Tag Archives: grownup children

#68: Mooch Off Your Parents

With more “kids” living longer than ever with their parents, why shouldn’t you, in the interest of acting younger, join the trend? And it’s not only a home you can mooch (or sponge, bum, leech, or scab) off mom and dad, but food, furniture, vacations, clothing, and actual cash money.

Catherine Finn, who is a bona fide futurist with a Washington firm called Social Technologies, advises those who don’t want to act old: “Be over-dependent on your parents. Have them lend you money or buy you something you really don’t need. Go a step further and move in with your parents. Then complain about how terrible it is to live with your parents.”

Some useful things you can do with your time and money once mom and dad are footing the bill: Get an MFA in poetry, explaining to your parents that this will eventually lead to a lucrative career in teaching other people to write poetry. Start a rock band, which will definitely hit it big any day now. Invest in Marc Jacobs clothing, which will make you look amazingly cool for two months, at which point you’ll have to throw it all out and start over. Become a rich and famous blogger, citing me as a role model.

If your parents are so elderly that they’re dependent on you, or if they’re uncool enough to have actually died, then your only hope is to try and get adopted by some nice elderly couple who would allow you to mooch in exchange for watching Jeopardy with them while you eat dinner and getting up on the ladder to clean out the gutters because you know Dad can’t do that anymore. However, as an older orphan I tried to get adopted once, and I’m sorry to tell you it didn’t work out.

What if your grownup kids are already mooching off you? Here’s the plan: You all move in with your parents. Then, late at night, when Josh and Jess are out clubbing, and Mom and Dad are upstairs in a martini-and-Percocet-induced haze, you sneak out, run as fast and far as you can, and leave no forwarding address. There comes a point when even the hardest-core moochacha needs her independence.

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#2: Don’t Talk About Your (Grownup) Children

My daughter lives in Paris. She’s the editor of a magazine there called Self Service. And my son: My son goes to Yale. Let me tell you all about them.

Or maybe I should just keep my mouth shut.

Going on and on about your grownup children is one of the prime ways people act old.  It’s not the fact of having adult children that makes them seem old, it’s talking as if their kids are the most interesting thing about them.  As if their children are the ones with the noteworthy lives now, as if their own lives are beneath mention.

So mention that you have kids, by all means.  Say what they’re up to, if you’re asked.  But don’t make them your main topic of conversation.

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