Nostalgia Reality Check: Home Alone at 30

My parentals went to Hawaii on vacation and left me, their allegedly responsible 30-year-old daughter in charge of their fancy house. I made Kevin McAllister my bitch.
Publish date:
October 21, 2011
home alone, nostalgia reality check

I made Kevin McAllister my bitch. That’s right. I took a fictitious eight-year-old’s concept of solitary home-stay and revolutionalized it entirely. In so doing, I made little Kevin, the darling of 90s Christmas movies, my biatch.

My parentals, The McEachins, went to Hawaii on vacation and left me, their allegedly responsible 30-year-old daughter in charge of their fancy house and cherished 11-month-old yorkie-shiz tzu mix, Crosby.

Overly cautious by nature, the McEachins had (independent of one another) each provided me with three single-spaced pages, detailing the lay of the land. All of which, I might add, could have been articulated more concisely and eco-friendly-er with the basic directive, “Don’t fuck up our shit.”

Spoiler alert: I didn’t. I did, however, commit fully and completely to acting a damned fool in every square foot of The McEachins’ beloved home. It only occurred to me last night that I was the adult Kevin McAllister. Kevin 2.0, if you will.

I mean, I was home alone. My parents, some 5,000 miles away in Hawaii (indulge me, I’m guessing), hadn’t the faintest clue what I was up to. And while I live alone in DC, I’d never passed time in a house of this size, by my lonesome.

The similarities between me and Kev ended there, however. For one, Kevin, in the full blush of childhood innocence, took pleasure in the small things; those little naughty incidentals denied him by the cold, adult world. He watched black-and-white movies all day (cringe!); He ate ice cream for breakfast (gasp!). Know what I had for breakfast, Kev? A glass of McCallan Single Malt Whisky and two Werther’s Original caramel candies. Just because.

And old movies? Pshh. I get Turner Classic Movies in my cable package at home. Know what I don’t have at home? Free wifi. Know who does? The McEachins. It extends like, six, seven hundred feet from the front door. I sat cross-legged on my grandma Eula Mae’s quilt and watched porn on my front yard, Kevin.

Also worth noting is the fact that Kevin matured with the progession of time spent alone in a big fancy house. He acclimated. He rose to the occasion. He groomed, bought groceries and took care of himself.

I, conversely, experienced, first hand, the devolution of a highly educated human being (moi), into a savage animal. I bathed, occasionally. I did not once, in six days’ time, put comb or brush to hair. And groceries, Kevin? Groceries? What the hell for? My father’s manhouse was well stocked in all the beer I could drink and all the chips I could eat.

As for doing battle with robbers and would-be assailants, thankfully I have no basis for comparison. I did, however, ward off all neighbors, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Eagle Scouts, and tradesmen with my rather abrasive “Nobody’s home!” holler from the second-floor balcony. And I smashed the life out of three spiders. Seriously, Kevin. Huge spiders.

As to the actual rules I did break, it’s best first to distinguish between those articulated (see aforementioned six single spaced pages) and those unspoken but understood (i.e., stuff no parent should ever have to say out loud to his/her adult child).

Rule 1. (implied): Don’t Be Naked Everywhere.

I was naked everywhere. I cooked naked. I slid down several wood-stained bannisters naked (PS, This is probably in violation of some other implied rule. PPS, don’t do this. I mean it. Don’t do this ever). If I’d been of the mind to clean, I’d have done so, naked. Which brings me to my next rule.

Rule 2. (articulated): Keep The House Clean.

I literally left a glass of orange juice on the nightstand of my parents’ room where I wasn’t supposed to be sleeping (Rule 3) and watched mold grow over it, day by day. Just because it was nasty.

Rule 4. (articulated): No Company Whatsover.

On Day 5, a childhood friend came over to whisper-kiss my secret woman place. Turns out, there were no “cons" to breaking this rule.

Rule 5. (implied): Don’t Have Sex In The House.

See Above.

Rule 6. (articulated): Use The Plastic Cups And Paper Plates.

Dude, I went to law school. I’m not eating off paper plates in the presence of Royal Dalton flatware. That’s just ridiculous. Besides, my seven-dollar bottle of Yellow Tail tasted amazing in my mother’s fancy crystal goblets. As did the Sunkist. RIP to the champagne flute that was destroyed during the course of my solo all-night dance party.

Rule 7. (articulated): Don’t Go In The Attic.

Don’t ask me why I went in the attic. My guess is because it was on the No-No list. But it turned out to be a gold mine. Guess what I found up there? My dad’s porn. Look, I don’t want to go into too much detail on this, but my father is apparently a Jack of all porn. Big women, small women, amateur, pro. The man doesn’t discriminate. I’m a mite concerned with his commitment to VHS with all this good, free wifi swimming around.

On the seventh day, I had to bid the familial homestead, adieu. While I admittedly one-upped the hell out of that wuss, Kevin McAllister, I’d like to think I’m leaving it relatively unscathed. After all, it’s not like I did anything extreme in the eyes of modern American cinema, like throw a raucous house party, or pimp hookers from the guest suites.

I will, however, stifle a giggle every time someone’s hand grazes the bannisters.