Dear Boomerang Kids Everywhere:

5 Sep

Today, I met an interesting woman at a bus stop.  Let’s call her Margie.

Normally, I don’t talk to Margies.  I don’t talk to anyone, really, especially not people at bus stops.  But Margie didn’t really care who I was or how I felt.  She was a jolly lass and it didn’t occur to her that I could be introverted so she just blabbered on and on about her day.  And since I was having a particularly poopy one myself, I kind of didn’t mind the break from my inner monologue.

Margie is a social worker who has been laid off three times due to budget cuts.  She spends her day dealing with women in crisis and juveniles in court.  She makes about 25K a year and though her daughter makes more than twice that, her daughter is living at home.  And not paying any bills.  And using Margie’s car, which was why Margie was at the bus stop at that particular moment.

So this is a post for Margie.  In fact, it’s for all the Margies out there who find themselves so blinded by their love for their children that they just can’t bear to tell them to get the hell out of the house.  If you’re  a Margie, have no fear.  Just copy the web address in your browser right now, paste it into an email or text, and shoot it off to your lovable little mooch.  Of course, there are some kids who are experiencing some technical difficulties in their lives and have extenuating circumstances.  This isn’t for those.  This is for the kids who are fully capable of formulating a plan for adulthood and are putting it off in exchange for the convenience of feeding off their parents.  Those kids.  So look around your house.  Do you have any of those lingering around?  If so, send them this web address, tell them you like my blog, that they should follow it, and that you’ve been doing some thinking and maybe they should also get the hell out of the house.  Follow it with “lol jk” and then “but seriously, read this”.

Dear Margie’s Daughter and Boomerang Kids Everywhere:
Look at your parental figure/s.  Don’t they look tired?  That’s because they are.  They’re old and tired because for the last two and a half decades or so, they’ve weaned you from a squealing, helpless piglet into a walking, talking, thinking human being.  They paid taxes so you could go to school and gave you rides when you needed to go see your stupid significant other or when you wanted to go to a dance or do some other waste of an adolescent pastime.   They went to work every day so that they could go to the store after work, fight off hordes of other parents just like them, buy dinner, come home, and cook it for you so that you could just gobble it up in 5 minutes, not leave any leftovers, and then leave the table without offering to help clean up so that you could return to some stupid aforementioned adolescent pastime.  They’re tired because once you learned to drive, you’d borrow the car and leave it on empty so that they had to wake up extra early to put gas in it before they went to work, where they got more money to afford the gas they put in the car for you to run out.
So listen: they did their part.  You can walk on two feet instead of four, you can poop in a toilet instead of your pants, and you can (God willing) at least sustain yourself with boxed meals from the supermarket instead of skinning small vermin in the wilderness for daily sustenance.  Now it’s your turn.  You’re a big kid now.  And it’s time to move out.
It is.  It really is.  You were really only supposed to be an eighteen-year commitment.  Then you were supposed to get a job and/or go to college, never to return again.  But you did return.  And you aren’t using any of your life skills to better the household.  You’re using your money to participate in your stupid mid-20’s pastimes instead of donating it to the greater good of the unit.  You shower, you plug things in, you put things in your mouth, and you flush things down the toilet.  That all costs money, and it’s time to pay up.  Don’t have a job?  Get one.  Even a terrible one.  
Hey, sometimes you have to work sucky jobs.  Lots of people have sucky jobs.  You know what really sucks, though? Having a sucky job and not even having any money to show for it because your kid won’t move out of the damn house.  So get a job and get out.
While you’re writing a big fat check to your parents for all the years they’ve sheltered and fed you past the eighteen-year contract, remember to clean up after yourself.  For the love of all that is holy, take a shower.  Do some dishes.  Inspire your parents to soil their pants by offering to make dinner or take them out.  Ask if you can go pick up some groceries for them or go fill up the gas tank, or do some laundry.   
And once you’ve gotten a job, given your parents some money to offset the cost of your existence, cleaned up the room where you wove your cocoon, and landed an apartment, begin your mass exodus with a hug and a thank you to your old, tired, parent/s.  Because  every year you spent in their home past the eighteen-year-contract was a year of their life they can’t get back.  And the Bible tells us that there’s no greater gift than to lay down your life for another.
Look at that: no greater gift.  Jesus says so.  You can’t ever repay your parental unit/s for this time you’ve taken from them.  So just be a good little lamb and hit the road.  Now.  Hey- look at that: you’re already online.  Just click here.  
Good job.  Now print out three options, show them to your parental unit/s and take a shower while they celebrate with a bottle of wine that you purchase for them.  Trust me: you’re doing the right thing.  And in a few decades, you can return to this page, send it to your own little lovable mooches and get your own free bottle of wine and a ticket to your golden years.
You’re welcome.
Puppies and Sprinkles,

18 Responses to “Dear Boomerang Kids Everywhere:”

  1. Jules September 6, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    It must be a culture thing. Back in Asia, it’s normal to live at home until you get married and start a family. But I understand what you mean about that lady’s daughter mooching off her.


