Monday, 22 February 2010

Bloomin' Boomerangs: A New Generation of Kidults

Did you know that there is actually a phrase for adult children living at home?

“Boomerang Kids”

I like, how it suggests something that you try to chuck away which inevitably pings back at you. And sometimes hits you in the face.


The fact is that, out of all the friends of mine who are in London since graduating, the only two who live away from home are the ones who aren’t from London, and therefore didn’t have a family fold to return to.

The rest of us have swallowed our pride and attempted to cram pots, pans, beanbags and other paraphernalia accumulated at university back into our childhood rooms, and are once again back in a routine of dinner times and making the bed.

The result is a network of commiseration amongst said “Boomerangs” which usually revolves around a familiar pattern:

You will meet up with a group of friends amongst whom there will be a number of Boomerangers. You will perform the usual round of “what are you up to,” “how’s the boyfriend / lover / sex life”, and then one will turn to the other and say,

“How’s living at home?”

Cue world-weary sigh from the friend and understanding looks of condolence from the speaker.

“Fiiine.” The head will loll to one side, the shoulders will hunch. “You...?”


And then the story will erupt. Parents cross that their adult-child-Australian-throwing-device aren’t home for dinner. Boomerangs waxing lyrical about the long-lost freedom they had at university. Eventually more drinks will be ordered and the conversation will subside, but the thought still dwells under the surface that your living situation is less than ideal.

I would like to add a disclaimer here that I am far from ungrateful. I am incredible fortunate to be in a position where I can come back home: I have returned to my beautiful childhood home, I have no bills to pay (I kindly am exempt from paying rent), and as The Father (or My Mother’s Ex Husband, as she prefers him to be known) has decided to leave the familial home in favour of a fat American woman with five children (“living the dream,” evidently), it is just me and the Madre. Who is...most of the time... a delight. Although watch this space to read about the OCD tendencies which are leading me to a slow and painful death.

But this still doesn’t negate the fact that there is a certain amount of compromise which has to be met, and I do long for the days when I could go into the kitchen and chop an onion without being watched like a hawk for mess, or being offered marigolds and a knife and fork to do the deed (read: OCD tendencies).

In fact, I fear that I am regressing back to my teenage years:

Madre: Are you in tonight?

Me: [Grunt] dunno. Might be going out with Daisy.

Madre: But are you in for dinner?

Me: [sigh] I don’t know. We don’t know what we’re doing yet.

Madre: Well what will you have for dinner if not?

Me: I don’t care. I’ll make something. Cereal. Lemmealone.

Hours later, shouting from the top of the stairs.

Me: Muuuuuuuum. What’s for dinner?

Not exactly the sophisticated urbanite I like to picture myself as. Oh well, maybe when I get a job...

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