Family Gene-ius: Home Alone

Family Gene-ius: Home Alone

Shreya Shankar

My parents leave me home alone for a month. And I survived!

Every time I watch the movie "Home Alone 3," which is my favorite of the series (yeah, I know, it's the one that isn't about Kevin McCallister, but I'm more of an Alex Pruitt kind of girl), I think about how cool it is for Alex to be so independent and brave while he's home alone "sick." I'm sure he didn't expect four criminals from a North Korean terrorist organization to come after a computer chip that was accidentally brought to his house after a mix-up at the airport and for him to have to fight them off with clever household tricks. Image

Recently, my life was a lot like Alex Pruitt's, but with two tweaked details. While Alex was home alone for a day, I was home alone for a month when my parents decided to take a trip to India to visit family from mid-January to mid-February. And while Alex dealt with criminals from a terrorist organization, I dealt with… well… my laundry machine.

Just like Alex, however, I realized that somehow when you're home alone, everything goes wrong. I was faced with lots of tasks that I normally take for granted when my parents are at home.

Let's start with my hair. It's a beast when it gets washed and becomes a frizzy afro that makes me resemble Scary Spice in her prime, so every three days my mom and I spend an hour together watching "What Not To Wear" as she straightens it for me. When I was home alone (and busy as heck!), I had to find the time to do it myself. It was a rewarding experience, however, when people started complimenting me on it. And I got my time down from two hours to 42 minutes!

I had to remember to check the mail everyday. If I didn't, my mailman (who I've known since I was 8. Hi, Puka!) would be very upset with me for having to overflow my mailbox. I had to cook meals for myself and resist the urge to go out and consume fast food each night. I had to set my alarm each night and make a conscious decision to go to bed at a reasonable hour since I now had no reason to be tip-toeing downstairs at 3 a.m. for a snack. Most importantly, I had to remember to lock the door each night because if I didn't, I was putting myself at risk.

And lastly, I also faced some more unexpected mishaps, such as my laundry machine overflowing into my entire living room and creating at least an inch of sudsy water. Panicking, I quickly turned off the machine and rolled up our Persian rug before the water reached it before grabbing all the towels from our linen closet and laying them out to soak up the water before squeezing the water out into a bucket and repeating the process. I'm not sure if this was the most efficient way to take care of things, but… it got the job done.

If there's anything being home alone taught me, it's that I can live independently, and that's reassuring to me considering I will be in college in five months. But I also realized that I still have a lot of basics to learnI don't know how to sew a button, iron fancy clothes, french braid my own hair… you get the picture.

I was so happy to see my parents when they came home. They asked me how things had been and I told them that everything had been fineand it was nice because I realized that overall, things were fine.

I guess the only thing for me to do now is prepare myself for what to do if four criminals bombard my house looking for a top-secret computer chip. After being without my parents for a month, I'm pretty sure I could hack it.