    • Jackie September 27, 2012 at 2:03 am #

      Oh there are plenty of folks that rock it Asian style in America; but if you never get married and you also never try to get a job, you’re in mooch territory for sure.


  2. lexy3587 September 6, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    I can understand the living at home for a while longer… I find myself in that situation. But I pay rent… and am the primary house-cleaner. I also occasionally pick up groceries, despite my parents’ belief that milk and a loaf of bread might bankrupt me (but not them… clearly some dastardly form of inflation). Sometimes I even buy them a case of beer, because we’re classy like that 😛 Poor Margy… can I move in with her? I will totally be a better Margie’s daughter than her daughter is, I promise 🙂


    • pegoleg September 26, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      This is a great idea, Lexy! A match-up service to get generous parents together with more grateful adult children. Everybody wins!


      • Jackie September 27, 2012 at 1:50 am #

        finally – a million dollar idea is born from this site.


    • Jackie September 27, 2012 at 2:04 am #

      Wow – you don’t just pay rent, clean, and help with errands, but you also restock their beer?! Wow, maybe you should be the one writing the letter.


  3. Samantha September 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Sometimes I wonder if my parents would’ve been like that if I hadn’t been the kind of person I am, which was a constant thought process of, “After college, GET THE HELL OUT AS FAST AS YOU CAN!” I love my parents, but I’m 23. It’s time. 😛 And I was only there for a year after college.


    • Jackie September 27, 2012 at 2:00 am #

      I’m sure my parents and I would have eventually killed each other. I used to assume they would win because there are two of them, but I’m pretty crafty and I’ve read The Hunger Games.


  4. fayemerrill September 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Dear Jackie,
    I’m so sorry The Margie intruded on your serenity to the edge of sanity. We all need more peace in this crazy world, & clearly the Margie didn’t help at all.
    Here is a time for yoga, meditation, or perhaps a nap might have helped. I also relax by massaging my own feet with 70% organic coconut/apricot lotion from CA. Heavenly and very relaxing.
    Blessings Dear Child,


    • Jackie September 27, 2012 at 1:59 am #

      oh, I’m pretty sure I’m always on the edge of sanity, Faye 🙂


  5. pinklea September 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    I think I just may be using that letter in another few months …


    • Jackie September 27, 2012 at 1:58 am #

      if you do, report back. I need a test group.


  6. Margie September 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I’m glad I’m a Margie whose kids were all out of the house and on their own shortly after their 18th birthdays!


    • Jackie September 27, 2012 at 1:57 am #

      You’re lucky, Margie. Real lucky. Make sure they stay out, now. 😉


  7. pegoleg September 26, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    My sister Lib lived at home for years and everybody gave her crap about it, but in her case it worked out great. She had a good job, made good money. My parents had a huge, old house and they liked having her around because she was helpful and good company. She decided to get her own place about 10 years ago, but she’s still the one who goes over and helps our parents out the most.

    Having said that, there are WAY more Margie-daughters around than Libs and you hit the nail on the head.


    • Jackie September 27, 2012 at 1:50 am #

      Absolutely – there are Libs out there. Dear Libs Out There: This is not about you.


  8. Peggy March 11, 2016 at 2:42 am #

    Dear Jackie, Thank you so much for this article. I am living proof of these “Boomerang kids” because I have one! It awful and unfair (at least in my situation). I am caring for my elderly father and all of the sudden my kid quits his job because he said it sucked and he wanted to be closer to home! ??? I call BS!! When I was 18+ our generation could not wait to move out, get a job and have our own place!! I DON”T GET IT!!?? Your article helped me laugh tonight (@ 1:40 am because I’m so stressed about my situation), so thank you for that……At least now I don’t feel so alone in this!


    • Jackie March 14, 2016 at 12:07 am #

      Hi Peggy! It’s unfortunate that many folks have found themselves saddled with debt after graduation with no prospect of a job and with little choice but to move back home and to (in many cases) become a financial burden to their parents yet again. I hope that your kid will pick up a job while he lives with you, help around the house, and help take care of his grandfather. If he doesn’t, you should accidentally leave the browser window open to this page when they’re using the computer next.

      I’m glad it gave you a chuckle. Hang in there, and don’t be afraid to draw up an agreement and make them stick to it. As my parents used to threaten: if they don’t like it, there’s the door. 😉

      Thanks for dropping by!


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