Saturday, March 30, 2013

I am flashing back

Can I have a Vespa?
     Are you out of your mind? No way! Don't even go there!
Why can't I have a Vespa?
     Because Vespas are dangerous. Because you are only 16! Because I say so. Because there are one  thousand reasons why you can't have a Vespa!
What if I buy my own Vespa?
     You are not going to. Forget about it. Not in one million years.

I can't recall the exact conversation, but it must have been something like this. I was really upset during that conversation. I knew in advance I was not going to win the battle, but at least I could try. I did ask the question and the answer was no, just like I had expected. I remember the disappointment. I remember the tears. And I remember the disapproval of my parents. Why did I even bother to ask, if I knew the answer was going to be a firm NO anyway? Why were they so opposed to me getting a Vespa? Was it really for the reasons they gave me? Or didn't they want me to grow up and get independent?
I remember I didn't ask a second time. That was not done where I grew up. If your parents gave you a clear NO for an answer, you didn't ask twice. You didn't even dare to ask again, because that would only make things worse..

Our youngest one has asked us the same question. Excuse me, not the same. She doesn't want a Vespa. She wants a Honda Dax. I understand her longing for independence. I recognize the feeling of wanting to grow up and doing whatever you want to do. She wants to go out. She wants to feel free. Her dad is ready to give in. He had a motorcycle when he was her age. I didn't. I wanted one, like I described a couple of minutes ago. I never got one. I got myself a car though. I worked on the week-ends and during the holidays, so I could save money to buy my own car. At the age of 18, you are pigeonholed in the ADULT category and you get to decide what you want to spend your money on. I try to reason with Eva. I want to convince her to get a job first and save money in her bank account. It's not just the money for the purchase of the Dax. It's a whole lot more...
She will need a place to park her treasure. She will need money for insurance and gas and maintenance and a helmet (a good, decent one, to make sure her brain doesn't get all mushy in case she .. aaarrgghhhh I don't even want to go there!). She's not being reasonable about it. She is angry and disappointed and frustrated with me. I'm sure at this stage, she hates me. I know she wanted this Dax for her 16th birthday. She got a one year membership on her favorite fashion magazine. It's less dangerous and it was something else on her wish list.. That her boyfriend rides a Honda Dax, isn't helping much either....

The discussion is not closed yet. We're not done. There is room for discussion. It doesn't have to be a battle. I don't like this wrangling. I hate it as much as she does. I just want her to think about it. To consider my objections and to find answers for the questions I have asked. I want her to start saving money to buy her little treasure. If only she would make an effort.. then we can talk again, in some time.

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