By Matt Moore, Contributor
1. Refer To Your Parents As Your Roommates
Moving back in with your parents after you have effectively become an adult can be challenging to navigate. When I moved back in, my mother sent me a five-paragraph MLA format text message outlining the “rules” she wanted me to follow when I returned home. I knew immediately something was going to have to be done when I read “no drugs” and “curfew” in the top five rules. I let my parents know that even though I was moving back in, they were no longer my parents but rather my roommates. While I was not paying rent, I assured them that “I’d have it as soon as I could” just like any good, unemployed roommate without a job would say without any actual intention of forking over the cash. Calling your parents your roommates will effectively level the playing field and make them realize that while they may have raised you for eighteen years, you are essentially equal in stature under the law now.
2. Consider Buying Better Drugs
While you were away at school or backpacking through Europe or teaching deaf kids in Libya English, you probably did not have to hide your party habits. At one point you likely blazed a joint in the living room because the night before you broke your bong and let the water pool up under the rug. However, your new roommates might not like the smell of dirty bong water on the sofa or an ash-covered coffee table. A courteous roommate would consider switching to better, less noticeable drugs. You are most likely back on your parents’ health insurance and that should be taken advantage of while possible. Anti-anxiety medications like Xanax make a nice alternative to the less discreet marijuana. These medications may also help in situations where your roommates won’t stop talking about their favorite celebs on Dancing with the Stars. Just try to stay away from needle drugs; no one likes to get stuck.
3. Always Offer To Pick Up Something For Dinner
Want pizza but can’t afford it? Always ask your roommates if they want something to eat for dinner, too. Most likely the only food in the house these days are probiotic yogurts and weird flatbreads. That kind of assortment is as sad as it is unappetizing and pizza is universally beloved. By asking your roommates if they want you to pick something up for dinner, it makes it easier for them to skip a healthy stay-at-home meal while making it look like you are doing them a favor by driving to pick it up. Of course, they foot the bill. Win-win.
4. Mark Your Territory
In the past your parents may have snuck into your room and searched for contraband, but now that you’re back it’s important to let them know that any breach of your privacy is grounds for criminal charges. Make it very clear to your roommates that any intrusion into your space will result in full force legal action. For good measure, give yourself a buffer zone. Perhaps cordon off the entire upstairs or basement or both. Draw a map and outline the border in red. People sue their parents all the time now, for like no reason, so maybe get a lawyer on retainer.
5. Learn When And When Not To Be Nice
I ask this question on stage a lot and in all sincerity it’s because I truly don’t know the answer. At what age do I have to pretend to be nice to my parents? I don’t want to wait too long but at the same time, if my mother asks me one more time if I’ve seen the new season of HBO’s Veep, I’m putting her in a home.
Matt Moore is a stand up comic and writer who first started in Florida and now lives in Boston. You can find him on stage making audiences feel bad so he can feel better. He has an EP “LIVE AT MOSEY’S” on SoundCloud and is constantly selling his soul on Twitter @Lilmattyice.