By Jeff Girod
A limp economy and massive debt have forced record numbers of young adults to shack up with their parents, according to the Pew Research Center. Nearly 30 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds still live with mommy and daddy. And among 18- to 24-year-olds, that statistic climbs to 53 percent!
There’s no shame in it. OK, there’s a little shame. But lots of people still sponge rent-free off their parents. Take my son, for example. He’s 1. He also just learned to wave.
The way unemployment is going, my son may be living with me when he’s 25. (I just hope his musical taste improves, because I’m getting really tired of the Cookie Monster song.)
Time to turn your awkward living arrangement to your advantage. Sure your parents are endlessly irritating. All old people are. But knowing their tendencies could end up paying far more than your rent.
Parents suck at technology
Your mom and dad were born 20 to 30 years before you, but it might as well have been in BC with cave drawings and pterodactyls. Your parents can’t master the difference between email’s “reply” and “reply all,” let alone an HD LED 3-D TV.
Milk this for all it’s worth. Don’t let your parents set foot in a Best Buy without your superior technological skill (which amounts to being born after digital clocks).
Whatever your parents think they need—TV, Blu-ray, a margarita maker—advise them to purchase a matching set (and store one in your room, because all new gadgets need to bounce invisible signals back and forth, like walkie talkies).
If either of your parents begins to get wise, mumble something about Y2K or malware, sprinkle Cheetos dust on a keyboard and say the whole house is infected with the dreaded “Gaga virus.”
Parents have better drugs
No amount of pot or Ecstasy comes close to the giant glycerin horse capsules old people ingest every day just to stay alive. Natural selection should’ve killed these coots long ago, but thanks to high-powered pharmaceuticals that could capsize a whale, your parents keep shuffling forward like the walking dead.
Not to mention the fantastic, unintended drug interactions . . . Don’t believe me? Swallow one of your dad’s cholesterol pills, then eat a grapefruit. You’ll wake up three days later, naked and sweating, sprinting the wrong way down a Tijuana off-ramp.
Trust me. I’ve tried it. And those boxes of Chiclets up your ass are hell to explain to a giggling border patrol agent.
Parents get awesome discounts
Apparently when you reach a certain age, society believes you devalue as a human. That’s why businesses charge seniors less to go places such as the movies, restaurants and on Carnival Cruises.
Or maybe everyone thinks that just seeing your parents’ wrinkly, liver-spotted blind melon zipped inside a velour tracksuit and house slippers is payment enough, plus every trip to the Soup Plantation could be their last.
Either way, accompany your parents whenever they vacation, eat a meal or see a movie. It’ll save you $3 to $5 in discounts, even if you have to visit Dollywood, eat dinner at 4 p.m. or sit through Road Hogs IV.
Parents are handy in carpool lanes
Face it. Southern California traffic sucks. It’s either put up with two hours of your parents in their schooner-sized sedan or pick up a homeless drifter. Both have the same odds of peeing in a passenger seat.
Parents love you
Somehow it’s true. They have literally been putting up with your crap since the day you were born. Now that you’re approaching middle age and still living at home, they’re the only ones who still believe your plans to attend astronaut school or win a Pulitzer or hike Mount Everest—you know, after you get caught up watching last season’s Dexter or finish building your diorama of an Ewok village.
For all their faults and foibles, your parents are the ones who took you in when corporate industry and society laughed in your face. And make no mistake, we’re all laughing.
So what are you waiting for? Put down the Hot Pocket, turn off your parent’s high-def TV and start looking for a job.
OK, finish the Hot Pocket first.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.