Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Leave The Nest Or Overstay Your Welcome?

I want my own place but: Move out for what?

The closets I’ve been to living alone was when I spent two weeks in Tenerife; an expedition you could describe as a ‘lads holiday’. And if this holiday is by any means a reflection of how I would have been living at 18, then it seems reasonable for me to declare that I made a very wise decision in choosing stay at home.

At 18 I wasn’t ready to live alone, I thought I was (as you do) but I wasn’t even close. At 22 I could now give it a better shot and do ok for myself; but the wisdom gained over four years allows me to know that if I chill for a few more years I can pay a mortgage instead of rent, ya dig?

I sent out an email to people who said they wouldn’t mind writing for the site, check out some of their opinions and experiences. First out of the starting blocks is Sasha, get em girl!

Sasha writes: I'm assuming that you are one of the 'stay at home' brigade, and no offence A, but it doesn't surprise me. From my P.O.V., if I was sporting your genetalia, I wouldn't wanna go anywhere either. Free board, free food; fair enough, if you drive, there is the slightly too occasional tendency for you to morph into a mini cab driver to drop Aunty X "round the corner," meaning Peckham (you live in Seven Sisters). But aside from that, you guys have it made.

As for my sisters, for the privilege of a single bed in a room with glaring yellow walls covered in Imajin posters (John and Olamide - the Omarion's of the late 90s), there are several things that must be contended with. Firstly, any advances that you made with parents in convincing them of your pending adulthood before going to uni can be forgotten, as, in your absence, you have resumed the image of the 5 yr old they took to Euro Disney.

Secondly, with the return of the 5 yr old status comes the oral electric tagging device that is your mother / father (whomever is more nosey). Every time you touch the front door come the barrage of questions:

Where are you going? Who are you going with? Have I met her (Because obviously you know NO boys!)? What time will you be back? Can you pick up some plantain/that 5 kg bag of tilda rice/some other obscure, unnecessary item?

But hey, at least you can add chamber maid to your CV in a bid to impress prospective employers. The routine of cooking, cleaning, hosting dinner guests your parents' invited over is relentless. And is it just me, or do you too walk around with gritted teeth as three years of semi-independence mean you've established your own way of doing things, which are promptly ignored by the powers that be?

So you may all be like, so why is this chick still at home? One of the answers is simple. I have £15k debt, which is set to rise with more study. You do the math. But in my initial over-zealous desperation to escape, I'm glad I'm too broke to do so, because it has forced me to re-evaluate and recondition the relationships I have with my parents. Who knew they had so many human qualities? That they had the capacity to say 'I get you' in parent language, of course. Who knew my dad liked Desperate Housewives and that my mum once flagged down a police car to escort her home because her feet hurt after a rave? It's these little insights into my parents' lives that make me think they're not so bad (NB indulgent overtones follow). Heck, they made me didn't they?!


Sash x

P.S Spoke too soon. My dad wants me to go bulk-buy lights bulbs. Sounds innocent enough.

P.P.S From Ikea.

P.P.P.S In Milton Keynes.

P.P.P.P.S I live in Luton and I don’t drive.

(SKHT) Sasha Kisses Her Teeth.

Ak-Man: I feel your pain! You add chamber maid to your CV, and I’ll add cab driver. I’m not going to turn this into boys vs. girls; we both ‘earn our keep’ in ways that don’t cost money. Ways that brings your blood pressure up when you hear a key in the door or your name being yelled from upstairs. Ways that stop you from answering your phone (oh its true). But since we both haven’t lived away from home, let’s hear from someone who does. Let’s get a male perspective on the case.

Rodney writes: Leave nest or overstay your welcome?

Is it considered cool to be living at home when you get to a certain age? To prevent argument we will say 25. When asked a question like that it only triggers one response from an individual. “No”. So then you have to look at the +ves and -ves of living at home or starting your own life in a place you can call yours.

If I’m honest the positives are only positive if you parents earn 100K a year and money is no object to them:

Free food, cooked meals and no bills to pay

Then I look at the negatives of staying at home:

Your mum is always complaining about the dishes you didn’t wash or the music is too loud. If its not one thing it’s something else. Who in there right mind wants that kind of hassle. Don’t get me wrong I love my mum to bits but I find myself in a catch 22. Take orders like a soldier or move out.

So this brings me on to the other side of the discussion the +ves of moving out and the –ves.

The obvious positives of getting your own place is you have the freedom to do whatever you see fit whether it’s parties, loud music, or naked girls wrestling in mud in the back garden. Affectively you are the General of the house.

The negatives are only negative to some individuals as some people are unfazed.

Cooking every day or finding something to eat who needs or wants that hassle? Then there’s thee constant cleaning you found yourself avoiding when you were living at home.

If you’re sharing a place what are your flatmates like? (Personal anecdote will follow)

Now I have outlined my point of view ill get to the punch line because readers are probably thinking “what the hell is this guy chatting about?”

To anyone who has made this statement (and I’m paraphrasing) “I can’t wait to get my own place” I really do urge you to reconsider because the shocking truth is as follows. Living alone is NOT all its hyped up to be. I mean yeah I could have parties and have a Pro tournament every other day but is that really living?

