In a year or so, I’ll be the same age as when my Dad retired from a very ordinary banking career. Retired I tell you! At 57! I think the credit’s mine because I did the right thing and left home at 19. Think of the money I saved them (which reminds me, where’s my inheritance?)
So how come my lot won’t get the hint? A couple of blokes in their twenties are still in the nest. It couldn’t be because they get fed and watered at no cost, could it? Perhaps it’s the reliability of the laundry service that manages their carefully curated wardrobes. You know…the clothes that get acquired online only to languish on the bedroom floor until rescued by some responsible soul.
Or could it be the very liberal approach to having, umm, guests over? Whatever happened to the right of passage involving the back seat of a cheap car? I reckon it’ll soon be a lost art (though my wife reckons I never had it anyway).
Children used to be afraid of their parents, and I now realise the value in the concept. The Victorians had it right after all. But I’m afraid it’s all a bit late for us; my wife and I have run the joint like a hotel for far too many years. We’ve somehow made sure there’s no particular reason for my kids to leave. Man up, I hear you say. Change the rules. Show ‘em who’s boss. Make them contribute. Hire a skip or two and make them toss out all their accumulated detritus.
But maybe downsizing is the answer. That’ll fix a few things. For a start, those freeloaders will have to fend for themselves. Get out into the real world…buy their own shampoo. Yeah, that’ll teach ‘em. We’ll stick some cash in our pocket and get our independence back. Live smarter. We’re all going to work until we’re 92, but nobody said we had to do it on the same terms. I’ll buy a Vespa and work one day a week from a trendy coffee shop. I’ll get the missus to lash out on a blue rinse and we’ll go on one of those fancy cruises down a European river with 400 of our closest friends. Aaaw, it’ll be great.
What’s holding us back then? We’re not really doing anything. Whose problem is it? Is it that they won’t leave, or that we simply won’t let them go?
Deep inside, the notion of downsizing feels like some sort of concession to age. We’d be doing what old people do. I know we don’t need this house anymore, but we fought for it. It represents everything we worked really hard for through those “aspiring” years. Wouldn’t selling it be some sort of tactical retreat? Doesn’t that mean that we’ve somehow peaked and it’s all downhill from here?
And please don’t tell anyone, but I suspect we still love having those freeloaders at home. Things get testy occasionally, but it feels more complete because they are there. Until I look in that damn mirror, I still think I’m 30 something and the notion of being an empty nester just doesn’t sit well.
I suspect all this sounds slightly schizophrenic. Maybe it’s the long threatened mid mid-life crisis. Talk some sense into me. Dish out some tough love.
Or better still, make me an offer I can’t refuse.