Monday, November 09, 2009

Living at home does not make you a bum, Judge Judy.

I only watch Judge Judy (and other judge shows) with my mom. I couldn't stand them by myself.

On today's episode, I only paid attention to the beginning. She asked somebody where his brother was. Turns out the brother was back home. Not because of work, since he doesn't work. He's 19 and lives with Mom.

Making him a bum.

Judge Judy is very rude to people who live at home beyond what age she deems appropriate. I remember many episodes where she ends it by saying, "Grow up and move out of your mom's house! *bangs gavel*"

Then there is the joke of "nerds" in their mother's basement. (Never their father's, or their parents'. Always mother's.)

It's a shortcut to calling somebody immature.

So I read Slate - I like the ad and shopping reviews - and this caught my eye a couple weeks ago. The headline is "Prudie counsels a husband-to-be whose bride wants her own bedroom—and other advice seekers." The main issue I took away is not that the bride wants her own bedroom, but that she's never lived alone. And she's a "woman old enough to marry."

The comments were disgusting. Many people had no problem with separate bedrooms, but others called the bride (that they only know about through her fiance's letter) immature.

My first thought was hello, not every culture shoves their kids out at 18.

But as I started reading FWD/Forward and this entry, I realized the other problems with the response to the letter and the idea of living at home once you become an "adult."

There are many valid reasons to live at home after the magical age of 18. One of the many reasons is health - some of us cannot and should not live alone. I live in the dorm while I'm at school, but right now I am at home because of the kidney stone. For one thing, I'll be less tempted to try to go to class. It's not more convenient for Mom, but I feel miserable and I get to see my puppies! Mikey is a trip - he totally beat Mom up tonight. And right now he's sleeping on her butt, quite happy.

Then there is my mother's health - what if she were in my flipflops? I'd want somebody to be with her. I'd feel I should take care of her.

I think there is a problem with America - we place so much importance on certain markers of "independence" that those who do not follow the rules are "immature" and "weird." We also do not place a lot of emphasis on family. No, I don't want to move in my with husband's family, but I don't want to be demonized for living with my mom at 21.

And not having a job.

And not driving. (That is a pain. My sister drops the issue for a while, but it's back up again - "Why don't you drive?" "Because I don't want to" is not a valid answer in her eyes, and admittedly, if I were to stay here, I'd have to drive. But I don't want to - I want to live some place where a combination of walking and public transportation can do a car's job for me. Plus, I don't think I legally can drive, thanks to all my medications.)

It is nobody's business why people live like they do, and as long as no one is being hurt or any laws are being broken, no one has a right to judge.

I am not a bum because I live with my mother.

I am not immature, either.

And it is none of your business why I do it. (Except I already told you. Eh, shut it.)

Time for a Bollywood movie!

1 comment:

kitrona said...

This made me smile (in a good way). Your love for your family is obvious, and others would do well to consider your points.