One of the things that separates cities like NYC or San Francisco from many other major metropolises (is that a real word?) is how goddamn expensive they are to live in. For children raised in those places, spreading your wings and leaving the nest isn’t easy. You can’t just get a low level entry job somewhere and support yourself, eating top ramen every day yet living in a somewhat decent home. You either move to another city/town, make enough money to afford a place, get 5 or 6 roommates and begin to gentrify a neighborhood that hates you or you embrace nepotism. For people who are natives, that last choice is a saving grace. Yes, it’s an unfair advantage and very entitled but, let’s be honest, it’s pretty awesome if you have the option.
I was very lucky in that case. My father bought the building I grew up in , in the early 1960’s for an absurdly low price. I mean, I know inflation changes how those things look but paying 80,000 for an entire building in greenwich village is obscene, even if it was 50 plus years ago. So, when it was time for me to leave the home I grew up in, I was extremely fortunate. I had already dropped out of college and I was working bullshit jobs just to make money. Sure, this was the mid-90’s in NYc and I could have moved to Brooklyn right then, like so many of my friends did but I didn’t have to. My parents let me move into an apartment in the building I grew up in for a very low rent. Now, I’m not alone in the treatment. I know many friends that simply didn’t leave their childhood home. Funny thing about that is that, while that may be frowned upon in most places, it’s not crazy in NYC. Like I said, shit is expensive here and people simply have to make it work. If that means living at home till you’re 30, so be it. It’s a bargain that’s only an issue if you have too much pride or annoying parents. Another thing I’ve seen happen a lot is children taking over their parents place as they age. Meaning, the parents no longer need all the space they once had and they section off their large, rent controlled or owned apartment to create a new apartment for their kids (and , ultimately, the family those kids are raising). It’s something no outsider who is apartment hunting in NYC will ever find and it’s a shrinking occurrence , as the city seems to be working hard to stop people from getting any sort of breaks. But being grandfathered into homes is an NYC tradition. It’s the worlds greatest hand me down.
After about 4 or 5 years of living for what might as well have been free, my mom finally told me to get out of the building. Wise move as she was losing thousands of dollars in rent every month just to have me sit in that apartment, ripping bong hits with my friends and making beats. I found a great place about 10 blocks away and I’ve lived there ever since. Got that post 9/11 bargain too so it was actually a steal for what it is.
Anyway, I say all that to say this. About 6 months ago, my toilet vomited gallons of sewage into my apartment. You can read about that HERE. Because of this toxic waste spill, my floors needed to be redone. This means my girlfriend and I have to get out while they tear my place apart. I’m fortunate to have a place to go. That’s my moms house. The house I grew up in. So, as of last weekend, I’m living at home again. It’s been almost 20 years since I actually lived here. I gotta say…it’s kinda weird. Sure, this isn’t really moving back home. It’s not permanent. But it definitely made me think of all those friends of mine who , for some reason or another, were forced to move back in with their parents after a long time on their own.
While the accommodations are nice, it’s hard not to feel like a refugee. Living out of a bag and folding your bed up every morning so people can sit on that couch during the day. The first day back, I immediately came down with a flu/allergy attack which I’m assuming means I’m allergic to memories. But, as the days have passed, I’ve gotten more used to it and realized that there are actually a lot of good things about moving back home. I figure, I’d be a positive guy for once in my life and list them.
These are the perks of moving back home (assuming you like your parents):
1)Food…so much food.
Now, as a bachelor, my fridge contained mixers for booze, mayo and soy sauce. That’s it. I might have had some cans of chef boyaredee stashed away in case of an emergency. When my girl moved in, my fridge was immediately upgraded. Simply by the fact there was all of a sudden stuff in it at all. Thing is, there’s nothing like a stocked fridge at the home you grew up in. You forget all those little things that you used to snack on. Things you would never buy on your own but get legit excited to see every time you cracked open the fridge. Like, holy shit, I forgot how good triscuits are. Or cheeses…bricks of them. Everywhere. Also, my mom has the best honey ever. And so much ice cream. The 2-4 weeks I will be here will be decedent and full of weight gain. I forgot how easy it is to never stop eating when there is always food around. At my home, I’m cut off by the food simply running out.
If you have your own place in NYC, you know space is limited. If you live within your means, you’re lucky to have 3 rooms. But parent houses? They got space. Sure, you feel like a guest but it’s still roomy as fuck. Like, there are two bathrooms here. One that’s great for privacy the other that’s more central. That’s living.
This is particular to my moms house only, but goddamn if she doesn’t have the best water pressure on earth. This one shower if like being in front of a fire hose…in a good way.
This house is only ten or so blocks from where I live but it’s a whole different world of options. Specifically, restaurants. I feel like I’m on vacation. Every day is me venturing out and trying somewhere new. I grew up here but so much changes yearly. I feel like I’m rediscovering an entire neighborhood. Also, getting fatter by the second.
5)(hopefully) Your parents are cool
When you’re young, you bump heads with your parents. Maybe they’re at fault but, let’s be honest, it’s probably you. As you get older and your relationship with them changes , many people find a comfort zone. They’re still your parents but they’re also your friends. You see them as people. You speak to them like you would anyone else. I think it may be the best selling point for having kids…fuck all the “raising them” and “teaching them” stuff. To be able to sit and shoot the shit with a person you created like an adult must be awesome. Well, it works both ways. As a kid, you get to evolve into a person who can actually appreciate your parents as people. Not just suck off their teat and complain towards them. So, as corny as it seems, the perk of spending quality time with your parents as adults is not to be overlooked.
Is there a better way to save money that living with your parents? Aside from being homeless, no. People move back home specifically to stack their money so they can finally REALLY leave the nest. Also, it seems engrained in most parents to always pay for the meals. I don’t think this is fair as, most likely, you owe them, but you can eat for free forever if you move back home.
7)Parents have liquor cabinets
I mean, so do lots of adults but the average reader of this blog is in their mid 20’s so access to free booze is still a big deal to you heathens. Can’t overlook that.
I’m sure there are more great things about moving home again but, I’ve only been here 3 days so far. Gimmie time to discover the rest. To all of you out there contemplating a move back home. I know it’s not ideal but, hey, it could be way worse. You could have a shitty roommate with like 15 cats. Imagine that hell.