There are some great perks to living with your parents. You’re not legally obligated to pay rent. You don’t have to cook dinner (especially if your mother thinks you suck at cooking and doesn’t like risking her life to your food). Laundry gets combined so you don’t feel like you’re wasting water by washing three pieces of white clothing. Free internet. The list goes on. But there is one nagging item that always sticks out like a sore thumb mid-text.
You will always be a child.
I don’t know if my parents do it on purpose, more likely they’ve just been hardwired into acting this way after more than two decades of child rearing. But it’s those little things they do that make you feel like you’re only pretending to be an adult, and your college degree is worth the same as those crappy macaroni art pages you did in elementary school. Your mom takes a long hard look at it and goes “You should have put another piece on this corner here. It’s unbalanced, see, don’t go into art as a career.” That is what they usually do … right?
A prime example of my downgraded status is family dinner. My entire household was raised on the idea of having family dinners on a regular basis, a mentality I appreciate to this day. However, my position during dinner has not changed at all for the past 10 years of my life. Mom makes dinner, I set the table and try not to break the glasses. Every successful night comes with a silent pat on the back for myself. Dad takes the meat off the table grill and puts it on your plate. Mom picks the fish apart. No matter how long I was at work during the day, or how hard I studied, or how much I fretted over bills and student loans, at dinner I become the retarded kid who can’t use her chopsticks well enough to pick up her own side dishes.
Such tiny details get picked up in my subconscious and drill into my mind long after dinner is over, striking my heart with clarity the situation I am in: I am a graduate with loans to pay and no health insurance living in her parents’ house spending half her life on the computer in a room she hasn’t changed the decoration in since middle school. Reality sinks in. Dismay. Drudging acceptance. Depression.
Then my dad calls from downstairs and says he’s cut up some fruit and brought out ice cream for dessert. All is well again.