Sunday, January 9, 2011

What Ever Happened to Miss Independent?

So I'm about to go home (to Texas) after a nice 1 1/2 month long vacation at home (in Utah) and I'm thinking: it's been dang nice to have my mom made me dinner, and buy all the food, and pick up my shoes, and my dad offers to buy my clothes, and drives me places, and my brother...does stuff for me, too, and shouldn't I be more, you know, independent?

I'm 26 and single, which means in my culture that you still sit at the kiddie table. I have a (part-time) job and I go to (graduate) school, so I'm pretty much doing what I've always been doing...so my fam helps me out sometimes. I'm kind of okay with this.

Don't get me wrong: I'm righteously indignant when I read about failure-to-launch types who enjoy an extended adolescence free from responsibilities to their parents or a future family, who don't work, really, or prepare for work, who just cruise. I work hard, manage my money, take extra jobs, watch my spending, and try to seek out new friends for emotional support. Still, sometimes I need my family to lend me a hand. Can there be a spectrum between having our parents pay for everything and pick up our messes and being entirely divorced from them?

My friend A didn't eat breakfast and lunch when he was short of cash to avoid accepting a loan for his family. D, another close friend, took out a loan from a "payday loan" place to cover his first house's down payment while he waited for his stock sale to clear (and he will never, never, never, let his in-laws or parents know he did it). Some of my friends are selling blood, couch-surfing, and spending a load on babysitters to avoid imposing on their parents. This strikes me as a little over the edge. Can't we let people do nice things for us? Even when they're our parents?