Personal Anecdote

I’m 20 and I currently live with 2 girls and my cousin who will remain unnamed. I’m at university which is a bit far so living at home isn’t really an intelligent option. For the people reading who know me, I’m a nice laid back guy who is not easily pissed off! So to speak. So before I move in, I’m thinking yeah living wit my cus and 2 girls, that’s a nice setup. “Wrong Answer”. Now I’m by no means a Bitch but there are things people do and I can’t help but analyse.

I mean for Example and I do mean example because I don’t want to name and shame my flatmate, I come home from a long day at university and a session at the gym to find hair and I don’t mean a strand. This is in my kitchen sink on plates that we have to eat off of. Now like I said I’m no bitch. Your probably thinking just wash it off right? And forget about……… if this wasn’t such a strange thing to do I might have just done that. For anyone who lives with women you know you’re bound to find hair about the place, lets face it that’s just human nature. I can make allowances for this, but then I find myself pondering what if the shoe was on the other foot. Let’s suppose I cut my toe nails and left them in a bowl in the sink I would like to think somebody might have a word or two to say to me. If I did that at home my mum would have me out the door so fast my feet wouldn’t touch the ground. To end this little story I left the plate and I make sure I only eat from my own plates which I went out and bought personally.

Now back to the main issue at hand, is it considered cool to be living at home past a certain age? Well if my living experiences I have encountered in the past 6 months have taught me anything who cares about being cool. Let’s face it, you could pretend that life is sweet if you were living my life. In the back of your mind you know if you were back home everything would be fine.

So when push comes to shove I know Id rather be un-cool and living at home when I’m 25. Then considered cool and be unhappy with my living circumstances.

When asked to Leave the nest Or Overstay my welcome? I know which one wins for me every single time.

Rod…….thanks for listening to me ramble on for 2 pages.

Ak-man: Ah, room-mates, a part of this equation that is usually over looked when I’ve talked to people about this topic. A lot of people tend to assume that moving out = living alone; this is not always the case (yeah I like bursting bubbles). I look forward to living alone; maybe just me and my bitch actually. And if she tried that stunt with the hair she’d soon see that spite isn’t exercised by just women! I’m not going to say what I’ll do because some of you may be eating right now; but it would make Rodney’s idea of putting toe nail clippings into a bowl seem quite edible . . . with milk and sugar of course.

Sasha pointed out that most girls are treated like . . . well like girls and not ladies. A lot of you still have to play 20 questions before you step out the house. Isn’t that sweet? I doubt Shareen thinks so; let’s see what’s keeping her at home.

Shareen: These are true times…… Many of us are aware that we are getting on and that our parents were out of their family home waaaay before the ages of 25… the difference today is we are not living in the same times, things have changed and although it was hard for them, it is harder for us.

For many, being at home up until the age of 25 is not a choice, a major reason for this is that the inflation in house prices are not correlating with our potential earnings.

If we choose to better ourselves by going through to further education, we are charged heftily to do so. If you do not enter student accommodation and your parents do not kick you out of home, you can comfortably stay at home for free or cheap living. Once you have finished studying you are then left with thousands to pay back, and many of us struggle to find the career job that we have worked so hard to get and to pay this debt off.

The thought of getting a place of my own feels intangible and I’m nearly 23. I have discussed many of times with family and friends about the amount of money that I will have to save just to get a deposit on a FLAT, let alone a house; it makes my heart sink just to think about it. It seems like unless I put my name on the council, (where I have no chance of getting a place anyway) I will be living in my parent’s house for a good while yet.

Am I complaining? Not really as I’m not feeling moving out anytime soon. I understand what the reality is on living on you own; bills coming out of you ears, all work and no play… not really where I want be right now. I appreciate all my parents do for me, and although the thought of owning my own property is exciting, everything that comes with it keeps me appreciating where I am now.

I am not feeling pressured to leave the family home because I look around me and many of my peers are in the same situation I am. Plus my parents are not talking about kicking me out (I don’t think they want me or my sisters to go anyway).

I don’t think staying at home is considered to be cool now; it’s just not such a big deal if you are still at home.

Keep doing what you’re doing!! Shareen.

Ak-man: What more needs to be said?

Get money and then move out; that’s not advice nor a warning. It’s just how I’m going to do it.

A to the . . .

. . . And company of course!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you guys are really missing the point on this, while at the same time you've all made valid points on why one should stay in the family home, you have failed to provide solid advantages (apart from freedom) as to why living by oneself can be productive. I think that everybody over the age of 18 should live outside the family home even if it’s just for a year as it gives one a sense of independence. It teaches independence that can only be learnt outside of the family home, it teaches independence and responsibility that one could never learn whilst still at home. It teaches survival.

It’s deep and you couldn’t understand unless you’ve experienced it yourself. I’m not talking University (unless you are there absolutely independently in terms of not being able to ask anybody including your parents for money when you’re broke) I’m talking sole independence. It helps you to mature faster, think deeper, you start to learn how to motivate yourself and you’re able to think about what you want to do with your life without any influence from anybody else. You have more of a grip on reality in terms of what really can and what can’t happen.

I personally have lived outside my family home on and off for a period of about four and a half years. I’m currently back in my family home and don’t intend to leave until I’m well grounded however I would not swap my experiences for anything. I’m a stronger person because of them.

For the bold - if you haven’t tried it – do.

Stay blessed.