins having lunch in modern times. Ebenezer would probably chide Emma for her lifestyle, clothing, and meal choices while Emma hides her embarrassment with Ebenezer as he likely nit-picks the bill and tips badly. As I think of this scene I wonder if this is the disconnect between Baby Boomers and Millennials. One generation may tend to forgo luxury in preparation for possible harder times and the other tending to live on the more gentle side of comforts forgoing planning for extremes. Of course, this is speaking in terms of generalities that is.

If Emma Rouault is an avocado toast eating Millennial, then Ebenezer Scrooge the D.I.Y-type working on his home renovation each weekend Baby Boomer. One works toward the finer things in life and the other takes pride in money not spent. This is how I see the change in the American economy between the two generations, one had to be self-sufficient to have much of anything as the wages were low and families tended to be big, while the other is less about procreation and more career-driven.

The two characters would likely be intolerant toward one another's ideals because one is a self-made martyr and the other is perpetuating a lifestyle out of their means. Ironically, both are equally flawed but criticizes the other more readily compared to themselves. Emma may wish to have the luxury items, but is unrealistic about her financial status as Ebenezer may hate his rigid self-discipline, but fears the unknown and unlikely. Their common ground is somewhere in the middle of each of their lifestyles, unfortunately, it is hard for them to agree enough to see that.

We can chuckle at the idea that they are like dipole forces that both repel and attract each other's company. By this, I mean that Emma would probably get in over her head in debt, and Ebenezer would feel validated watching her mismanagement come to light for all of the times he went without for his own fear. Emma would be just nice enough to Ebenezer in order to keep in his good graces in case the need ever arrive for her to have to overcome her pride and ask for his help. Their mutual dislike for one another would be their bonding force. It's totally imperfect and yet seems to be the way that the two generations have broken down their differences. As for the future, is it so wrong to accept that compatibility incompatible approaches to life can sometimes cause opposites to tolerate each other? Probably or maybe not.

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