Archive for the ‘Living with my parents’ Category

Call me Swine-y

November 8, 2009

…my sister has been calling me that all week (safely, via phone).

This Wednesday, after a few days of an increasing fever and generally feeling crappy, I went to the doctor. When he came into the examination room wearing a mask over his mouth and nose, I knew this wasn’t looking good.


When he told me I had the swine flu, though, I almost laughed. Knowing that that would seem rather inappropriate, considering the face mask and the cotton swabs and all, I coughed instead (which was convincing, considering the state of my lungs).

It’s not that I didn’t think it seriously sucked that I had managed to catch this ridiculously contagious virus, or that my entire body didn’t feel like it had been put through a meat grinder — no, it was just that it’s funny when you’re life is actually affected by the news…when you spend all day, every day talking and learning about the news.

It was rather ironic, too. You see, I’ve been making fun of the hysteria over swine flu since the outbreak began last year while I was interning at a major news network’s Web site. I’ll never forget the look on the harassed health reporter’s face that day. “It’s just the flu!” she would screech. Yes, I mocked the frenzy over the vaccination (“It’s just the flu,” I repeated with an heir of superiority) and I laughed at the incessant coverage and claimed it was all being manufactured by the media.

Well, I got mine.

I’ve spent four days now at home on the couch, drugged up on painkillers and tossing and turning through Nyquil-induced sleep. And let me tell you, if you want a flashback to childhood, get really sick while you’re living with your parents again. I’ve never felt less my age.

I drank 7-Up, read bad novels and watched Pride and Prejudice (not the 6-hour BBC version, mind you, but not for lack of time). I was spoon-fed cough medicine and always had a cold towel to put on my forehead (I’ve said it before, I have the best Dad ever). I haven’t spent this much time in my pajamas since that semester during my freshman year of college when my dorm was located approximately 50 feet from my 8:30 am class.

It’s been a refreshing experience for a self-confessed workaholic like myself, knowing that I wasn’t allowed to be around people. It’s also been about as boring as the subway ride from Fordham Road to Coney Island — and waaaay longer.

When I left the doctor’s office Wednesday, he offered me his hand to shake, probably out of habit. Shaking it, I said, “You’d better go wash your hands now.”

“I think I’ll go boil them,” he said.


My Mom is in Facebook Purgatory.

October 7, 2009


She’s done it twice now: Requested to be my friend on Facebook.

The last time she tried was years ago — sometime when I was probably a sophomore in college and therefore way too cool to be friends, let alone Facebook friends, with my mom.

And then last week, out of nowhere, after years of peaceful, not being Facebook friends (punctuated only once or twice a week by a comment from her about the fact that I refused to be her friend), she did it again!

So, my mom is in Facebook purgatory — that feared place where you get no answer from your friend request. She’s just sitting on my requests page. And I’m leaving her there. Until I make up my mind what to do with her, at least.

This time, it’s not because I’m too cool for my mom. Now I realize that she’s probably too cool for me. No, this time, I’m leaving her in Facebook purgatory on principle.

What principle? The one that says: That is just not what Facebook is for.

Now, I’m aware that Mark Zuckerberg would probably disagree with me, seeing as how he opened Facebook up to everyone and their Mom (literally) not too long ago. And it’s not that I think that was a mistake. It’s that I never thought my mom would join — or anyone’s moms, for that matter.

I’m aware that my this post makes me immature; I know it makes me seem like I have something to hide. (I promise, I really don’t.)

You see, I am of the (only) generation that remembers what it felt like to get that college email address and finally be able to join Facebook. It was a big, fat deal to a high school senior. It was liberating. It meant you were really in college now (even though you still had 2 months left of high school).

This goes against everything Jeff Jarvis says about the free and open internet. But, I’m not in opposing the fact that anyone should have a Facebook, I’m just in opposition of my Mom using it to figure out just what I’ve been up to for the last four years in college.

I’m not paranoid, I promise. I have a Mom who spent most of her life as a reporter. She wants to know everything about all of her children, and she will find out. She once found my sister at a hostel in Florence, drunk at 2 am. Seriously, my sister walked in the door (tripped is probably more like it) and the Italian guy at the front desk says, “Dana? Your mo-zer ees on thee phone.”

Like I said, that is just not what Facebook is for. It’s not for networking, or job-hunting or growing a virtual garden. It’s for friends — friends that I would not keep in touch with otherwise, friends I can’t see everyday (and, yes, it’s for tracking who’s getting married  and who dropped out and who’s dating and who broke up).

Facebook is for not forgetting birthdays and petitioning your school to have Stephen Colbert as your graduation speaker. In the words of another recent college graduate who finally accepted his mother’s friend request this summer, “it’s for picking up chicks.”

But, with the way things are going, it looks like I’ll have to give in sooner rather than later.

They say there is no privacy anymore, that headhunters and college counselors will find your facebook no matter what restrictions you’ve put up — and not hire you because of drunken pictures of you in Vegas or at a highlighter party, or drinking wine on a metro in Paris. They say that the world is online and online is open and you’d better open up to it or you’ll be left behind. At least, that’s what they’re telling us in J-School these days: Be public, be open, be linked, be your own brand.

Yes, it looks like I’ll have to open up, to be public and to let even my mom be my facebook friend.

–Eventually. She’s staying in purgatory for now.



My Dad does my laundry.

October 1, 2009


I probably shouldn’t admit that. Especially online, to the 25 people who read this blog.

But there it is — the really hard thing about insisting that I move out of my parents house as soon as possible.

(The other really hard thing about it is that I have absolutely no expenses right now — except for shopping and lunches at Matt’s. And those don’t count.)

As soon as I decided against taking out another $50,000 in loans to go to Medill last Spring, and that I’d come to ASU — in Phoenix, where my parents live, where I  have a bedroom full of stuffed animals and soccer trophies and porcelain dolls — I immediately insisted that I would NOT be living at home.

Then, my potential roommate lost her lucrative nannying position and I decided to wait to move out. Rents are too expensive alone.

Then, I started to get used to my Dad doing my laundry.

And now, I’m realizing what that really terrible Sarah Jessica Parker movie was about (the one with Matthew McConnaughey where he’s 30 and won’t  move out of his parents house.) It’s just so easy!

I have only one excuse for this that might make me seem a tiny bit less like a 22 year-old baby: I have the best Dad in the world. (I know everyone says that, and I’m sure you mean it too, but mine is really the best.)

He quit his job when I was a baby and has been a stay-at-home — cook dinner every night, make lunches every morning, put side ponytails in our hair, coach the soccer team, drive us to swim practice — Dad ever since. When my sister and I were kids, my Mom would come home from work to find my Dad cooking with painted fingernails. His big nails were so much easier to paint than ours.

Now, as I’m finding myself with more work than I’ve ever had in my entire life (yes, I know I thought that after high school and then after college, but I’m serious now) — I have to admit it, it’s a huge relief to have a back-up to my alarm clock when I turn it off in my sleep, coffee ready when I get up, and it’s really nice to have someone to do my laundry.

I know this can’t last forever. I know that I have to move out sometime soon. I know that, in the end, I’ll have to do my own laundry again.

But there is one consolation to this inevitable future: My Dad’s really terrible at doing laundry.