I live in Lexington with an older couple. It’s great—we’re actually really similar because they’re my parents and AH CRAP! I wasn’t going to tell you that. I was going to say something vague: that I live in the Boston area and I’m diligently looking for a place in the city. That I’m excited about splitting a 700 square-foot two-bedroom for $3000 a month. That I love my parents but I could never live with them.
The biggest problem with moving home is saying, “I live at home.” Inevitably conversation with a new person goes there.
“Who do you work with?” Easy.
“Where did you go to school?” No problem.
“Where are you from?” Uh oh.
“Where do you live now?” Danger Will Robinson!, Danger! No Will Robinson!
“Right now? Like now now?”
One time I got caught egging cars with my friends and the cop asked, “Where do you guys live?” Jack said, “Massachusetts.”
I live in Massachusetts.
I live in the United States.
I live on the planet.
I live at home. Once you’re okay saying that, you’re fine. You don’t have to go around telling people about it—you don’t have to post it on the internet—but you don’t have to be ashamed of it. Do you? No! Really? I don’t think so! Fifteen percent of young people live at home—excuse me: fifteen percent of millennials experience “parental coresidence.” I read that in a Slate article.
I was on the dating apps when I first moved back to Massachusetts. I was on the Bumbles. I was on the Tinders. As I swiped through women, I kept seeing some form of this: “Swipe left if you don’t have a job and live at home! Don’t have time for losers.” (Swipe left = I don’t like you.) Yeah! Swipe left! …Who does have time for losers? Introduce me.
As a loser, it actually didn’t feel good to read that. Doesn’t she know that I won’t live at home forever?! (Everyone who lives at home has to remind you that it’s only temporary.) Even though these girls looked like they fell into a pool of makeup, I swiped a few of them to the right (out of spite). And none of them swiped me back BUT IF THEY DID, so help me—if they also swiped me right—I would have told them to go out with me. And then I would have said that I’m a freelance writer! And I’m living with an older couple in the suburbs! And it’s working out quite nicely thank you and oh why don’t you come for dinner and SURPRISE YA NERRRD! IT’SMYMOMANDDAAAAD! Ya broke ya own rules suckaaa! And it’s called parental coresidence, GET IT RIGHT you cave-resider!
It’s not that bad! There are perks.
If I tell someone who doesn’t live at home that I live at home, sometimes there’s a tone of pity in their response. Like I’m a club-dragging neanderthal and they are a recent college graduate. Don’t be sorry for me, friends! In the past ten years, I’ve never eaten better. There’s beer in the fridge and it doesn’t say, “Kirkland Signature.” (No hate.) There’s bourbon in the liquor cabinet. There’s a liquor cabinet. There’s a cabinet. There’s fruit. There’s a coffee maker. I’ve never lived in a cleaner place. I’ve never used more sturdy cutlery.
I’m constantly amazed by the number of people who say, “I lived at home,” or “I’m jealous of you because you live at home and I wish I could too,” or “Now that you say that, you’re more cool than if you had your own apartment.”
But come on, isn’t it difficult to live with your parents?
Parental coresidence! Please, get it right! I get along with my parents because we are friends. Not in that weird way when girls are like, “My mom is my absolute best friend” and warning lights start exploding because you think, “I’m not sure why that bothers me, but it does, and actually it’s because it makes me question if you have other friends. And I’m sitting here thinking, if we go to a concert or something, and I say that I’m going to bring one or two of my friends, and you say you’re going to bring a friend, are you bringing your mom? And will she bring a friend?” and then the date is over and you never speak again.
Here’s a night: I get home from work—where I’m an independent man who works with his parents, and brother, and uncle—and I cook food with my mom. Sometimes if I get home before my folks, I cook food for them. Sometimes if I’m at an event till later at night, I come home around 11 p.m. and there’s a plate of food in the fridge for me. WHAT! I go to bed before 9 p.m. most nights. I wake up at 5 a.m.. I don’t have a ton of time to be “living” at home. I sleep there, I eat there; I live elsewhere.
My friend Susanne is living in Lebanon. She got married a couple years ago to a great Lebanese guy, and they lived with his parents for a bit. When they decided to move into their own place, it wasn’t that cool. His family was concerned: Why would you leave? Do you have a problem with the family? There was confusion because it’s not typically done. Only about fifteen percent of people do it, probably. Maybe. Different cultures, different norms, different difficulties.
Anyhow, don’t worry about me. It’s only temporary.
Bart Tocci (’11) lives in Boston where he writes essays, performs at open mics, and threatens to start taco restaurants. He’s been told that he looks like the kind of guy who stands up for what’s right. And who goes to the store before the party. Read more here: barttocci.wordpress.com