Editor’s Note: This report filed by shoutabyss is another piece in our ongoing series of team coverage of False Empty Nest Syndrome (or FENS). If you’ve missed our previous coverage, “gerbil” is the term we’ve come up with to describe a youngling who fails to leave the nest, thus triggering the onset of “False Empty Nest Syndrome.”
Did you know we have two gerbils? Our previous coverage has primarily focused on gerbil #2 who still lives in our home. (More on that later.)
Today, however, I’d like to introduce gerbil #1, who paved the way for gerbil #2 by being an excellent research subject in the area of FENS.
A brief dossier on gerbil #1: Subject is male, about 24 years old, a high school dropout, and has never worked on obtaining his GED. (As you can see there are remarkable similarities to gerbil #2.) Characteristics unique to this subject, however, include: Became a father a little over a year ago, left the mother of his child, and now resides with a new girlfriend in a nearby city. (In FENS terms, any situation resulting in the gerbil taking up primary residence in a domicile other than the parent’s is considered a major breakthrough.)
The events leading up to fatherhood are noteworthy in this case. The gerbil and his girlfriend made a deliberate and conscious decision against the use of birth control while opting to engage in sexual activity. (Our scientists are still baffled by this one.) Not baffling, however, is the result: A bouncy baby boy we have identified as Gerbil Gen III. Shortly after the birth of this baby, gerbil #1 left his girlfriend (the mother). One of the reasons he stated for doing this was because he couldn’t handle having a baby around. Naturally, he immediately obtained a new girlfriend and moved in with her. She already had a baby and was pregnant with another. (This is a prime example of gerbil logic.)
These events were noteworthy but were not of direct consequence to us since we were enjoying a period of extended FENS avoidance. Gerbil #1 actually had a job and hadn’t attempted to return to the nest for almost two years. As far as gerbil #1 was concerned, FENS was in remission.
About a month ago I spoke to gerbil #1 on the phone. He informed me that after discussion with his new girlfriend and “crunching the numbers” he had decided to quit his job (at Burger King) without any new prospects in sight. I asked, “So you just gave your two weeks notice?” He said no. His preferred strategy was to get angry and walk off the job. Admittedly this is a classic gerbil maneuver. He assured me that their budget would withstand the loss of income. They had crunched the numbers and money would be tight, but they’d be okay.
Fast forward to this week. I received a phone call from the gerbil. (A highly unusual event prompting our scientists to begin recording data.) It seems the gerbil had no auto insurance and was seeking a loan of $100.
Although technically not living at home, he somehow manages to cling to gerbil status and still is prompting FENS symptoms in our home. Our scientists are beginning to question if FENS can ever truly be cured.
Stay tuned for what I’m sure will additional developments as they become available from those of us here at the Gerbil Research Institute of Parental Edification…