My roommate doesn’t pay rent, he eats me out of house and home, and his bedroom could easily be featured on an episode of “Hoarders.” On the plus side, most weeks he remembers to put the trash cans out on Monday night, he does his own laundry and he makes it possible for me to go to happy hour with the girls straight from work when I want to because he’s there to feed the dogs.
Welcome to the world of the not-so-empty-nester. I’m a single, independent woman living with my 27 yr. old son. He’s the younger of my two boys, and I often refer to him affectionately as Baby Son. One of my favorite bloggers (https://www.facebook.com/stfd.shutthefrontdoor) refers to her kids as Noodles (macaroni noodle for the little one) and in one post where she was talking about an older daughter, it was all I could do not to say, “Oh the lasagna noodle” in my comment. I wish I had thought of names like that for my offspring, but Baby and Older (sons) was as creative as I got.
Baby Son graduated from Arizona State in December of 2009 with a degree in Communications and moved back in with me hoping to find a great job and his own apartment pretty quickly. I was hoping that too. I’d been living alone for 4 years by then, and was used to my own space, a clean house and quiet. But it was the beginning of the Great Recession and jobs were hard to come by. Even with a college degree. Time flies when you’re having fun, and here it is 2013. Baby Son has worked as much as he could these past 3 years, taking temp jobs, a job with the Los Angeles Angels for a while (which we both enjoyed) an unpaid internship at a sports marketing firm, and his latest stint as a production assistant with Fox Sports in LA. He does a great job, they all seem to like him, but they aren’t hiring for permanent positions, and he’s back pounding the pavement again. Applying, interviewing and hoping something comes along so he can get on with his grown up, away from Mommy life.
It’s interesting living with your adult son. He’s free to come and go as he pleases, and he does, but he’s home a lot too, more often than not on my new, leather living room couch. He alternates between playing really loud video games, watching extremely interesting TV shows like Amish Mafia and keeping up with every sports team on the planet. He’s a statistical sports whiz, and he would make a great broadcast announcer or analyst. I know, I’m the mom, just sayin’, give the kid a job. Please.
Neither one of us is dating right now, which is good because when we were, neither one of us was exactly sure what the rules were when it came to um, having friends over. Which is why when I heard voices and came out of my room one night a few years ago to find a cougar on my couch, I was at a loss for words.
Baby Son and & have a great relationship, and we’ve always talked about pretty much everything. He’s the kind of kid (just like his mom) who tells it like it is, and was always open with me about whatever was going on in his life. So I knew he’d met an older lady out somewhere one night, and that she’d been texting him, wanting to get together, and fortunately for him, I can put two and two together pretty fast. It was like 2 in the morning and I was sound asleep in my bedroom when I heard the front door open, and then talking. Definitely a female voice in the mix there, Cooper was barking like crazy, so in my pjs, I opened the door and came walking out into my office. Someone was in the bathroom, and straight ahead, sitting on my couch, was a woman (even without my glasses on) way too close to my age than his, with more cleavage than I’d seen at any hour of the day or night. Up close. Ever.
So I did the only civil thing a mom in my position would do. I put out my hand, said “Hi, I’m Sue. Just letting the dog out to pee. Have a nice night.” And went back to bed. She left not long after that, and I figured I’d deal with the situation after I had some sleep.
The kid and I had an interesting convo the next morning, all about how NOT to ever bring someone home again to MY house, but we were laughing so hard at times it was hard for me to stay too mad at him. Turns out she lived somewhere really far away, she was driving, and he didn’t want to go to her place, so he told her his ROOMMATE wouldn’t mind if she came to his. She never did find out I was really his mom. He had told her I was an older lady he rented a room from, and when she asked him if there was anything “going on between us,” he just told her nope, and that she had no idea how far off she was with that question. Classic story we’ll be telling for years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about parenting, it’s be specific. Spell it out in no uncertain terms, or they just act confused when you come unglued over the things they do.
I love my roommate, and I’m pretty sure if he wasn’t around for dinner I’d be eating crackers and cheese with a wine shooter most nights. I like having someone to cook for, and someone there at night in case there happens to be a serial killer on the loose again, but I really think I’m ready to push this baby birdie out of the nest once and for all. It’s time.