Living On Your Own
February 8, 2010 | By

Twenty-one-year-old college senior Jeff Richards was in the midst of attending a boring family gathering. He usually didn't bother going to these events as he usually felt he had something better to do, but some of his more persuasive relatives had convinced him that he should "at least see his family once a year."

While attempting to eat dinner quietly, Jeff had been suckered into engaging in a discussion about his plans for the future with his mother and some of his aunts. Sensing that Jeff's self-esteem was just a little too high during the conversation, they attempted to knock him down a peg.

“Just wait until you’re out on your own someday,” his mother said in her best condescending, self-important voice, “Then you’ll have to pay your own bills. Then you’ll see how tough it is.”

Jeff felt that he could sort of see where she was coming from, but at the same time, he was full of confidence and couldn't help but disagree.

“I honestly don't think living out on my own will be all that bad," Jeff stated. "I know I can handle it. I believe in my own abilities to function independently.”

“Yeah, you say that now,” his mother scoffed, “But just wait until it actually happens. THEN YOU'LL SEE.” as she gave Jeff a knowing look.

* * * 8 MONTHS LATER... * * *

Twenty-two-year-old Jeff Richards returned home to his apartment. Feeling exhausted from another long day at his full-time job, he sluggishly sorted through the short stack of mail on the kitchen table. There were four bills. One from the electric company, one from the water department, one from his phone company and one from his cable and internet provider. In addition, he had just paid his rent the previous day.

About ten minutes later, Jeff had written out checks for all the bills, placed them in their respective return envelopes, and stamped the envelopes so that they were ready to be mailed first thing in the morning. Ever since he had moved out, it always seemed like his money was leaving his bank account just as quickly as it had entered.

With a tear running down his face, he picked up his cell phone and called his mother.


“Hi Mom, it's me, Jeff. Say, do you remember all those months ago when you warned me about how tough it would be to pay my own way once I was out living on my own?”


“Well I just wanted you to know that I WAS RIGHT and YOU WERE WRONG, stupid-ass! Paying my own way is SO SIMPLE. All I have to do is work at my job and pay the bills when they arrive each month. It's basically the easiest goddamn thing ever! The only reason you ever thought it was hard is because you're FUCKING LAZY!”

“Jeff! How dare you talk to me this way! I...”


Jeff shut off his phone and grabbed a beer out of his refrigerator. He began to drink it because he was an independent man and, well, why not drink some beer?