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Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

How to Leave Home–and make everybody like it

This book is actually a “how to” on running away from home.  Really.  My first thought when flipping through this book is how times have changed. Nowadays, there is a Dr Phil episode on how to your 30 year son to finally move out of your basement. How times have changed!
In actuality, this is a “don’t run away without a plan” kind of book.  In the late 1970’s this would be considered as pretty decent information about getting a job, rent for an apartment, and how to live on your own.   Check the inside flap of this title to give you the author’s take. I especially like the reference to living in a commune.


My favorite part is the discussion of money.  Check out this “budget”.  Think kids might draw some incorrect conclusions about the cost of living?

I won’t even comment on the sorry state of resume information, which makes me flip out completely.


0 Responses to Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

  • And after all, the experience of a young factory worker is so relevant to today’s youth! The sad thing is, a young fast-food employee might not take home a lot more than that $670 per month even now (admittedly that would be for one worker, not two.)

  • I had a runaway living with me this summer. When she came to me to see if she could live here, I said, “You know, it doesn’t work that way. You can’t just run away and hide out at my house. You’re under 18. You have to communicate with your parents.” Confused teens are ever with us. Her communication was to take all her stuff (which she stowed, unbeknownst to me, in my basement) and leave a letter, mentioning that she was going to live with me, so her parents knocked on my doorstep and I didn’t even know where she was. Within a few days, though, she did move in with me. And today she’s attending college–not the one she could have attended if she could have stuck it out for a few more months with her parents, but the one she could afford. I hope that somehow she ends up with a degree and a good life in spite of the handicap she gave herself.

  • We still have some of Ed Dolan’s “issue” books in our library. They all have those unfortunate “muddy” color schemes. Not bad content (other than dated)…I keep them until I can afford new.

  • Somehow I don’t think most teens who run away do it because they want to get a jump start on being a responsible adult with a job and a budget to follow.

  • The most out of date part of that budget section is not the specific amounts listed, but the idea that a young person would be able to find a factory job that could support a household of two people without another income source.

  • I wish my rent was 20% of my income.

  • There should be an update for today’s 30 year olds though!

  • Some folks never leave the nest, and end up inheriting it when the parents pass on. It can work. I frequently joked with my parents that I wouldn’t move out until I was 30. I got my own space at 29. It happens.

  • I’m not really opposed to the idea of this book, just its copyright date. For some teens, it would be a visceral thrill, imagining what it would be like to be on their own. For others, it will be a deterrent: crap, look how hard it would be to run away. And there are probably some teens whose home lives are so rough– abusive, alcoholic, whatever– that running away is actually the most prudent choice available to them (particularly if they don’t want their parents in trouble with the law). If a book like this were to be written today, I’d hope there would be a chapter on foster care for kids in the third situation.

    But yeah, this is precisely the kind of book that needs to be up to date, because many teens won’t have the experience to recognize that the prices and other advice is out of date.

    The mention of “communes” also makes me think that runaways could be attracted to cults and/or militias, and so my imagined updated book should have a chapter on them as well.

  • Strangely enough, a person living in a commune is still a legitimate alternative to living with parents. There are a number of organic farms which will let people stay for cheap rent or in exchange for labor. Not all of them grow pot like the media would like us to believe.

  • As it happens, in 1977 I was trying to make that difficult transition from living at home to getting my own place. I was a 20-something wanting my own place. I wonder if this would have been useful then. Maybe it would have helped my Dad letting me go!

  • I’m trying to picture a “young factory worker” taking the time and energy to buy a bound ledger and meticulously write everything out to keep track of his (or her! this was the seventies, after all!) budget. That makes me laugh..