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There's nothing wrong with babying your baby. Unless he's 30.


"Did you remember to buy me Pepsi, gummy bears, and chocolate chip cookies -- the soft kind?" asked my son, as I schlepped in 30 plastic shopping bags, each holding two items: something made of steel on top of something made of squish.

"I got it, I got it," I answered wearily.

"Good. What about the Altoids ... and cigarettes?"

Did I mention he's 30?

Like many bizarro boomers, when I gave birth, I vowed to be parent-perfect. My child would be allowed to "express" himself, "be" himself, "find" himself. As a Jewish parent, "perfect" was a starting point. I was determined to be a "Joomer" – Boomer mama deluxe.

Which is why I'm asking him if he prefers U-Bet or Metamucil with his Oreos.

Not too long ago, I read an article on a hot new life stage: "adultalescence." It's characterized by Boomer parents serving up pity, a "pad," and pablum to their adult offspring who have moved "back in" -- or never moved out.

Oy, I wondered. Whatever happened to that sad little hyphenate we invented for our own parents? "Empty-nesters?" Remember them? The Jewish mama who felt outsourced when we found out that ketchup wasn't the only condiment and we wouldn't be struck by lightning if we dated a goyishe guy. As soon as we learned these marvels, we left. (Okay, we ran.) And we didn't look back much, unless positively forced to -- in therapy.

With age, we narcissists started to wonder about our empty-nester parents. "What would they live for?" we worried. As usual, life had a way of putting things right. Somehow they managed to muddle through. With the miracle of anti-aging shakes, Viagra, and "wellness clinics," they danced around early bird buffets, booked into elder-hostels, and downsized to motor, and manufactured homes in places like Miami Beach and Scottsdale.

And the joke was on us. Not one was a two-bedroom.

While mama and papa were learning to rap, line-dance, and traverse the Rockies in their RVs, we were working two careers, caring for our own 30-year-old "kids," and couldn't send them to their bubbe and zayde whose "guest room" consists of a pull-out sofa.

So we're stuck with our "adultalescents" -- the snazzy new psycho-babble for kids who don't leave home till they're eligible for Medicare.

We're stuck with our "adultalescents" -- the snazzy new psycho-babble for kids who don't leave home till they're eligible for Medicare.

In fact, in at least one country, Italy "adultalescence" is being recognized by the laws of the land.

Not long ago, the Italian high court ruled a father had to pay child support for his 29-year-old son until "he is able to find a job that satisfies his aspirations."

Our adult slackers finally found it. A way to affirm their "right" to lay around like road kill until their talent is fully recognized – or they inherit the house.

Our generation that had two simple goals: 1) avoid global destruction, 2) move out.

Our aging kids' goals? Avoid global destruction -- and stay IN ... while "musing upon a job that satisfies their aspirations."

But more, the Court not only affirmed our aging offspring's right to claim our IRAs as their sole support, the Justices gave it a cause. Yes. Here I thought this was a problem we boomers and Joomers created, thanks to our "constant clap clap" parenting. Ah, but the Supreme Court of Italy has given us a reprieve. We have something else to blame. It's called Culpable Inertia or "CI." Yes. Much like ADHD, slackerism is now a ... "condition."

So the very next time you find yourself asking your 37-year-old bohmer and bohmerkeh if they wants a bissel Manischewitz with their Lunchables, you needn't fret, defend, or slink in shame. No, hold your head high and yell for all to hear: "Excuse me, but he suffers from ... CI ... ‘culpable inertia.'"

I tell you, I'm going. Oh yes. I'm changing my name to Marnafia, putting an ad in the Naples Gazette, myself up for adoption, and finding me a nice Yiddishe Italian "papa" who'll pay my way until I'm able to find a job that "satisfies all of my aspirations." Ballet's nice ...

March 1, 2008

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Visitor Comments: 8

(8) Ronni, March 23, 2008 12:57 PM

Get A Life

If the parents don't want a life of their own (or at least Mom doesn't while Dad suffers silently) and they don't mind having to sneak around to have a little fun with another adult in the next room well, that's their choice; there's a reason for their child's immature behavior. Go put a down payment and first month's rent on a place, help the overgrown child pack and say now you're on your own and change the locks if you're really bothered by it.

(7) Anonymous, March 10, 2008 5:46 PM


To Roxgoy: I don't know what's funnier ... the fact that you're still living at home at thirty-two! or that you're defensive about it!!!! Only makes this article even more hysterical. Maybe you were raised by "Goymers" but I would bet my legal pad that you "ain't" paying half of what you would in an apartment.
Don't blame the author. She's obviously right on!!!

Howard, the lawyer

(6) Jessica Barrett, March 5, 2008 8:12 PM

Funny but true

This was seriously hilarious, I'm not Jewish but was pointed to this column by a friend and I totally know guys like this. *cough, cough* ex-boyfriend. Still, I think maybe I'll wait a little bit to have kids now haha

(5) gila, March 5, 2008 5:43 AM

what the brain doesn't do, time does

The Joomers, seduced by the new psycho-religion, told their parents off - and they went. Mr RoxGoy, its nice you help a little, but sorry, not to be compared with marrying a good woman and sheltering, feeding and clothing her and her kids, make your mother happy and get married already. When the nice Jewish girl, forced to be 'independent' by psychobabble, finds she doesn't have enough 'strength' to do 2 demanding jobs full time and wonders where the good Jewish men are, she need not wonder where they went. They overworked nice Jewish girl who told her parents off was not so attractive, but the nice shiksa girl who took good care of herself and did not run herself ragged, married the jewish girl's intended because he was such a great guy. So the Jewish girl got left behind, the shiksa lady and the jewish man made it work or didn't, and here we are, joomers at 50+ finally finding each other. When they could have had children together they were too busy with nonsense. When they got serious, it was too late for children.

(4) Rox (goy), March 4, 2008 9:38 AM

Wet blanket alert! (read with caution!)

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but I don't find this article funny.

I'm not Jewish, and granted, I'm 32 and living with my parents, but the sheer extent that some are spoon-fed, like described, just infuriates me. I would NEVER expect my mother to give me this level of pampering, or ask my mother if she remembered to get such-and such for me.

There is *nothing* more unattractive, in a man especially, than expecting to have everyone around you be your indentured servant.

I may be living at home, but I clean, cook, do ALL my own chores, handle ALL my own finances, and for Pete's sake, I buy my own food!

It breaks my heart to say it, but the next time a lovely, smart, *independent* Jewish girl is saddened by a lack of good Jewish men to marry, don't forget to link back to this article....and don't EVER forget how you raised your boys and/ or children.

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