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"Never let go of something you can't afford to lose!"

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Years ago, my big sister told me, "I never let go of something I can't afford to lose."  She said she never wanted money or material things to ruin a relationship, so although she was always pretty generous about helping people out, she never loaned, gave, or let people borrow anything she would be upset about never seeing again.  Good stuff. I adopted that rule and made it my own long ago.  I haven't always upheld it in my weaker moments, but I always consider it when I'm faced with a decision on where to spend my time, money, and energy.  It helps ward off unnecessary drama and anxiety for sure, and because I apply the same rule across the board, I don't feel guilty about telling people "no."  It's nothing personal.  It's just my boundary.

So, MR. ED is getting on board with this rule and it's helping him set boundaries!  *dance4* Yesterday, SD22 called him asking to "borrow" $40.  She actually rarely asks for anything from him anymore, works full time, has his only granddaughter, he can afford to give her $40, and so it really was no biggie.  He asked me if I wanted to go with him to her house and you all will be proud of me...I said, "No, I think I'll stay here and get some things done.  You just go and enjoy the time with SD22 & Snigglefritz."  Before, I probably would have gone and then got all worked up about something or other. I disengaged and dodged having a contentious discussion with MR. ED and setting myself up for the rejection I always feel from SD22. *dance4*  Also, SD22 opened up in a way she may not have if I were there.  She told MR. ED she now understands how hard it must have been for him all those years as a single dad raising 3 girls.  She lives with her BF/Baby Daddy, but he's about as good as a bump on a log.  She's feeling the adulting/parenting thing pretty hard right now and is finally expressing some sort of compassion and respect for MR. ED.  He's certainly not been a perfect parent, but I'm happy for him that he's getting some love for all he did do for those girls while BM left them all in the dust.

Even with the kudos, he didn't allow himself to fall victim to manipulation as usual.  He gets home and tells me SD22 said, "I heard from GM that you are selling SD17's car.  I was wondering if I could use it to take my driving test." He said he'd consider it.  She went on to suggest, "BF and I can just drop by your house and pick it up."  MR. ED said he told her, "  I can meet you at the BMV with the car when you are ready to take the test...if I haven't sold it by then."  She tried to convince him further, but he stood his ground.  He told me if he can help SD22 finally get her license, he will, but he can't afford another skid (or BF) taking that car out unsupervised.  Woo hoo for MR. ED!!! *clapping*  BTW, SD22 just bought a car, but apparently doesn't have money to get insurance, register it, and fix all the things that need fixing for it to actually run.  BF/Baby Daddy has a car AND a work van, but the windshield is cracked on the car and he is uninsured.  A mess, but MR. ED's response, "Not my problem.  I only want to help my daughter get her license.  What they do from there is their business."  I feel like I'm on another planet right now.  Progress!

SD22 also mentioned that SD20 wants the car.  Geez, I swear these girls are like vultures standing by in the shadows!  She also does not have her license yet and supposedly just bought a car with her BF.  Now, when MR. ED sold the house a year ago, he made out with a nice profit.  He gifted SD22 and SD20 (both out on their own by then) $1000 from that money to use toward getting their license and buying a car.  So, MR. ED is standing firm on only even considering the option of SD20 buying the car from payments, but paid in full.  He's not even entertaining the idea of just giving it to her. 

Once upon a time, MR. ED was convinced it was easier to buy his kids whatever they wanted and let them do whatever they pleased.  Finally, he's seen the light.  It may seem like it for an instant, but it does not make life easier, in the long run, to consistently spoil and indulge your kids.  Letting people walk all over you and take, take, TAKE always leads to more headaches and hurt feelings eventually.  OMG, I'm so thankful this morning that my man is actively trying to turn this crazy ship around! 

SIDE QUESTION:  What the hell is it with young people these days not getting their license?  I couldn't wait to get mine and get a job when I was a teenager.  I hear a lot of stories about kids dragging their feet on driving.  What's that about?


CLove's picture

SD20 didnt get her license. We even had a car ready for her. She just decided to ghost us after graduation and never got her license preferring to uber or use her friends for rides.

ITB2012's picture

I couldn't wait to drive. My DS wasn't super-excited about it but still got it right away. His friends did not. And he (and I) got sick of being their free driver so he started charging them gas money. They all finally got licenses but some of them waited until almost the end of HS.

Cover1W's picture

Good for him!  You must feel relief at his new attitude, but hopefully he doesn't backslide!  Keep thanking him any way you can LOL.

Regarding kids driving - I think part of it is a lot of them have been driven everywhere and not been told no.  Why would they have to drive or be independent?  And it's also growing up and learning adult things; so many don't have to grow up.  My older SD is going to driving school and she wants her license (heard via the grapevine), however, my younger SD has a fear of riding in the front seat, a fear of growing up and a moderate but not excessive dependency on being driven around.  She is NOT looking forward to driving at all (and I stay a mile away from that fiasco).

There are a lot of kids in cities that use public transport and really never had a need to drive...I have a friend who has not driven since her late 20s and she's almost 50!

