Tag Archives: parents

My First Grown Up Thanksgiving —- Kind of

The Thanksgiving Feast

Well, I did it.  I prepared Thanksgiving dinner in my own house for my parents.  It was just the three of us.  The children were with their father.

Since my marriage ended years ago it has been our practice for the children to be with my ex-husband for Thanksgiving and with me for Christmas.  See, All I Want For Christmas is My Kids.  So, I’ve been kid-less for many Thanksgivings.  I’ve spent a couple of Thanksgivings with my best friend and her large, extended, ethnic family.   They are very nice and welcoming and I had a good enough time, but it started to feel weird being alone with someone else’s family.   Two years ago I did absolutely nothing (I think, I can’t remember).  Last year I went out for Thanksgiving dinner with my parents.   We didn’t go to a really nice or fancy restaurant, more like a diner, a nice diner, but a diner, nonetheless.  The food was okay, but I found the whole scenario depressing.  There were a lot of older people, elderly people.  It smacked of a refuge for souls who had no where else to go.

So this year, I decided to stay home and cook dinner at my own damn house.  I decided this on Monday, declining my mother’s offer to have  Thanksgiving at their house. That can be (has been) depressing as well, going “home” for Thanksgiving, completely alone, feeling like a grown child, the only child who never moved away (which I count is a personal failure), knowing my sisters are with their families at their homes, knowing that my children are with my ex-husband’s wife’s family.  Just thinking about  going to my parents for Thanksgiving felt like it was one small step above being the middle-aged single man living in his parents’ basement.

No, I have a home, I reasoned, and even though the children wouldn’t be there,  I decided that I would serve Thanksgiving dinner to my parents. Plus, it’ll give them a break.

I’ve hosted Thanksgiving dinner before, but that was in The Big House (formerly the marital home) for my (now Ex) in-laws.  This was different.  This is my home, alone (except for the bank).  My little home that gets very few visitors, despite its extreme makeover.  My little home to which some of my kids are too embarrassed to bring their wealthy friends.  My little home which has a very nice, slammin’ new kitchen.

So I cooked, for me, for my parents.  Cooking does not give me any joy.  See Confessions of a Skinny Mom.   Still, it was so much less awkward than being at the restaurant.  My Mom and Dad ate my food; they were appreciative, and it was good.  And though my long-married parents have a tendency to bicker (huge understatement), today they did not.  I can’t help to think that it was the locale of the dinner.  Had they been at their own home, they would have fought.

George, between his parents on Seinfeld.

In some ways it was my first grown up Thanksgiving, because it was my home, and more importantly, my decision, as opposed to just figuring out how to pass the time while the kids are gone or making sure my parents have somewhere to eat (or, in the old days, doing time with the in-laws).  Now I’ve christened my house as our family home.  It only took three years.

Weird that my first Thanksgiving dinner in my own house did not include my children, but at least they know that holidays can happen here in our new house  home.

Just Me With . . . leftover Turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and something crossed on my bucket list that I didn’t even know was there.

He Lives With His Mother?

It’s sad but true, women will put up with a lot of crap.  But it seems like one thing is very universally unacceptable — when an adult man lives with his mother.

Carrie and “Power Lad” who lived with his parents in a New York classic six apartment on the Upper East Side with a terrace overlooking the park.

Remember in Sex and The City when Carrie discovered that her latest guy shared a beautiful apartment with his parents?

Samantha He lives with his parents?
CarrieIt’s their apartment.
SamanthaSo not sexy honey.  Dump him immediately.  Here — use my cell phone.

Season Three, Episode 15.

Carrie didn’t dump him immediately, because she liked him, his parents were friendly and brought them food and he was a struggling business owner.

Once she realized, however, that Power Lad was still a child in the household, governed by his parents’ rules,  and that he was not saving money but actually spending it on really good pot, well it eventually ended.

