Deborah Ross: The truth about a 19-year-old still at home

If you ask me... You will wear your jeans halfway down your arse and aggressively resist your mother's attempts to hoik them up from behind
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, and following on from the report about the signs which show you are still young, I would like to add the signs which show you are a 19-year-old boy still living at home despite your mother's best efforts to push you out the nest:

1. You will spend five months travelling and when your mother picks you up from Heathrow the first thing you will say, after passing over your heavy rucksack, is: "What's for dinner?"

2. You will, every time you take your trainers off, sniff them noisily before offering them round with the following entreaty: "Go on. Smell."

3. You will wear your jeans halfway down your arse and aggressively resist your mother's attempts to hoik them up from behind.

4. You will roll your eyeballs skywards in an exaggerated fashion whenever your mother makes a joke, even if it's hilarious, as her jokes so often are. (Ask anyone.)

5. You will announce you're "off to the hood" to do some "chillin'" even though, as your mother has tried to subtly point out to you over the years but will now come out and say: YOU ARE NOT BLACK!

6: You will announce your toileting plans by saying: "I'm off for a shit."

7. You will accuse your mother of being a nag and a drag (she isn't; ask anyone) until such time as you need to cadge a lift in which case you will be nice as pie and do hugs (flinchingly, reluctantly, and not exactly worth the round trip to Fulham, in the mother's opinion).

8. You will steal girls – ones who have spent the night – out of the house under a cloak of darkness, looking both ways from your bedroom door, even though your mother would only wish to ask her who she is, where she went to school, what her parents do, what her long-term plans for the future might be and if she might like to have a go at hoiking your jeans up from behind.

9. You will travel halfway across the country to a party or club but somehow a trip to the corner shop for milk is always too much for you.

10. You will, in those instances when your mother does not wish to smell your trainers, rugby tackle her to the ground, sit on her, and shove them in her face.

This is why your mother is trying to push you out of the nest, and will carry on doing so for the foreseeable future. Get over it or, better still, get a room in someone else's house ... she might even willingly give you a lift.