A 30-year-old American man – or perhaps man child – made news last week for something probably no one ever wants to make the news for: his parents won a legal battle to evict him from their house.
Talk about feeling unwanted.
Michael Rotondo had been living with his parents in Syracuse, New York, for the past eight years. He had only lived away for a two-year period when he was in university. He dropped out because he “couldn’t hack the maths”, which to be fair, who can?
But still, why not transfer and get a degree in liberal arts like everyone else? His parents took to leaving him various self-esteem boosting notes like, “There are jobs available even for those with a poor work history like you”, and “Get one – you have to work!”
That sounds cold but clearly his parents, probably worried for the welfare of a son who seems immune to working, were pushed too far. Of the little over US$1,000 (RM4,000) they gave him to move out, he reportedly said, “I was originally hoping to give it back … but I had to spend it and I’m not sorry about it.”
He noted it went towards “expenses”, which when you’re not actually employed is really a super euphemism to call paying for your Xbox One gold subscription or whatever as “expenses”. But that’s just speculation. Who knows?
The odd thing – or perhaps it’s not odd at all – is the entitlement of Mr Rotondo.
His parents were only capable of making him move out of their house by harnessing the power of the highest court in Syracuse, and when the spotlight turned on him, Mr Rotondo seemed to show no embarrassment at all. In fact, he seemed energised about making his case to the world.
The judge smiled at him and urged him to speak to his parents and voluntarily leave on his own, but he refused. When the judge told him his requested six months notice to move out was outrageous, Mr Rotondo countered by saying the eviction in general was outrageous.
We should be reminded at this point, that Mr Rotondo didn’t have a job for eight years because it would inconvenience his “poor person” status and would mean he couldn’t get his legal fees waived.
So he waited for eight years. Sponging off his parents. To avoid paying. He would rather be jobless, and give up starting a career, to waive his legal fees. I’m not sure that’s really thinking ahead.
During the trial Mr Rotondo admitted to never contributing to household chores, which is really charming of a housemate, and when the trial was over instead of running for the parking lot hiding his face, he called an impromptu press conference at which he announced he would appeal the ruling, whined that the judge had not properly read his case, and that he was planning on leaving his parents residence in three months anyway.
Suuuuure, dude. That’s the old, I was gonna break up with her but she did it first.
Given the amount of self entitlement on display in court, you can imagine it’s just he tip of the iceberg of what must happen at home, and suddenly it seems completely reasonable to want this sloth of a person out of your home, son or no son.
It takes a certain kind of person to stay so long at their parents place that the highest court in the land has to be called in to kick them out. And that person is probably a sloth.
The unfortunate thing is Mr Rotondo is a millennial. As the older generation gangs up on the generation about to take the reigns of the world, they are calling them out as lazy, smart but entitled to the point of crippling themselves – and that is a perfect description of Mr Rotondo.
What I would say to that is Mr Rotondo is the way he is not because he’s a millennial but because he’s Mr Rotondo and Mr Rotondo wants to live indefinitely in Mr and Mrs Rotondo’s house. “Because expenses.”
Getting away from the comforting teat of home for the first time is tough. It’s hard to carve out a little spot in the world for yourself. But the sooner you get out there, inevitably mess things up, the sooner you can start getting things right and feel the pride of building your own life.
Hopefully Mr Rotondo can get out there and make it happen. And I’m sure when he does, his parents will let him visit. Maybe. As long as he doesn’t bring luggage.