Tonight was no different. As I hungrily dug into my mashed potatoes, Uncle Harold inquired as to when I was going to “stop fooling around in college and get a real job”. Without putting down my fork (I was starving after all), I told him I don’t go to college, I work for the college, and I don’t live in my residence hall, I own it. Before I got myself in trouble with an even snarkier comment, I quickly shoved by oversized bite into my mouth. The only response I got from Uncle Harold was a smirk and a “humpf”—he didn’t get it.
Additionally, after all gifts were unwrapped and the living room looked like Santa’s Workshop exploded, I gathered up the candles and hot plate my parents bought for me and prepared to ship them to less fortunate twenty-somethings without a proper collection of scented votives. However, my mother intervened and demanded to know why I wasn’t bringing them home with me. With a heavy sigh, I explained (again!) that I live in a residence hall and candles are not permitted according to the student handbook, which I am required to follow. I even quoted the specific paragraph and cited the exact passage number. She just glared at me with a hand on her hip as I made my usual piles, items I can take home and items relegated to the realm of regifting.
One of these days, one of two things will happen: my family will finally understand what I do for a living and take it seriously, rather than assume I am a lost college student-wannabe who can’t give up the life of residence halls. Or, I will find another job that pays terribly, offers no free apartment, and requires me to commute. In their eyes, this would qualify as a “real job”, and they would stop harassing me about whether or not “I’m still an RA”.