No one told me I should’ve bought a revolving door when I relocated cities and moved to Austin, Texas. When I first told the world (Facebook) that I was making the move, people were texting and chatting me about how they were “SOOO going to visit soon!” They were the kind of messages that have the best of intentions, but usually mean they are SOOO not going to visit. Kind of like when an ex says “we should still be friends” or you tell your best friend at high school graduation that you’ll “stay in touch” through college. I wrote them all off as courtesy wrapped in that awkward, postgrad way of not knowing what to say or how to say goodbye. Then I got more texts.
“Hey man, we were thinking of making a trip out that way. Got a place to stay…for two weeks?”
“So I have an interview for this sure thing, you mind letting stay for a few days?”
“Guess who’s moving to AUSTINNNN!!!111?!1?! Hope it’s cool if I crash while I get on my feet? I don’t really have a job yet.”
The thing about these cities running rampant with young people is this: they attract more young people. Like moths to a neon sign that says “Free Kale,” the youth of America just loves to congregate in the hippest and coolest places. Right now, Austin is one of them. With an influx of young people rushing to shack up in this city that they will later claim was ruined by the influx of young people, there has been a rise in displaced, unemployed youth. Fortunately for them, it’s 2014. Instead of having to rough it against the elements, they can crash at a friend’s house furnished with that sweet, gooey, trust fund money. I call these people “crouchers.”
A croucher is your postgrad equivalent to a homeless person, squatter, or 1920s train vagabond. Where an actual homeless person hits the cold, hard pavement when they squat somewhere, a postgrad “croucher” gets just low enough for their entitled ass to fall comfortably onto an IKEA couch that his friend paid to have assembled. (“Wait…you put together your IKEA furniture yourself? How’s peasant life, underling?”) Anyway, not all crouchers are the same. They come in different types and severity and some are easier to deal with than others. Kind of like STDs. Here is a garden variety of some crouchers you may encounter.
1. The Bed And Breakfast-er
Although they are easy to deal with short-term, these crouchers can easily be some of the most annoying. Somehow these people have what seem like endless amounts of paid time off, yet they can’t afford a hotel. Because you have lived in your new city for a lengthy three months, they see you as a seasoned veteran when it comes to finding the best places to go out for food and booze. By the way, you’re going to be going out for food and booze. Every night. This is their vacation! Quit being such a buzzkill! Spend your money aimlessly! Rent is FREEEEE…for them. Just grit your teeth and mop up when their month-long bender is over.
2. The Ungenuine Job-Seeker
When you relocated, you had a job lined up and your first month of rent paid. How responsible of you. “Who would just leave everything and move to a new city with no way to support themselves?” you ask yourself while jovially unpacking your things in your cramped new home. You even let out a little chuckle. “Silly drifters and their dreams,” you think.
Uh-oh. That knock sounded kind of lazy. I’ll tell you who doesn’t make plans and simply moves cities–it’s that damn croucher, and he needs a place to stay rent-free while he looks for a job.
“I mean, you understand,” he says as he plops down his paraphernalia-filled duffel bag. “Sometimes you just need to clear your head and change your scenery.”
Because your lives are so paralleled, you with your job that pays the bills and the croucher with his…passion, you will let him stay for a while out of good faith that he will get a job and find his own place.
Much like the date of the apocalypse set by those people who pray with snakes on their heads, the date he moves out keeps getting pushed back. His passions change. He needs to find himself. You can’t rush that, man! You will almost have to send out job applications for him, and there will be a point where you have to shatter his universe and explain that no one wants to read the memoirs of a person who has more bong residue saved up than actual money. But eventually you will have to lay down the hammer.
3. The Unemployed Millionaire
When you combine these crouchers’ allowances and indefinite free rent, the world is their undeserved oyster. Yes, I said allowance. These people have degrees and resumes, but the complete lack of any drive because they’ve been suckling the golden teet of their helicopter mommy and daddy for so long.
They will party harder than you. They will eat better than you. They will live with you.
Envy and rage will consume your soul.
“H–h–howww?” you will mutter to yourself repeatedly, like a war prisoner.
How what? How can they have such a great time, not work, stay at your place for free, and not realize how they are terrible people for offering nothing in return?
No one has ever asked them. Here’s some advice: ask for rent. These are people who are the byproduct of participation medals and entitlement. As in, a terrible combo. They’ll probably be so jarred by the idea of chipping in that they’ll either move out or help out.
4. The Ideal Croucher
The ideal croucher aced an interview, got the job, and for some unknown reason was placed in a pressure situation where he had to move the next week. He asked multiple times if you were sure it was ok with you that he stayed, and his graciousness is almost annoying. Somehow you inadvertently feel like you could be doing more for him. What the hell is that? He eats your food, but he prepares it for you. He drinks your booze, but he cleans up the parties. When he gets on his feet, he will probably take you out to dinner or out for a night on the town. These assholes are called your friends. Let them crouch all day–you’ll be paid back in good company alone.