I usually 100% agree with AHP but I think a crucial component here is the fact that, although this show is written in the present, it deals with the issues (and ways of life) in the past. I also don't get the sense from the way the servant characters (and even some of the lady characters) are written that they're all 100% fulfilled - they certainly sometimes long for a life outside the constrictions of society. I guess we'll see what happens in the second half of the season as well... On a lighter note, I 100% agree with @LooseBaggyMonster. Pictures of those two, especially out of costume and character, make me totally SWOON.
On Sweet Dee
My best friend battled (and beat) stage 4 cancer (a really rare form in her limbs) nearly 10 years ago, so DAMN do I know how you feel. Congrats, Dee! I hope you both have a lovely 2014. There's nothing like having that best friend, a true fighter, by your side.
I'd also like to add that I have an few much younger cousins who are little terrors (a few years ago they broke an antique family lamp in our house, let our dog out and he was gone for two days, and refused to eat the food we provided, etc) and their parents blamed US for being frustrated or angry. My parents, who have clearly had young children and know what its like, could not believe the way they behaved. Some people (my uncle included) don't believe in telling their children "NO" anymore because "It's a negative word." The sad fact is there are boundaries in the world and those kids will hear that word eventually. I just think people don't want to admit it when they or their children are wrong but that's a horrible and selfish attitude to pass down through generations.
I think there are a few issues here. I should start by mentioning that a) I do not have any children of my own and b) I would like to someday, but I don't think that makes my friends who never want children "child haters."
As Edith mentions in her response, when you have a child your house is chaos and things get ruined. The problem is that the guests are not respecting (nor teaching their children to respect) the fact that the house and the things are NOT theirs to take/ruin/insult. The person who wrote the question mentions: "Neither sets of parents ever apologized, acknowledged, or showed any accountability or even awareness of their kids' bad behaviors." I think this is KEY. Yes, kids can be crazy, but that doesn't mean they should be allowed to run rampant, or at least take responsibility/apologize for damage they do cause (especially at age nine!)
This information is hardly surprising though, given that many more of us go to college now than in our grandparents' (and even our parents') generation. In addition, most of our generation has graduated from college during a horrible recession and had fewer job opportunities, and thus less of a chance to pay pack the debts they've incurred. That isn't to say that we couldn't (and shouldn't) be more responsible with our income. The lack of good jobs leads meany into credit card debt simply to get by! C'est la vie!