"Never let go of something you can't afford to lose!"
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, "Um...no. 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 him...no 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?