How to Cope with Living with Your Parents: A Guide

So you’re an “adult” that lives with your parents. The real world is a scary place and Mom’s basement is dark and safe and has a refrigerator stocked with O.J, Soda, Purple Stuff, and OH! Sunny D! Alright! But hey, maybe it’s legitimate. You just graduated from the university with some kind of really useful degree (like English!) and you’re trying to “get on your feet.” Rent is expensive. Food is expensive. Doing your own laundry is… expensive? You know what else is expensive? Ambition. But it’s alright, really. Everyone understands the “just graduated, transitioning” thing. It’s not weird, it’s temporary.

But no one understands the “I’m 27, I’ve been out of college for a while and am still living with my parents” thing. That one is a little harder to follow. Maybe you’re not scared, poor, or completely and totally socially apathetic. Maybe, somehow, you just really enjoy being a normal 27 year old that lives with their parents. So what do you say when someone calls you on it? You’re on the third date with that special someone you met on Eharmony, and they say “Hey, how about we close off this pleasant evening with a charming game of Twister back at your place?” What do you do then?

Step One: Confess or Avoid

Methods of dealing with these kinds of personal situations usually involve the same basic strategy: lie or tell the truth or some variation between the two. “Honesty is the best policy,” “Liars go to hell,” “Tell the truth or The Boogeyman will eat your toes while you sleep.” We’ve all heard the classic sayings from our parents since we were kids. But come on now, when you’ve got a lot on the line you can tell a little white lie to keep a relationship alive, right? Of course you can. Who listens to their parents anyway? A lie is a fine foundation for a relationship. OR, if you just have to, you can go the other route:

Confess: Here’s how this one would look: “Sure, we can go back to my place. But here’s the thing, my place is actually my parents’ place, technically. Like, it’s mine, but they live there too. I live with my parents.” Simple, honest, pathetic. From there, you’d move on to Step Two.

Avoid: There are plenty of ways to toss the good old smoke grenade. If you pick this option in Step One, you really don’t need Step Two. You provide a plausible reason for why you can never, ever return to your place and then hope that the truth never comes to light and embarrasses you like your big brother telling everyone at school about your third nipple. (Damn him for that! -Kent) In this situation you’re going for believable. Examples of things you don’t want to say: “I live with Hannibal Lecter. He eats people.” “We can’t go back to my place because it’s on fire. Always. I live in Hell.”

The key is to always have an excuse that is feasible and repeatable. “My roommate smells like a sewer” is a great choice. It provides your date with a reason not to suck face at your house because who wants to make out in the sewer? I mean, unless your date is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. You can also get a little more elaborate: “I’m the live-in caretaker of a man with [insert horrifying disease], so I try to respect his privacy and not have people over.” There’s not really a good retort for that one. “Oh come on! Ebola? What a pansy! Screw that, we’re having a dance party!” You could also go the elusive, 007 route: “I can’t take you back to my place.” “But why not?” “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.” I guess that could be 007 or serial killer. Hopefully they pick the first option.

Step Two: Excuses and Justifications
This is the step that you go to if you chose to be honest like some kind of momma’s boy, or if you get outed after he/she didn’t believe that you live in the Batcave. In Step Two you try to find every way to make living with your parents as an adult somehow seem like it’s normal. I know, it’s kind of like trying to make Tourette’s sound like enthusiasm. So here are some options:

It’s Not a Big Deal: “I pay rent. Got my own room and bathroom down in the basement, separate entrance. It’s pretty much an apartment.” This one is a little easier to shoot holes in. Giving your dad a hundred bucks whenever you remember doesn’t count as paying rent. Also, you start sounding like the guy who is trying to convince chicks that his “tricked out” Dodge Neon is as cool as a real sports car. You can put as many black lights and spinners on that thing as you want, bro. It’s still a piece of ass, just like it’s still your parents’ house.

Or just use the excuse that everyone is using these days:
Blame it on The Economy: “I had a lot of money in the market and I really lost my ass, so I just had to move back in with the ‘rents until I can get my nest egg back up to where it’s viable again. Sucks, but oh well.” Your date doesn’t know that by “market” you meant “a poker game” and by “a lot of money” you meant “seventeen dollars.”

So there you have it, another How to Cope Guide. Hope this helps you convince people that living at home isn’t just for pot heads and World of Warcraft geeks. Come back next week for How to Cope with Being a Crazy Girlfriend: A Guide.

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