Punchy AdviceArchives

August 31, 1995

Woodstock asks Kauli:
I am moving out of my parent's house after only living there a month. I moved home after two years of being on my own, but now my friends think I am a loser for living with my parents. Do I go or do I stay?
Kauli Kauli answers:
Gee, would they let Ooni and me stay there?
Kelsey Kelsey adds:
You should forget what your friends say and decide if you want to stay there. It really depends on how you get along with your parents.
Punjabi Punjabi offers:
This, my friend, is a very American idea: that people are "losers" unless they can make it on their own. You call this the "rugged individual." Put into conjuction with the modern American theory that all parents are backward, narrow-minded and uptight (this theory was introduced in the '50's), these two beliefs cause young urban Americans to flee their homes as early as possible, having little idea what to do with themselves.

So often sadly these young people struggle most of their lives, remaining in debt, never able to buy their own property. Yet every year, immigrants from poor countries such as my own arrive, and with very little money of their own, they are able to acquire service stations, convenience stores and fast food restaurants. A visit to these establishments illustrates the secret of their success: they are truly family-run. You will notice the absence of ego-propelled American movie-hero dependence-phobia.

(I must admit that in this regard I am more "American" than my brothers and sisters. I came to the USA to study mathematics, and have succeeeded muchly on my own. However I am most grateful to my kindly parents who lovingly enabled my tuition, and when possible I enjoy to send them some of the fruits of my success.)

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