If the Price Were Right…

Would you consider moving in with your parents? This is an important question that people have been forced to ask due to the financial down spiral we are in. We've emerged as a society that's been forced to retrograde into our high school days in order to save a buck; a buck that today is equivalent to a couple of thousand dollars. I've opted to save my petty earnings and put it towards something that I hope will make a difference - graduate school.

Not everything about living at home is detrimental to ones health. Benefits include "free" room and board (for those lucky enough not to have to pay), companionship, your own personal alarm clock and someone who worries about you not coming home after a night of drinking, dancing, and other unmentionables. There has to be constant communication between you and them about every single detail of your life or you get that embarrassing phone call when you're out with your friends about what time will you be home so that your father won't lock the door downstairs. It's as if you're married to two different people who offer all of the baggage but none of the benefits.

You find that your mother is the queen of extracting endless amounts of money without you even feeling her hand in your pocket. Just when you think everything is free there comes the voice that says, "I went food shopping and here's your end of the bill." When you're about to appeal, the curve ball: “You eat this food too don't you. So pay up, honey."

Living at home provides a direct connection between you and your family. This includes the occasional visit regardless if you want to see them or not. They will intrude, they will snoop around and ask you questions about your job, your friends, and if you plan to get married soon. You will want to run to the nearest emergency exit, but mothers will guilt trip you into thinking that you don’t spend enough time with your family. That trumps your escape plan.

Looking for a “relationship” such as ___________ (input your definition) becomes difficult when living with parents. There has always been a fine line for me between information that I choose to disclose and information that is C.I.A. classified. Parents want to make sure that you behave responsible when you are out in public (regardless of age) and worry that going out with Joe on a Wednesday will affect your job. Fulfilling any carnal urge is like reliving high school again, but this time there is no gymnasium or back seat of a car. Parents don’t intentionally want to stop you from having sex; they just want to see you squirm in your seat as they go into extreme details about the risk you take from a one-night stand.

Forget about bringing someone home. I liked giving my parents a list of Do’s and Don’t's, which in turn earned me a lecture. (“We're grown adults and this is our home. We know how to behave.”) They never really did abide by the list and out came childhood photos, my shirtless father and my mother describing all of my failed relationships. (No the world will not swallow you up because it's not equipped to swallow up every person living at home.)

So what have I learned? Your parent’s home will always be open to you, whether you like it or not, and moving in with them doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your life. Being in a place that’s familiar and welcoming is always a great feeling, especially knowing that regardless if you get a raise or lose your job, your family will always be supportive. Being able to come home and not feel so lonely 24/7 is a gift that continues to pay, even when you just want to sit on a couch and veg-out until your eyes fall out but can’t because your dad is watching the Yankee game.

It’s nice to know that someone has your back in a world where some people are quick to stab and drop you. But it does have its downfall, and the ones I’ve mentioned are just a few. Life is not perfect and neither is your family (took me a long time to realize that).

If the price were right, what would you do?

(As featured in New York Minute Magazine, “10 Things I Hate About Living At Home.”)