I was delighted to hear the news the other week that my brother - not the unemployed one - had moved into town just around the corner from me. He was to live with two friends and one of their girlfriends in an apartment that was, apparently, 'way better than mine'.
He wasn't lying.
I called around one evening to find a spacious loft-style complex complete with a 42'' flat screen state-of-the-art TV. It was like stepping into an episode of Friends.
All well deserved for four young professionals who had earned top marks in college one might think … except that my brother is days away from finding out if his job, in the financial world, is a gonner. One of his new housemates has no job: he has two degrees but since returning to Ireland in October has yet to unpack his rucksack and, when I called, was in his shorts complete with sand from Bondi beach. Luckily for him, his girlfriend is paying their share of the rent; her masters having earned her a career in accountancy that is secure for the time being. Not a sign of worry in this party house, they bought the TV for a staggering €900 for a special offer that allowed three years to pay it off. My TV was not much smaller but luckily it had been a gift rather than an over indulgent purchase..It got me wondering about my generation - why did we feel that, despite the threat of no jobs, we still deserve to lead luxurious lives? Is it because we have studied so hard until now, having spent our whole lives being told that getting through college was a means to a dream ending? Of course I couldn’t afford to pass judgement on why my brother had finally taken the plunge to move out of home at 25 when his job was on the line, as I had done so myself only two months previous, knowing well that my job was hanging by a thread at the time. We had both taken a huge risk with expensive rental deposits. For years we had claimed we couldn't afford to move out as we kept our money for more important things like socialising. The reality was we had plenty of money in our first jobs but were too comfortable in the family home. Funny then that we had finally moved out when our finances were at their worst. Perhaps there comes a time when you simply can’t stay at home a minute longer. Despite short stints of travelling, we had yet to set up our own base in town, it's just a pity our need to move out came in 2009 as we may both soon be back with our parents... and back to their 27 inch TV.