Checking Out

Thorns of a Mesquite tree

“How is your day?” the cashier asked as he scanned the items one by one in slow motion. He looked to be in his late 20’s. The middle aged woman ahead of me wore a dark pants suit and looked to be in a hurry. It appeared there would be pasta for dinner in her house tonight.

My kids would love spaghetti and meatballs…

“Just fine. You?” She murmured politely as she pulled out her wallet.

“Terrible! It has been a terrible day. I woke up this morning to a text from my parents saying they are raising my rent. How can they do that? Raising the rent?!?!!!?! I live in their house! How DARE they?”

He went on to rant for several minutes about how he was just going to have to find somewhere else else to live and it was not fair. What, were they trying to get him to leave?

The woman stood awkwardly waiting on the receipt. He waved it around for emphasis as he told his story, effectively holding her hostage. Eventually she cleared her throat and held out her hand, offering no sympathy. Finally he handed the paper over. She grabbed the plastic sack and practically ran out of the store.

“How’s your day going?” he asked me as the scanner bleeped my few items.

“Just fine,” I said, stopping there.

Shaving cream.



Awkward silence.

“I guess they do want me to move out, huh?” He looked crestfallen.

“Yeah. Probably.”


100 thoughts on “Checking Out

  1. Funny what you hear in a store check out line! Find this overhearing employees personal information quite prevalent in many stores. To get attention, I’ve had to interrupt with a loud, “Excuse me,” Kids still living at home after high school or college need to pay rent, amount set based on their salary. Yep, they need to work & contribute! Happy Thursday, Victo! 🎶 Christine

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh geez! I suppose sometimes it pays to appear rude or hard of hearing and just not answer that “How’s your day going?” question…
    BTW, all 3 kids moved back at various times post high school/pre-career period. While no rent was charged they were asked to contribute to food costs or simply buy their own. Luckily none stayed so long that it seemed right to begin charging rent 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yes, we’ve been down that trail more than once. Daughter # 3 was in and out 3 times…yes, she paid rent not because I needed the $ but because, it would have been doing her a dis-service to get prepared for the real world…each time her quarters were a little more cramped (different rooms) there is a reason the eagle stirs the nest to boot out their young….too many bird butts sharing the nest is not good for anybody….and now as adults all of them LOVE To come home to stay in touch….(especially with the mama) Enjoyed this post. DM

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha ha ha. I never moved back home. Once I left, I left. I didn’t even enjoy sleeping over after a visit because the weather had turned mean and I had an hour’s drive back home. Tsk. Tsk. You have to learn to pay your own way sooner rather than later. Like one commenter mentioned, who wants to date a guy who lives with his mom? O_o

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hate to use the word “trigger,” and this is definitely not your fault, but I’m sorry you encountered someone like that. I worked full time, went to school full time, and in this fucking city I live in, I’m judged for living on my own at 26. Maybe because I’m single, and culture dictates that single women stay with their families (would be nice if some folks minded their business and stopped assuming that I live along the guidelines of THEIR culture).

    I’m disgusted with a lot of people within my age group. I do all that I can not to be like that person you described. Maybe I should get rid of my fucking psychiatrist too. The one who bitches to me about his 27 year-old daughter who lives at home, and why “she can’t be like you.”

    I’m sorry, but kick the parasite out. And stop flaunting your affluence in my face as you bitch about paying for her law school in full, Mister Psychiatrist.

    I’ll stop ranting. I’m a very bitter person.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s been reported that 47% of millennials either live at home or are financially supported by their parents. It’s a new world ! Most young adults don’t want to go public with it, though. And yes, this guy’s parents want him to move out.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I started paying rent the day I graduated from high school. It was not a lot but it was rent, like $15.00 a month. When I got married at barely 21, my Mom used the RENT money to help pay for some of my wedding reception. I never went back home…. oh hell no….
    Step daughter wanted to move back when she was 26. She had an substantial inheritance and I said oh hell no…. let’s go find you a place all of your own. She bought a small condo…and is very happy there. It’s a pig sty, but its her sty.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. My favorite aspect of this is that they told him over text even though they live in the same house haha That speaks volumes about technology and about their relationship.

    It’s interesting reading the comments and seeing how many people find living with one’s parents as “shameful.” I think the pride of moving out at 18 and being independent is a very American thing. I’m not actually sure if that’s true; I’m just judging by my time living abroad. Sometimes people move back home to help their parents, especially if they have financial or medical issues. Although, that doesn’t seem to be the case for this guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m grateful to my ex-inlaws for great training in matters like this. I learned over the years to NEVER ask they how they were. I always greeted them with a compliment on how thin or healthy they looked, but no inquiries about how they were doing. Of course, it’s also dangerous complimenting a stranger, so awkward silence is also a good tool. Well played.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Have a good attitude, clean up after yourself, help with chores and pay rent, is that so much to ask? But seriously, there’s nothing like paying all your own bills to help them grow up. My daughter told me a couple weeks ago that she had no idea how easy she had it at home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is different, isn’t it? One of the many things I have enjoyed about blogging is contrasting our norm with the rest of the world’s norm. Let me ask you this, if you don’t mind: Which is better? Sometimes I wonder if we wouldn’t be better off with maybe more of your type of culture.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It depends on the family. My household was very violent success before I was born. For my sister, aunts and grandparents tried to intervene with the parental violence but often couldn’t do anything as she was beaten. When my immediate family moved to our own flat due to more kids being born, it got worse without the protective buffer of other relatives.