I have some experience with this, the momma dwellers.  I hesitate to call these men out, even if I don’t use their real names, but I feel it’s a topic worth dancing around.  My momma dwellers are educated, well-spoken men.  I didn’t write them off immediately because  I’d known them since they lived in dorms.  Plus, there are certain category of momma dwellers that deserve a chance.
No Dumping Allowed
In my humble opinion, the following momma dwellers should not be immediately discarded:
1. Twenty Something Guy

I haven’t had one of these, but this  guy  is just out of school, has his  first real  job or is looking for one.  He’s recently discovered,  “Dude, they want first and last month’s rent and security before I move in?  That’s a lot of money.”  Yeah dude, better get a bank account.

Acceptable:  If he is saving for his own place.

Unacceptable : If his Mom still does all his laundry, cooks all his meals, he drives her car and he routinely buys rounds for everybody at the local bar.

2.  Break Up Guy

So the marriage/relationship didn’t work and he moved out of the  home, leaving the kids (if any) with their mother.  Suddenly he’s  homeless.  You can’t sleep on somebody’s couch forever and his married buddies are not taking him in long-term  . . . so . . .  he moves in with his mom.

Acceptable:  If he is providing financial support to his kids, someone has filed for divorce, and he is actively looking for his own place.

Unacceptable:  If he visits the kids at the marital home  “overnight.”

3.  Norman?    Older guy taking care of his elderly or sick mother.

A boy's best friend is his mother.

“A boy’s best friend is his mother.” Psycho

This guy still lives in his home town, and may even  have a good job and  his own place.   But his mother is getting older, or has taken ill. Maybe she’s widowed or divorced, either way she’s alone and probably should not live that way.  So he, like a champ, gives up, sublets, or keeps his place — but  he moves in with this mother.  He is probably a good guy, but depending on his mother’s condition, this could go on  indefinitely.

Acceptable:  If the mom is really sick.

Unacceptable:  If the mom goes out more often than he does.

4. Ethnic/Large family/family business guy or filthy rich blue blood guy

The heir to the family fortune and estate might still live with his mum.

The heir to the family fortune and estate might still live with his mum.

This guy works in his family business.  So does everybody else.  They all live in the large family home.  If you were to marry him, you might live there too for a bit. Ironically, this also happens in blue blood very rich families or royalty, “Chad” will move back to the main house while interning for “Daddy’s” company.  Except in that case Chad’s bedroom could probably accommodate most of the ethnic guy’s family and their business.

Acceptable:  If he wants to have his own family one day.

Unacceptable: If he buys a dog.  (There’s no way he’s thinking about leaving if he’s recently acquired a dog.)

If he’s a Prince, yeah, he can live with this mom.

5.  Grad school student guy.   This is a guy getting an advanced degree, perhaps a professional degree.   He studies all the time.  He lives with his parents because he can’t justify paying rent only to be conscious there a couple of hours a day.   He reasons, “Why pay for a city apartment just to study and occasionally sleep there?”   — especially true for medical students or interns.   This arrangement is almost always  temporary, and, frankly,  worth the investment.  One day he’ll graduate — and probably get a damn good job.

Acceptable:  If he is actually in school.

Unacceptable:  If he is merely planning to get back to school.  Look for that acceptance letter.

George lived with his parents before moving in with Meredith and the gang on Grey’s Anatomy

You see, a guy living with his momma should be given an opportunity to explain.   It should not be a deal breaker– at least not  until you know the underlying reasons and can access the likely duration of the living “arrangement.”

Enough Red Flags for a Communist Parade

But here are the red flags I don’t believe anyone should ignore:

1. He has a basement “room” completely set up where he pursues his personal interests — music, computers, lifting weights.  Yeah, this dude has set up house.  He ain’t going nowhere.

2.  He works from home, yet there is no home office,  desk, or computer and he has no cell phone.

3.  He’s mentioned that he hopes to inherit the house.

4.  He has never actually said he plans to move.   Pay attention to the silences.  The silences are very important.

Just Me With . . .  no momma dwellers at the moment:   one is estranged,  “If I’d Married My Stalker,”  the other is a very  special friend, “We Thought You Were Dead, Mommy — Almost F*cked to Death”