I Moved Back in with My Parents to Wait Out Coronavirus
By Klein Aleardi

When I moved out of my parents’ house, people used to joke that I would be back. I said, confidently, “Never.”

Looks like I was wrong.

Ok, so I wasn’t totally wrong. Waiting out a pandemic at my parents’ house isn’t exactly the same as ‘moving back home.’ But sometimes it feels that way – especially since I’m sleeping in a twin bed again.

Some things about the Aleardi household have changed drastically since my high school days, like the number of walks we go on, and some things have stayed exactly the same.

My parents still get their energy from embarrassing us, even when there’s no one around to be embarrassed in front of. The other day, my mom decided to wear the t-shirt she bought us for Christmas. It’s plastered with hers and my dad’s faces, and I, understandably, refuse to wear it. I thought it was a joke gift…I’m not so sure anymore.

The family still struggles to choose a show to watch every night. Mom and Marirose want to watch Real Housewives, Dad would love to watch any kind of sports – but also loves Real Housewives – and I’m making my way through Netflix original series. The good news is, we’re much more civil about it these days.

Luckily, we still have that one show that we can all watch together. In high school, it was Grey’s Anatomy, but we stopped watching that when McDreamy died. Now, the whole family watches Schitt’s Creek together. Since the series finale aired last month, we’re in search of a new ‘good for the whole family to watch’ show. (And yes, we’ve already gotten through Tiger King – and the bonus episode.)

One new, you could say lifesaving, addition to the house is that now we all drink alcohol. And we’ve all agreed that 3 o’clock is the new 5 o’clock.

Our conversations around the dinner table have also evolved – and so has dinner. Instead of rushing home after swim practice with take out in the backseat, I spend the evening with the family, brainstorming ways to make our third week of chicken, rice and a vegetable a little more exciting.

The latest solution is that we each are assigned a day of the week when we’re in charge of dinner. My Dad – who cooks 85% of the time – has made everything from meatballs to cheesesteaks. Tomorrow is my night, and I’m making pork fried rice. Marirose’s last masterpiece was really good salmon. Mom made her household staple: Breakfast for dinner.

After a few rounds of this experiment, we decided that a few rules were necessary.

Rule 1: You can’t use every pan we own. That’s a result of my BBQ project, in which I legitimately used every pan we have in the kitchen.

Rule 2: If the end result isn’t great, we can vote you off the roster. A brief consideration as the pancake batter my mom made from scratch began to bubble up for no reason. But those pancakes turned out ok, and no one has been voted off the (kitchen) island yet.

As for dinner-time conversations, they sound a little different too. Now, instead of announcing our grades, we share TikTok videos and review the latest Coronavirus news. And instead of cutting dinner short to meet my friends at the mall, I head to the other room for a Zoom happy hour.

This time definitely feels different. And I may be 10 years older. But here I am, sitting in my living room, waiting for summer to start so I can go hang out with my friends.

April 21, 2020
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