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10:09 a.m. - 2012-02-26
Nesting Gone wild

Not sure what's driving this need to hoard and stockpile, life feels less dangerous and chancy than it ever has before. At least in my little sphere, the world at large is still as stupid and random as ever. Here at Casa Sage though I've been putting things by like a pioneer. Cooking and freezing meals. Taking advantage of grocery sales and coupons to garner scads of canned and boxed goods. We got our Fed refund Friday and off we went to Sam's yesterday to get even more stuff. If you were to visit my cellar you'd think I was a survivalist. Except no weaponry. So far I haven't started laying in ammo.

Mick, who's all about borrowing trouble and expending vast amounts of energy on fret about the distant future, was getting tweaky recently about how Wolf's career path seems so murky. Pointing out that the boy is only 14 did no good. Nor did reminding him that I have done my best steering Wolf toward thinking about what I believe is his best option- culinary school. Mick was determined to have a honking spaz attack about what Wolf's life will be like 15 years from now. To be fair, Mick also worries about his students this way. The economy is so bleak and so few jobs seem to pay anything near a living wage all Mick can see is an entire generation of young people doomed to crappy retail jobs and living with their parents forever. Which might be true, but spinning out and running in demented circles around the kitchen isn't going to fix the economy or do much to change Wolf's future.

Finally I was able to distract Mick a little by telling him the '18 and Out' life model simply doesn't apply anymore. The way he and I grew up, raised with the expectation that college or not that when you turned 18 and graduated high school you beat feet out of your parents' house and began your own life is deader than disco. With very few exceptions young people today expect to live with their parents well into their 20s. Beyond even if they haven't found anyone to marry yet. Like having a child out of wedlock, the social disapproval of living with one's parents is something these kids don't understand. When Mick and I were coming up anyone who still lived with their folks after the age of 20 was a Loser with a capital 'L'. It might not have always worked out exactly on that time schedule, but the idea was there. The expectation was a given. Once of age you moved OUT.

As bewildered as my generation is by today's young people and their willingness to stay under the parental roof in some kind of twilight quasi-childhood well into legal adult age, so too are the young confused as to why their parents think they should be expected to find some shithole apartment and share it with 3 or 4 other broke young people. Why? The folks have cable and nice bathrooms and well stocked kitchens. What's the advantage of moving out? There's no scorn from peers over living with your parents. Nor is there any gagging desire for freedom. No tearing hurry to take up the reins and the responsibilities of being in charge of your own life. Today's young people sidle toward adulthood. Mosey their way into grown-up things. And I'm sure Wolf will do it just that way.

I'm not saying one way is preferable to another. Nor is this some blanket declaration saying ALL young people live at home until they start to go grey. But it's the new norm. The same way the '18 and Out' mindset was the norm in our day, whether it actually went like that or not. Yeah, I did turn 18, graduate and move out all within 48 hours, but I had my reasons. I reminded Mick that he was 21 when his parents bought the house they're in now and when they moved in, so did he. Mick moved out to live with a girlfriend not long after but still. He was a grown man who moved house with his parents. So all his spazzing over Wolf being with us for some years to come is a bit of a convenient blind spot, eh? Wolf's life will shake out as it will. Mick and I will help where we can and encourage our boy to want his own place and his own life 'out there', but I'm certainly not going to kick him to the curb the minute he turns 18 or even 21. Our nest will empty eventually.

In the meantime my son doesn't even shave yet so I'm not going to go all goofy in the head worrying about shit that may or may not happen 10 years from now. Though in 10 years I might still be working through that insane stockpile of canned veggies I have in my cellar.


A full house in more ways than one, ~LA

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