Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Lez Miserable

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Lez Miserable

Article excerpt

One twentysomething living at home is a tragedy. A million twentysomethings living at home is a statistic. Actually, there are 3.3 million people between the ages of 20 and 34 doing just that in the UK, according to a recent report by the Office for National Statistics. Over a quarter of young people have now returned, their tail between their legs, to their childhood bedrooms--and I'm one of them. Our walls are still pockmarked with Blu-Tack stains from Blink-182 posters. Covering those blemishes with prints by Norwegian graphic artists does little to convince us that we're functioning members of society.

When I discovered that 3,299,999 other members of my generation have also reverted to adolescence like a horde of dejected Benjamin Buttons, I felt troubled and comforted in equal measure. That there are so many other adults trying to take themselves seriously while being handed plates of fish fingers makes me want to laugh, cry and vomit at the same time.

But is living at home all that soul-destroying? Parents are lovely. That's something you learn when you complete puberty and suddenly they no longer stand against everything you believe in just by asking you how comfortable your shoes are or offering you a piece of fruit. Completely unprompted and seemingly by some kind of witchcraft, these people fill fridges with cheese and Gu puddings. Since moving back home, I've rediscovered the joy of hearing the phrase, "I'm going to Sainsbury's, do you want anything?"

Then again, parents' fridge-stuffing skills have to be weighed against their inability to knock on doors. …

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