Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Living at Home"

It was the first time I can remember being asked if I was married. "No." I replied, "I'm living at home." I wanted to slap myself as I said it, because I despise the term, and the derogatory usage it usually receives. It's one of those American idioms (probably the British are too classy to use it) that really makes no sense. Doesn't everyone "live" at their "home"? Assuming they have a home, that is (my sympathies for those that don't). My dad owns this house, and it's definitely his home, but if he were to use the phrase "living at home," even though he's married with nearly grown children, one would understand that to mean he was living with his mother. Why is that?

Oftentimes the term is used with "still" inserted: "I'm still living at home." That makes it a little more logical, because it implies that you are still living at the only home you've ever known (whether it be different buildings or not, "home" for the first stage of your life is usually with your parents), but also increases the negative sense, because it seems to imply that you shouldn't be "still" living with your parents, or that you wish you were on your own. 

 I'm contentedly living at home, and it's not because I'm stuck here. Why should I move out? First of all, I don't have that "can't-stand-my-parents, must-escape-at-all-costs" syndrome that is socially expected in anyone over 16. My parents treat me like the adult that I am - I have all the freedom I could wish. I appreciate their advice, and enjoy the close relationships I have with them and my siblings, who really are my best friends. Sure, I have occasional days when I feel like my own space might fix all my problems, but I know that's really not true, and those days don't come too often. I am very happy living with my family, and expect I will stay with my parents forever, unless I get married.

"Great," you may be thinking, "another example of a adult refusing to act like a grown up and be independent." Grown adults who continue to "live at home" often seem to be regarded as lazy bums with no job who don't move out only because they are unable to afford it, preferring instead to mooch off their parents. In my case, the room that I share with my sister has plenty of room for me, and my parents would still be paying electricity, etc. even if I didn't live here. Since I do, I save having to pay those costs for myself. In return, I try to be helpful: picking up groceries, kitchen work, cleaning, and pushing all my healthy schemes on everyone. I do have a job, which I use for my own purchases and things like car repairs (nasty things, those) and piano maintenance (yay for tuned pianos!).

I love living here and being a part of my family. I'm grateful that I have parents who are happy to have me stay with them, and aren't eager to get rid of me. I know I'm inconvenient sometimes, and I know I still cost them money, even though I try to be as inexpensive as possible. I'm just glad that they think I'm still worth it. So when I say I'm "still living at home" I don't mean it in the negative sense that it's likely to be taken. It's like saying, "I'm still on vacation" or "I'm still in the happiest place on earth and I get to stay as long as I want!" 



 

11 comments:

  1. Sweet post, Lizzie - never thought about living "at home" like this before. :) Because of various reasons - the most important of which, being Biblical, I am also "still at home" and like you, am grateful my parent's believe in that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rissi. =) Do you mind if I ask what your Biblical reasons are?

      Delete
  2. I'm so glad you're contented! That's so important, no matter what your situation. "Godliness with contentment is great gain," after all! Good job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and living contently is so much more peaceful and pleasant! ;)

      Delete
  3. I started writing my comment and then took it out to write more carefully in Microsoft word first and then realized it was more like a blogpost (which I know I implied I would write), so I will save it for that and just say that my thoughts are somewhat conflicted on the subject and that I don't think anyone can say that it is either the right way or a wrong decision to stay at home and also that I don't think many people can financially do otherwise even if they are working as hard as they can!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was already pondering over this post when you mentioned that you might write about the same topic, and I am really eager to read your thoughts. I kind of wrote this post as a defense of my own choice because there was a person recently who made me feel somewhat ashamed of living with my parents. It is very hard to get out on your own financially in this economy!

      Delete
  4. This post makes me smile Elizabeth, and I am just like you, and I love to be home with my family, in hard and good times. I always need it, I'll move when I'm married haha :D

    I hope you have great weekend. Thinking of you my friend... I would love to listen you playing piano, if I can.

    Praying for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Delvalina! There's no need to leave your family until you're ready to start your own little family, right? ;)

      Thanks, I hope you have a lovely weekend, too! I'm getting some work done on my piano soon, maybe after that when it will sound really nice I'll share something!

      Delete
  5. Wow what a thought, thanks!
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't understand but why would anyone ask you that? You seem very young and not legally of age to get married.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was funny, because most people do think I look a lot younger than I am! I don't know why this lady thought I was married. But I am actually old enough. =)

      Delete