this is where i was gonna put up a cartoon nest with barbed wire around it but thought better of it…
…just ’cause the images i found weren’t my thing, not ’cause it wouldn’t have been appropriate.
a statistic has made some headlines lately that makes me nervous. it shouldn’t. it REALLY shouldn’t. partially because if you do things right, and all goes well, it’s not a thing. and then again if you put your foot down if and when it becomes a thing it can be a somewhat profitable thing. that, combined with the fact that we’re still six years out and the economy might be in a whole different place by then means it shouldn’t even be a thing…
…but it’s a thing.
i’m talking about the alarming statistic that, for the first time since they started watching this kind of shit, the “prime marketing demographic” of people ages 18-34 are, more than ever, living with their folks. more live with their parents than live with roommates, spouses, significant others, and the small sliver minority did what i did for most of those years and live alone.
nope, most of them just say “fuck it” and move back home.
at home they got two foot trophies as a “participant” in youth soccer even though they really sucked. in reality really sucking gets you fired and broke and not laid. at home they never had to do shit – mom did it all. and they were doused in purell once a day for germs. in the real world laundry and trash piled up and they’d get the sniffles and have to actually wipe their own noses. fuck all that – MOOOOMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!!!!
and then there’s the economy – i don’t think a lot of kids have an idea of how much life costs. electricity, which you don’t think you use much of because all your devices run on batteries, is what charges your batteries. and makes your fridge and a/c work. and internet and cell phones cost money. and most jobs kids find these days don’t pay it – so they can either live four to a two bedroom place OR they can move back in with mom & dad. the ufc’s cube mate at work has a husband fighting cancer and two adult kids, one of whom works full time, all at home.
i don’t think i could do it.
i made it on my own during the bulk of these years (i graduated college at twenty-three and was at home taking care of my cancer-ridden mom at the time, who died less than a year later). i had some cool jobs that didn’t pay well, and some not-so cool jobs that did. the house almost got lost once or twice. the lights went off more than twice, as did the water and the cable and the gas and my phone. but i never missed a meal, i never wore dirty clothes or smelled from lack of bathing and i always got shit turned back around…legally. if i could do it, why can’t they?
to me the answer is laziness and they way they were raised. i’m only a generation removed from people that survived the dust bowl and the depression and two world wars. my grandmother made sure i heard all about that shit. it sticks with you…it was part of why she was a hoarder – you didn’t throw anything away just in case you needed it later. we’ve all done it – thrown something away we later realized we shouldn’t have. she never had that problem – i cleaned out her house, trust me…i know.
she also never had kids return home.
so what’s the answer? for me it’s let kids know how much life costs, and how jobs suck but are necessary, and how college isn’t for everybody despite what some of your family tells you. and that you can make it if you try, but you gotta try. i had a friend who called it a “do over” when he moved home, which between seventeen and thirty something he did more times than i could count. he was an only child like os, and his folks always took him back – and i know if os DOES come back the ufc will make us do the same. in truth, i’d rather do that than see somebody live in the streets or something; but if you can learn ’em right to not have to make that decision (i.e. “mom & sean’s” or “waterloo park”) all the better, right?