“Do you know,” the midwife leading the prenatal class asks her 10 couples, brightly, “the average age that an Australian child now leaves home?”
Nooooo, we don’t know, wise one. Please, share.
“Twenty-eight years old,” she tells us, with a wicked smile. “This little person living inside you is going to be under your roof for an average of 28 years.”
For some of us, that information was more shocking than what followed, a birthing video where a woman howled like a dog in a paddling pool full of goo.
I thought of that moment last night when I saw a young woman called Erin walking around a supermarket on a reality show called Married At First Sight, flummoxed by the physical characteristics of basil and pondering the possibility of buying a single celery stick.
You see, Erin had never been food-shopping without her mother. And Erin is 25.
Listen to the hosts of The Binge on all that is wrong with Married At First Sight, here:
The differences between Generation X and Generation Y is a tired, tired conversation.
Since the dawn of time, Old People have thought that Young People are silly and feckless, and Young People think that Old People are dumb and patronising. It’s the natural order of things.
But as an Old Person who works the middle of a delightful, sweet-smelling, extremely camera-happy muddle of Young People, I think their inability to leave home could be a genuine generational difference worthy of note.
Generation X could not WAIT to get out of the parental nest, earn their own money and embrace living in a succession of crappy shared houses where they would perfect the art of nagging their slacker housemates to change the bong water every once in a while.
Generation Y wonder why the hell they would subject themselves to anything less than mum and dad’s place, where there’s “free” wifi, a screening device in every room and a pile of clean washing that magically replenishes itself every couple of days.
The end result is Erin, who has to call her mother to find out what the difference is between salted and unsalted butter. Erin, there’s a clue in the title.
Erin didn’t seem to have much luck when it came to the food preparation, either. Post continues after video…
Twenty-five is not young. At 25, a person should have had to fend for themselves. They should not be standing in the middle of a supermarket, paralysed by their inability to open one of those infuriating plastic bags for grapes.
Yes, it’s tough. Almost as tough as deciding whether you want lite, soy, almond or A2 at the milk fridge. But you can do it, Erin. You really should have done it by now.
The thing that I want to yell at the cossetted Young People is that independence cannot be overrated. The freedom of your first pay packet, the joy of the four (probably thin, probably dirty) walls in the first home on which you pay the rent, that is empowering stuff.