Life in the Nest

Yesterday morning, I read an article in the Courier Journal that made me so mad I nearly ripped my sleep tank from my chest. I think it was my first experience with roid rage. I’m not usually one to throw a tantrum over a newspaper article, but this one really upset me. I’ll probably sit in the dark later and fume about it in my diary .

The article is called “Adult kids can need a push to leave the nest,” so right off the bat I questioned this columnist’s sanity. I’m 22 years old and living in a nest, do you really think I want to be here? I don’t need a push, a nudge or even a passive-aggressive verbal cue to get me more motivated to ditch this unfortunate situation that I can only refer to as indentured servitude. I’m sleeping in an office for crying out loud. My days consist of grocery shopping, picking up family members’ prescriptions, grooming Buster, feeding Buster, cleaning up Buster’s vomit after he eats too quickly, lawn mowing, unpaid internships, dog sitting, kitchen cleaning and other miscellaneous requests. I’ll probably start wearing a visor and headset sometime soon, like I imagine personal assistants and PTA-executive-board-members wear.


Buster: Cranky & waiting to be fed

My nights consist of a part-time restaurant job or, if I’m off, watching Battlestar Galactica, the Tennis Channel, and/or ridiculously depressing indie movies with my parents until 9 p.m. when they call it a night. I can’t handle depressing movies and my parents know it. For some reason, they insist on watching these disturbingly heavy films anyways, leaving me alone on the couch, hyperventilating and contemplating the meaning of life after they’ve gone to bed. I’ve started dressing in all black for family movie nights, and I’m considering purchasing a beret for added theatrical emphasis. I’ve really gone off the deep-end here, people. The fact that I’ve spent the entire summer pining for a fictional spaceship pilot does not help my case. For the record, I’m talking about Helo Agathon. I’ve moved on from Captain Apollo (see 8th & 9th paragraph in this post). He turned out to be a sentimental basket-case and I just can’t handle all of that romantic, emotional turmoil. I’m rapidly becoming a graphic-tee-wearing teenage boy who spends his days googling World of Warcraft cheat codes. I’m moments away from subscribing to Gamefly and ordering Halo.

Do you think I want to be here?

The author of this article really throws herself under the bus with her opening line: “One of my favorite movies is ‘Failure to Launch.'” Woof. Any journalist intending to write a meaningful piece who begins their article with a sub-par Sarah Jessica Parker movie reference should really reconsider where things are headed. I’ll admit I’m a huge fan of SJP. I’m overjoyed when I’m able to watch her in something that doesn’t involve any scenes with her sourpuss, redheaded friend Miranda. However, no matter my feelings towards Ms. Carrie Bradshaw, ‘Failure to Launch’ is not a starting point I would use to begin an intellectual argument.

The author goes on to explain that parents are suffering because they can’t gather the strength to “cut the financial ties” with their children. She states that about 60 percent of parents have given or are currently giving financial support to their college grad kids. How unreasonable of them. Especially with this booming economy and incredibly fertile job market. I’m working unpaid internships during the day and a part-time paying job at night. I apply for jobs multiple times per day. I spend hours drafting cover letters and job applications, sending emails and searching online for any connection that might lead to another internship or potential job. I even call random companies and leave incredibly uncomfortable voice mail messages. I work very hard to earn my “rent” (as my dad calls it). I’m entirely grateful for all my parents do for me, and they are well aware of it.

I have no doubt in my mind that this author worked very hard to get to where she is today, but I bet if she quit her job and put herself in my shoes, she’d change her tune faster than Buster scarfs and spews his mid-morning snack. I respect her opinion, but surely things aren’t the same today as they were when she graduated from college. I fully acknowledge that there are some post-grads living at home, refusing to grow up and putting more effort into rolling joints than finding jobs, but from where I’m standing, they are the exception. Not the rule.

One of the many sanitation problems in our household. Please note my dad’s repulsive footwear.

I’d like this woman to have a conversation with my parents. Although I’ve already admitted a strong desire to fly the coop, my parents are adamant about keeping me here until I can financially support myself. Also, I’m fairly certain they need me here for their health. My dad doesn’t believe in expiration dates, or germs for that matter. Last week, we were making homemade pizza and he dropped nearly every ingredient, including the dough, on the floor. “425, Jo. 425 degrees,” he’d say every time he brushed an orange tuft of fur from a sliced tomato. His rationale was that we’d just bake the hell out of every pathogen, and the remaining floor residue would “boost our immune systems.” Needless to say, I supervise about 90 percent of all kitchen activity.

If my parents kicked me out, there’s no way I’d be able to completely support myself while fully focusing on job-hunting. They’re 100 percent okay with me living at home until I get on my feet. If not, I’d probably end up living in a cardboard box in the backyard, feeding on mulch and whatever scraps of food they toss into the compost pile. Perhaps I’ll try it and write a blog about it. Then I’ll send a letter to this author and ask her for money.

In the last paragraph, she does admit that she’s “all for helping but not enabling.” I’m not a drug addict, so I’m not entirely sure what she means by that, but I appreciate her less than enthusiastic support.

Side note: I realize this post sounds a little spiteful. I understand that for the most part, she’s probably referring to college grads who stay with their parents for years on end. Nevertheless, it’s still a sore spot. Don’t take my rant too seriously, I’m not an angry person. Unless Goodfellas sells out of cheese pizza anytime after 2 a.m.

1 thought on “Life in the Nest

  1. Pingback: The Whole “Silver Linings” Thing | Joanna Clark

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