Issue #59 – “Home Economics” – January 17th, 2005

-I have suffered the ultimate humiliation.  The final, demoralizing blow.  The definitive low point in the spectrum of twentysomething life.  That’s right, I’ve moved back home with my parents.  Fuck me.

-Now, before you feel too sorry for me, I must disclose that this was actually a voluntary decision.  Since Brian, my roommate of three and a half years, was moving out and our lease was ending, I had two choices: spend the month of December scouring the freezing streets of Manhattan with some dipshit apartment broker wearing too much Drakkar cologne, or sack up and move to LA.  Both are a fate worse than death.  Instead, I took the third option: move in with the ‘rents for a couple of months.  So here I am on Long Island, writing this column in the room I grew up in, staring at posters of John Starks and Kathy Ireland.

-I do have some responsibility around the house, though.  Like I have to take out the garbage and wash the dishes.  And I don’t even get allowance.  Think you’re discouraged about the lack of upward mobility in the job market?  Look at me.  I’m twenty-five years old and I have the same job I had in junior high, plus I took a 100% pay cut.

-Of course, the number one drawback to living at home is the increased difficulty in meeting chicks.  Luckily, with a girlfriend I can visit on the weekends, I don’t have to deal with this problem.  Otherwise, I don’t know what I would do if I was picking up girls in bars: “Hey, why don’t we go back to my place?  Yeah, um, there’s a 3:44am train out of Penn Station.  Oh, and I sleep on a twin bed with football helmet sheets.”

-Thankfully, my buddies in Manhattan still stay in touch.  My friend Chi happens to call every night just as I’m sitting down to dinner with my parents.  He’s like a telemarketer.

-In my old apartment, my life revolved around DVR.  Upon moving home, I discovered that not having DVR in the house exactly duplicates the symptoms of PMS.  Trying to watch all my shows live makes me tense, irritable, and fatigued.

-So even though I’m not getting allowance, I immediately went out and bought my parents DVR.  My mom was so proud when she first started using it.  She was like, “Honey, guess what?  I’m taping two shows tonight!”  I was like, “Mom, that’s great, I’m taping fourteen different things.  Oh, and by the way, you don’t have to stand right next to the box…that’s kind of the whole point.”

-Seeing my mom’s glee, my now former roommate Brian got DVR for his parents as well (who, ironically enough, now live much closer to me than Brian does).  Brian’s mom promptly called him up and asked him to how to tape an episode of “Lost” from two weeks ago.  Brian was like, “Mom, it’s DVR, not a time machine.”

-Though it’s only been three weeks or so, living at home has thus far been bearable.  I’ve learned a lot about my parents.  For instance, if they go to the movies, no matter what they thought of the plot or acting, invariably their only comment is, “It was too long.”  And that’s precisely the sentiment I want to avoid about my stay here.  I hope to be out of here soon enough.  But not before I ask for a raise in my allowance.  I really need to buy new sheets.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-This New Year’s Eve, instead of spending 200 bucks to go to some club that I wouldn’t even go to on a normal night if it was free, Girlfriend decided to throw a party in her apartment.  It was very exciting.  Not because I saved so much money, but because this was the first time in history I kissed someone at midnight that I didn’t meet only 45 minutes earlier.

-The day after having a party at your place involves a lot of cleaning up along with the requisite freaking out that you can’t find some of your shit and assuming someone must have stolen it.  And you always find yourself making up bizarre reasons why someone at the party would have taken things until you figure out where you put them:  “Well, what if someone lost their glasses, and happened to find my glasses in the drawer, and they just happened to have the same prescription and…oh wait, I’m wearing them.  My bad.”

-The end of the year is also the time to tip people, which Brian and I dutifully did to the employees of our apartment building.  I always find it ironic that the people who get the most tips are the people you’re not sure did anything in the first place.  Like our building had a porter.  A what?  Who is this guy?  We never needed anything, uh…ported.  Bam! – he gets fifty bucks.  And the people who do deserve it don’t get anything.  Like the deli guy down the block who every Saturday morning had to put up with Brian ordering three eggs but only one yolk.  Now that’s dedication.

-The most awkward moment in television has to be toward the end of the nightly news, right after the weather, when the sports guy, the weather guy, and the two anchors banter and kibitz with each other for like fifteen seconds about nothing.  Never have more bad jokes been told or more people looked out of their element at one time.  All that hairspray must be going straight to their brains.

-Does Bowflex give you bombs?  I keep seeing these infomercials for Bowflex, and all the gourmet chicks using the machine have huge breasts.  Infomercials wouldn’t dare stretch the truth, would they?

-I think that all reality show contestants should be required to say in the first episode, “I didn’t come here to make friends.”  Might as well get it out of the way because you’re going to say it eventually anyway.  Please save us the time and energy of DVRing past your boring ass.

-And, finally, many of you are probably wondering what’s become of Brian now that we’ve gone our separate ways.  He moved in with his girlfriend and he’s doing just fine.  In fact, after a long week of living with my parents, I came in to the city the other day to hang out with Brian and check out his new place.  It’s really nice.  They have a loveseat.  And coasters.  And they’re getting a cat.  It’s very homey.  His girlfriend served us some iced tea while we sat in the living room chatting.  They told me about their upcoming dinner plans with friends and about the last movie they saw, which they thought was way too long.  And then it hit me.  It felt just like…living with my parents.  Fuck me!