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

When I moved to LA for a bit, I sold my car before I left and just used public transportation to get around.  In that city, it wasn't bad at all.  I have used the bus here in our Midwest quite a bit as well, but the routes and times are pretty sad. Uber and Lyft are nice, but gets pricey if its an everyday thing.  I guess I enjoy having the options, but not limiting myself to be able to go and do whatever I need to at any given time.  My SDs REFUSED to get their licenses or use the bus when they were at home and would instead just miss their appointments or call into work, and then bash me and MR. ED for not changing our schedules to cart them around.  They would complain about not being able to go anywhere and then try to sit around in their rooms sneaking a joint or whatever.  I felt like I said a gazillion times, "If you want to do what you want to do without us "being in your business", then get your license and go do it somewhere else!"  OMG, I'm so glad THOSE days are over with at least 2/3 SDs.  One more to go! Smile

Siemprematahari's picture

Great progress for Mr. Ed!!!

These kids to get them to do ANYTHING is like pulling teeth but either way glad your H is standing firm with boundaries and that he continues.

Way to go Dance 4

Thisisnotus's picture

as for the license...I agree...what is up with these kids? Me and all of my friends got them on the day we turned 16 and it wasn't an option it was expected...your turn 16 you drive...period.

My DD16 drives and has her own SD16 is almost desire...she took the driving school which of course cost DH like $400....then nothing.....a few months later she went to DMV to take her driving test and she hasn't been mentioned again. I don't get it.......well I do....BM doesn't want her to drive since it would give SD freedom and she isn't allowed to have any.

So is it really the kids who don't want to drive? Or is this new generation of over protective parents who don't push these kids to drive. I think it's the parents.

SD16 isn't allowed outside of BMs house in safe neighborhood if BM is not  home...she is almost 17 years if she can't even go check the mailbox....I am certain she will never be allowed to drive away in a car. idiots.

notarelative's picture

SD16 isn't allowed outside of BMs house in safe neighborhood if BM is not  home...she is almost 17 years if she can't even go check the mailbox..

My bio kids were pretty good kids and even they would have been sneaking out with friends with this type of restriction. Treating your child this way is crippling them.

ntm's picture

Neither SD25 nor SD21 has a license or a car. I think if you don’t have the inclination to get around much, an occasional Uber fare is cheaper than maintaining a car. 

agitated's picture

My SD17, and a senior in HS, has no urge to get a license. My bios, 14stb15 (twins), freshman, just started drivers education and cannot wait to start in driving in less than 2 months. I am not sure why it is like that these days, but it is. In my home, I blame DH. He doesn't push SD to do anything she doesn't want to do. Now that I see others have this same problem; it must be a generation thing.

ETA: BM in my case, 38stb39 does not have a license either; never has. I think SD views that as normal, even though both me and DH drive and she lives with us full-time.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Yeah, isn't it crazy how much BMs lifestyle can imprint on skids even when they live full-time in a totally different environment?  BM has her license, but it's often suspended or she's locked up.  She hasn't had a car the whole time I've been around and she's used that as another excuse to be absent from the girls lives.  I agree that they view a lot of this stuff as normal and it's still sad to me to watch the cycle repeat itself.  What a waste, ya know?

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I don't fully understand why some kids don't seem eager to get their driver's license either, but I suspect it has a lot to do with divorce and poor or over parenting.

I was frantic to get my license on my sixteenth birthday. I'd already been driving for years (lived in a rural area), taken the driving course that I paid half of myself (over the summer so I didnt waste an entire semester on it at school), and couldn't wait to get out on the roads alone in my parents' oh so cool Ford Pinto.

In comparison, YSD was a weird mix of "Oversexualized yet Not wanting to Grow up or Have Adult Responsibilities". She had no interest in gaining independence, and had to be forced to meet traditional milestones. In this area at least, DH being a non parent worked well as I was able to draw boundaries with YSD and force her progress. I required her to get -and keep-  a part time job; I made her take a basic automotive course at the community college; and I made her get her learner's permit. Still, she showed no initiative and was such a poor student that driver's ed wasn't an option for her. Once she turned 18 and still showed no interest in getting her license, I gave my 30 day notice as chauffeur. I literally had a cute convertable as a third car, and she had zero interest in driving it! She failed the written test the first time, but FINALLY got that damn license.

Parents only have a few short years to instill initiative and self reliance in their kids. YSD's mom (who is mentally ill) allowed her to be a low-output sloth, and there was only so much I could do with her by the time she lived with us. Not all teens are like this though. I employed many great kids over the years; upbeat, motivated, engaging and well mannered. 


ChamomileTea4Me's picture

SD17 wants to say she's grown, but doesn't actually want to be grown.  She wants to be with grown men, but doesn't have a clue what it means to be a grown @ss woman!  After wasting way too much time, energy, and sanity on resentfully chauffering around SD20 when she was still in HS and refused to learn to drive or take the bus, I learned my lesson.  A few months before SD17 was eligible to get her license, I told both her and MR. ED, "Once she's eligible to take her driving test, I'm no longer driving SD17 anywhere. If she can't practice driving because she can't pass a drug test...not my problem."  SD17 kept failing the tests MR. ED gave her, and she did a lot of walking before she finally got to take her test.

And yes, I'm thankful not all teens are like that.  My DS was high-functioning autistic, yet he was motivated and accomplished in sports, work, and school, as well as very well-mannered, driven, and LOVED to get out of the house, especially with his close circle of friends.  He couldn't wait to drive even though it scared the crap out of me because of his challenges.  Maybe that's why he was so driven...he had actual challenges to overcome.  Funny how that works! Smile