Monday, June 18, 2012

Life Lessons Learned

Well I told you guys about the Aspiring Adult moving out a few weeks ago, but didn't tell you what motivated it.

There wasn't anything acrimonious, like when I kicked him out a few years ago. When we let him come back, he had learned a lesson, and actually was just a gem for the most part.

One thing I can say about this kid is that he doesn't have to learn a lesson twice.

He's 20 now, and has been living here rent-free, going to college part-time and working full time as a CNA. We were hoping that he'd save as much money as he could (we've been paying for college because we don't want to saddle him with student loans and want to give our kids the best advantages we can afford) while he was here, so that he'd get a good start.

But he hasn't quite managed it because 1) he likes nice things and 2) he has a high-maintenance girlfriend who also likes nice things but doesn't think she should have to pay for any of it.

So when he started talking about finding a place with his BFF, Hubby and I were concerned. Again 1) he already drives 40 minutes farther into the mountains to his job and there is NO housing there, and 2) There are no apartments or trailer parks in our bedroom community aka little affordable housing in our town. If he could find something in his price range, he'd have to go 30 minutes in the other direction to the big city.

Meaning he'd have to drive over an hour to work each way. yikes.

Hubby counseled him to stay home and put away 500.00 a month in savings for 6 months and then think about it. That way he'd have a cushion. I mean we have few rules and he pays no expenses to live here. He pretty much comes and goes as he pleases as long as he isn't noisy when he comes home late or sexes up his gf in our home.

Well trust these boys to be extremely well-connected or really really lucky. LOL They found a guy who had to move out of town for his job but couldn't unload his duplex in this economy, and agreed to rent it to them at a VERY reasonable price. So they signed a year's lease immediately.

And I have to say that the AA's roommate has a really good job so he'll be able to afford his share without issues. He works at the town's only computer repair store and has a side business on his own and he is rolling in work.

So that's the backstory to Lesson's Learned. Thanks for hanging in here thus far. LOL

When the AA signed the lease without telling us, he hadn't actually thought everything through. Like how he and his bud were going to furnish the place.

The AA says to me, "We have the use of a truck for three days. When will the best time for me to come and move my stuff?"

I was a little puzzled. Everything he owned could be moved in a couple of trips in his car. What would he need a big truck for?

"Well for my bedroom furniture and stuff from the basement."

Whoa, hold it right there, buddy. Exactly what did he mean by that?

"Well there's couches and tables and things down there and my bedroom stuff."

Stop. Stop right there.

When the kid moved in with us at the age of 17, we didn't have extra bedrooms. We DID have a guest room that was furnished in family heirlooms and antiques. We also really couldn't afford to outfit him with a new bedroom set, so after talking to him seriously, we decided that he was careful enough to use the stuff (the tops were covered for protection) until the time came that he moved out or we had extra dough to find something else. With all the medical bills and college tuition, and since he took such great care with our things, we just never got around to it.

But for some reason, he assumed that since he had use of it, it was now his to take with him.

A Chippendale Armoire? A dresser that's been in my family for over a hundred years?

I don't think so.

And the stuff in the basement? Things we inherited that we stored until the day we didn't have young rambunctious boys in our home and could enjoy with an empty nest.

So there was a bit of a dust-up about that. He was outraged. LOL It's a parent's JOB to set their kids up with furniture when they moved out. Didn't we know that? All his friends' parents did that!

On what planet? I asked. And do they also carry the full bill for their kids' tuition on top of it? Feeling mighty self-entitled, aren't you?

"Well what am I going to sleep on?", he moaned. "Where am I going to put my clothes?"

Goodwill, Walmart air mattress, and I'm sure your new room has a closet. I got lots of coat hangers that you can have. Roll up your undies and stuff and put them on the top shelf until you can afford a dresser.  If you've got enough money to move out on your own, you need to be able to furnish it yourself!

He got over it. Especially since I DID outfit him with some pretty nifty kitchen gear and appliances.

His first few weeks in his own place has been a true learning experience for him. He's learning what it's like to live with a person who has had somebody to pick up after him and never learned how to do it himself. And other inconsiderations.

His buddy's girlfriend is out of school and spends the day hanging out there since she doesn't have a job or anything. She helps herself to the AA's stuff (the sacred macaroni and cheese for one), only eats two bites to keep her girlish figure, and then leaves it out all day so that it's too dry for anyone else to eat it 8 hours later when they get home from work. Plus he ends up having to clean up her mess, because it doesn't occur to his buddy to make his gf clean it up or clean it up himself. The kid worked the night shift and came home to his bacon and eggs being left on the counter all night. The waste is driving him crazy, since he's paying for it.

Heh. LOL  And yes, he's appreciating us more.

The other thing is that since his buddy gets the master bedroom, the AA gets the one-car garage. That's how they divvied it up and sounds like a plan to me.

Except that last Saturday, roomy and girlfriend took her car to go on an early hike. Roomy's car was in the driveway, blocking the AA in so he couldn't get out to go to work. Roomy left his cell phone, but took his keys. Joy.

Heh. LOL When the AA was living here, we had about 3 go-arounds about him parking in front of MY garage door so I couldn't get out. Karma, baby.  Karma.

Right now, since school is out, he is working 3 jobs. One full time at the nursing home, 2 part time for individual clients.

I am really proud of him. Though I'm chuckling, and kind of poking fun, I know these are lessons he needs to learn.

Thanks to God or the Goddess that he's a kid who DOES learn. I'm sure they'll get things ironed out eventually.

Until then, is it ok if I get a kick out of it?  Or does that make me evil?


Webster said...

Oh Attila, I can hear your snickering. Okay, also the occasional guffaw. But seriously, you need to tell AA how to confront the wrongdoers. Namely, the inconsiderate roomy who is walking all over him, and the g/f who is eating all his food. House Rules, baby... House Rules. Written in ink and posted on the refrigerator. His name on items he bought, and with the # of eggs left in the carton each time HE uses one. Etc. Etc. If he is as smart as you seem to think he is, he will learn quickly. He already has to pay a lot for gasoline, and he works hard for his money, but this boy must learn to stick up for himself.

At least it's his choice what he buys for his own g/f, though she may be taking advantage of him. That's another issue. So, c'mon, Mom - Help him set boundaries with he roomies.

Then chuckle yourself to sleep.

Attila the Mom said...

Oh Webster, believe me, the kid knows how to stick up for himself. The roomy has already replaced the food and they've negotiated what's communal and what's not.

It's just two kids that are on their own for the first time and learning that successful cohabitation takes a bit of consideration and work. ;-)

Beth said...

It's what they leave behind that drives me crazy!
A serious threat to GET RID of it all is soon coming... ;)

Jeanie said...

It sounds like your Aspiring Adult is making his way toward full adulthood, with lots of the normal pitfalls along the way. Sometimes all we can do is sit back a chuckle a bit.

Rootietoot said...

Go right ahead and get a kick out of it. Awful roommates are how people learn what other people are REALLY like, and How Not To Treat Others. As long as he's fairly safe and healthy, these are good lessons for him.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I think he'll be fine in the long run--sounds like he's learning a LOT right now, but probably enjoying the feel of being all grown up just as much.

Krishanna said...

SO good to drop by and find you here, happy and enjoying your life, girlie...Hugs

Valerie Marie said...

AA must be so thankful to have such a family. You did a great job an no, you're not evil! Hugs and kisses from Frankfurt

Brenda said...

At least he DOES learn from his errors. I have grown kids who haven't figured that lesson out yet.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish for those joys! I can't get mine out of the house with dynamite!!! Enjoy the laughter and have some for me!