McMansions and the (Extended) Family of Tomorrow (April 24, 2006)

McMansions are littering the landscape.  Monoliths that consume space and resources.  Some McStructures are not even finished on the inside because the goal is to loom large when viewed from the outside.  “Potemkin Estates.”  The larger structures demand increasingly expensive hvac systems (heating ventilation and air conditioning systems).      

Kids are returning home, with and without jobs, and flopping in their former bedroom or on the couch in the basement.  They are “failing to launch.”  The kids can’t afford a home even if they can find a job.  Some parents charge rent or require contributions for food and utilities.  This relationship may develop into a permanent and positive lifestyle.  Extended families may pool their talents and grow old together in one mega-structure.  One sibling may be a single parent; the others can help raise the kids/grandkids.  One sibling may go and come at unusual times to juggle two part-time jobs in the craven new economy.  There will be no retirement, no social security, and no long-term health care, so the kids will be expected to take care of their parents in this assisted-living situation.  The home theater room will be remodeled into another bedroom.  Situation comedies (tragedies?) on the tv relocated to its traditional home in the den will chronicle the exploits of the new mega-nuclear family.  The McMansion could bring families together in unexpected ways.

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