By Bunmi Sofola
Adult Kids: In a couple of months’ time, Anita will turn 35. Not that she’s looking for3ward to another landmark birthday. The day will also mark 30 years of living with her parents. According to her: “More depressing is the fact that by the time you were my age, you were married, with maybe your own house or flat and two or three children. The fact I’m still in my old room is probably as alarming to your readers as it is to me.
“At age 35, I’m supposed to be married with my own place, updating Facebook with every key milestone. But it turns out a boyfriend (let alone a husband) is harder to find than a virgin in the care of the average priest at a vigil! Plus, a mid-twenties career change means I’m happier, yet poorer than ever before. With the average price of a Lagos house or flat, and the average rent of a modest flat hitting the roof, it seems the only thing I’ll be updating on Facebook is my parents’ impatience to get rid of me!
“And I’m not alone, a lot of adults up to the age of 35 have experienced delays moving out of their parents’ home. Society has even given us a fancy name: the `Clipped-wing generation’ – coined from our inability to flay the nest. That is why I think it necessary for parents of other `homing pigeons’ to establish some ground rules in order for a semblance of sanity to prevail. I understand parents `because I say so’ mentality but with no sign of your `children’ leaving, it’s time you looked at our situation as more of democracy than dictatorship!
“For instance, when your friends come round, please restrain from using our living situation as the subject of your banter. `I don’t know when we’ll ever get rid of her”, we tried to kick her out but she came running back’ etc. etc. Similarly, please don’t always feel the need to explain to your friends why we’re still living at home. `She had a bad beak-up’ / `she’s still single’, `she doesn’t earn enough money’. Or, at the very least have this conversation when we aren’t in the house. Forgive us if we can’t see the funny side of our housing crisis, but living with your parents when you’re a grown adult is sensitive subject.
“It is bad enough that we’re forced to justify our living situation to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Honestly, can you think of some new opening lines when you first meet someone that don’t involve `where do you live?’ and/or `who do you live with?’ Home is supposed to be the one place where we’re free from judgement and ridicule, so don’t deflate our egos any more for the sake of new gossips with friends.
“If we come home late, or don’t come home at all, please don’t always assume we’re with a man. Unfortunately, dating in 2019 is not like dating way back in the `70s. When you give us that cheeky wink and ask if we’re seeing someone special, it’s much more likely that we actually spent the evening round our mate’s place dismissing how old you have to be to be considered a spinster. And please keep doing that thing where you text us asking if we want dinner saved, that’s really great. Honestly, when we go for a few after-work drinks and everyone else is heading to the dodgy fast-food rubbish, we rejoice in the fact we’re heading home to a plate of home-made jolloff rice or ogbono soup. In return, we promise not to criticise your cooking.
“If you bump into your friend and she tells you about her daughter who just got engaged and bought her first flat, please don’t feel the need to excitedly repeat this information to us. We get it, it gives you hope that you’ll finally get to have an empty washing basket, but for us it’s another reminder of our life-goal handicap. In exchange, we promise not to mention our posh friend who just moved into her flat courtesy of Bank of Mum And Dad. Deal? And talking of Bank Mum and Dad .. we promise not to abuse it and endeavour to pay our incredibly reasonably priced rent on time. Though you know that that handout you gave for our facial the day before payday that we said we’d pay straight back! Yeah, it’s unlikely you’ll set that again. Sorry.
“Although we’re living at home and enjoying our `extended adolescence’, please don’t assume we’re halfwits. Yes, we do know how the gas cooker works. Thanks, we just couldn’t be bothered with cooking for one. We know we’re in the house, but if we wee in our own, we wouldn’t have such strict cooking regime. To make up for our (at times) lax cleaning up routine, we promise to do our share of general cleaning. And please, please, don’t worry about us. I know we said that we were only going for one drink after work, but that was before a colleague appeared with a couple of drinks under her arms to mark her birthday and we forgot we live in Lekki and not Festac like everyone else. Although we don’t always act like it, we’re full-grown adults, and while everyone else is checking their phones for a bit of nookie, we’re replying to your: `Are you ok? Call me when you get this!’ safety text.
“When we come home and go straight to our room, please don’t call us a moody teenager. First, our teen years are distant memories, and secondly, like you, we nee space every now and then. Our room is our only sanctum and sometimes we just want to sit there alone. It’s like when Dad wants to watch Match of the Day and we leave him to it so he can watch the match he saw a few hours earlier – with another expert’s opinion on the referee’s verdict. I’m sure when we finally move into our mould-ridden flat, we’ll long for the times when we’d open and front door to a barrage of questions about our day, but right now we want to be treated the way Dad is on a Saturday night.
“Remember we’re grown adults and from time to time there will be adult `relations’ maybe even full=blown relationships … yes, really. But if we do bring someone home, please don’t make a massive deal about it. We know you’re not running a brothel, but we weren’t aware we were living in a nunnery either. What we’re trying to say in a roundabout way is if we want to bring someone home, please be cool about it. You never know if that certain someone could be the answer to your freedom (it’s unlikely, but still …).
What a dumb! (Humour)
A drunk staggers down the main street of a town and up the church steps. He manages to open the church door and falls into the silent building. On his hands and knees, he weeps as he struggles to pull himself to his feet, half crawling and half walking towards the front of the church. He crashes from pew to pew softly crying. “Oh God, help me, God help me” until he finally makes it to the confessional box.
Having observed the man’s sorry progress the priest sits silently in the booth, waiting to hear the drunk’s tale. He waits for several minutes, hearing the drunk moan and groan until finally there is a lengthy silence from the drunk’s side of the confessional. At last the priest speaks: ‘May I help you my son?’, he says. “I don’t know father’, the drunk replies. “It depends on whether or not you have any paper on your side”.