I would have done a better job raising my kids if I’d known they’d be living with me this long. Seriously. You put up with them through the teenage years with the expectation ultimately, down the road, they will be society’s problems and not yours anymore. Or they’ll have significant others who will rue you for doing such a poor job raising them. You get them to the age of 18 with body parts relatively in tact and enough trivia knowledge to play a decent round of Jeopardy. That’s all. Anything above and beyond that is overkill.
So why is it my 22 year old daughter and 26 year old son are still living with me? The answer is simple: toilet paper. Yes, toilet paper. Both have lived away on their own and both have come to the same daunting conclusion. Toilet paper is not free. Nor are shampoo or shaving cream. This amazes them- these college educated children of mine. Actually having to pay for disposable items such as these and on a continual bases. You don’t just buy a carton of milk and expect it to last for a year but this is exactly what my children think. Perhaps their active imaginations think these things are immediately replenished by grocery store elves.
And in keeping with disposable items being free are also the intangibles. Things such as heat and electricity. I have become very suspicious as of late that my children are secretly in cahoots with the electric company. I have no documented proof but I truly believe there must be some sort of kickback scheme going on between them. Three people living in a 1250 square foot house should not be spending this much money on electricity. Our house looks like the Eiffel Tower at night, well, minus the French people.
Then there’s the cable company and its bills. I only need two or three channels. I don’t need all of these choices. It can be as annoying as a trip to T.J. Maxx. Just give me a couple of outfits to look at and I’m happy. Don’t make me work at shopping. Same is true with cable. But because of my children, we have 197 stations, one of which is a 24 hour football network. Can you even imagine? The only thing worse would be 24 hours of curling. My daughter needs to have channels which feature weathered, anorexic models who feel the need to berate natural looking girls from Peoria trying to make it in New York. There is actually a show where these pretty girls stand up to constant belittling from supermodel types who take pleasure in making them cry. Interesting concept- take a nice, innocent, beautiful girl and completely destroy her confidence. What’s not to enjoy here?
Subtle hints such as pasting ads for apartments on their bedroom doors have gone unnoticed or ignored. When I threaten my children that they will ultimately have to care for me as I age, we discuss the kind of care which will be required. These are children who can’t remember to feed a cat so putting my care in their hands will be volatile, to say the least. I’m reminded of the true story about the woman who literally “crusted to the couch” when her less than attentive son (who lived with her) let his crippled, elderly mother lay in her own bodily fluids for a period of months. The fire department had to literally cut her from the cloth of the couch. I just bought this couch so if I end up in the same condition, just bury me, couch and all. I’d hate to ruin the fabric!