        Caring for elderly, esp one’s parents is a very strong filial duty. All my life I’ve had a heavy burden of obligation and duty which I hear doesn’t exist in non abusive families. But there are many stories of abused adult children continuing to be abused by their now elderly parents… Yet of course there’s adult children who abuse their elderly parents. In a healthy family, I think even it depends…it can be a heavy burden to care for your own children plus your elderly parents even if it’s out of love. It is expected because your parents raised you and you must care for them. It can be good if everyone chips in but honestly honestly many Asian families are traumatised from war, colonism, intergenerational family dysfunction. Western culture is very individualistic and lonely but a lot of Asian parents can be really narcissistic. My view could be very skewed given my life experiences however…but many People of Colour I’ve gotten to know agree with me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I really believe it takes a village to raise a child and many families do manage to do that despite trauma and stuff. But many Asian countries have experienced war, and subjugation via colonism, attempted genocide and I’m sure all that trauma cascades down. In a loving immediate and extended family, I believe children can flourish and genuinely enjoy multi generational homes unlike the stressed, lonely nuclear family, but I think many Asian societies have experienced a lot of trauma tarnishing something that could be really healthy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think there’s many pros and cons if an extended family is a true village. The nuclear family alone in American culture sounds really lonely.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Sometimes when children move back home it is because their own home has dissolved. Parents have to have a tender heart then–at least for a while. But likely the very young adults are just not prepared for the big world outside. Is living alone more expensive than they can afford? Is being alone too scary? Is it over-the-top challenging? Who did not prepare them? Or is this inadequacy similar to the man and his mother who just needed to keep getting his check–the parasite people.

    Our kids left home too early for me. I had not yet learned to cook for two. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course all we are privy to is the minimal info presented here but when you asked who failed to prepare him for life, the fact that his parents texted him about the rent increase is telling, I think.


  12. I hope you will delete this after you read it. I need to ask a favor.

    Will you sell me a copy of that thorn picture? I can wait for a time to use it so people don’t remember where it came from.

    Liked by 1 person

      • We are surrounded (literally on every side) by thorn bushes that grow thick and tall. Just last week eight coolies came and cleared the lot behind us and there were literally truckloads of firewood for the poor. That part is good, but I hate (loathe is a better word) the thorns for many reasons. One is that they are so prolific.

        Of course, you know we do not live in the USA.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I recognized the mesquite tree. I grew up with a pasture full of mesquite trees and I ran barefoot when the weather was good. It was my duty to bring the cows home each evening and I stepped on plenty of thorns. Eventually I learned how to mostly avoid those awfully painful thorns by staying on the cow trail.

    The comments were all so interesting. My daughter never moved back home. Our son when to technical school after high school and lived at home until he was hired as machinist at Hercules. He then moved into his own quarters in the country. Neither of them have ever moved back home. They own their own homes that are paid for. Granted they are not fancy but they are decent, well kept. furnished and, appreciated.

    I feel for the checker. He hasn’t been able to face reality and realize how fortunate he has been. Eventually and hopefully he’ll appreciate his parents and how good he’s had it.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. If he’s telling random customers about his personal life during check-out, he’s obviously in need of some kind of help! I would have offered to pray with him about the situation, and in the prayer suggest God help him find a good place to live where everyone’s comfortable and a place he could afford. (I bet that would have shut him up, lol!)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Rent – that’s when reality hits the fan. However, there’s a new reality now where full time employment with benefits is extremely rare. Do you have food banks in the US? Well we have them in Canada, it’s where people go to get food when they don’t earn enough money to buy in conventional stores. Also there are a lot of homeless people. In the city of Toronto it cost over a million dollars to buy a house that is nothing more than a tear down. The cost of rental accommodation is, in turn, becoming prohibitive. I would take in any of my children, if needed, to keep them off the streets. That is the new reality that I see.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You actually said, “Yeah. Probably.”? That poor kid. Can’t even get sympathy from the customers in the checkout line! But at least he’s working, so probably he’ll find another place if he really wants to, or maybe he’ll just start paying the additional rent and let his parents stew. Maybe he’ll find a friend, or girlfriend (or boyfriend) to move in with. His problem, not yours. I think your response was probably the best one he received all day. It was certainly the most truthful one.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 🤣Ah, poor baby. I nearly choked during the awkward silence where you refused to ask him how he was. Unfortunately, he reminds me of my youngest son who was the last to leave the roost. No matter the hints I’d drop he really didn’t get it. Now he travels all over the states for his job and I couldn’t be prouder.

    Liked by 1 person

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