In my 20s and 30s, I owned two flats and, for a fleeting period, was the co-owner of a grown-up Victorian terrace house.
The sensible thing would have been to save up to put another deposit down on a modest place in an area earmarked as the next hot spot. Instead, I spent three years and a large amount of my savings travelling abroad, volunteering for an animal charity, studying and generally having fun.
While I work out what to do next, it seemed like the practical (and only) choice to move back in with my parents.
Decades-long squabbles have been reignited. My dad runs the washing-up regime in the kitchen like a military operation and, as I write this, the unwelcome presence of my dirty porridge saucepan in the sink haunts the house.
Yesterday, I got accused of “hacking” into my dad’s breakfast loaf (I was cutting off two slices!)
Then there is the fact that my parents are now retired and in their seventies. There is a certain amount of guilt on my side that I should be looking after them – although, thankfully, they are both still in good health.
It’s been Great British Railways on TV for weeks now.
At the moment I don’t pay bills, a mortgage or anything else that constitutes the parameters of a “normal” adult life. I do worry about regressing into a giant adult baby
I'm drunk by 6.15pm and in bed with a hangover by 8.30pm.
Still, it’s hard to hold on to your independence when you are living at home. I have no car, so I have to rely on lifts from my parents everywhere.
Every day, my dad asks me if I’ve got a job yet (he clearly doesn’t think freelance writing counts).
I should also point out that I am now single and the Tinder selection in the sticks isn’t fantastic, unless you have a penchant for ruddy-faced farmers with profile pictures of them posing in front of their muddy Land Rovers and caressing a brace of dead pheasants.
And with 146 years of combined life experience, they are pretty good at offering wise counsel when I have one of my “Oh God, why did I spend all my money on Airbnbs and finding myself, instead of buying another place!” meltdowns.
At first I loved the novelty of cohabiting with the folks. But as the weeks and months slipped past, I started to get paranoid about being the joke.
But I can’t deny that living at home with your parents in your 40s is a funny old place to be.
When I have those moments staring out of the living room window across the flat muddy fields and my stomach drops and I think: “What have I done?”, I remind myself that there are worse places to recoup than with people who love me, in a warm and comfortable house. I would still rather be where I am now, uncertain as it is, than be the property-owning but ultimately dissatisfied person I was before.
Plus, I am only 41. Hardly on life’s scrap heap.
bob wrote:Amazing. who could be that stupid?
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