Thursday, July 10, 2008

On My Dad Trying to Teach Me a Lesson...Over and Over

My Dad is trying to sell me his bike for (probably) more than a father should charge a son for a bike that the father doesn't really use anymore. I pointed this out to him, using the fact that when I do get a new bike I would most likely just give my old bike to my nephew if he wanted it. And he's my nephew, not my son.

My Dad's response? He is very concerned that I do not, at the age of 29, have the cash readily available for this purchase. Or rather, the fact that I am 29, unmarried, and not a property owner, and still (still!) I do not have the cash readily available for such a purchase is of great concern to him. He told me that he is trying to teach me a lesson in finance and saving for the future and that he couldn't, with a good conscience, simply give me the bike. I told him that I have received this message, which he has been telling me since I graduated from college. I told him that the reason I had to think about whether or not to buy the bike was because I was contemplating investing the money in some way, rather than spending it on the bike. He did not buy it. Or, if he did, he still thought it was ridiculous that I would not have said money on hand in addition to the money I would choose to invest. I don't have either.

He is right. I should have the money. I should not have to be concerned with whether or not I can afford this purchase. Even after I've invested some money. When I was younger I looked up to Alex P. Keaton, Michael J. Fox's money loving character on Family Ties. It made sense: his parents were hippies, like my mom; his sister was rebellious, like mine. I was being different and, therefore, rebellious in my nine-year-old way.

Something happened along the way, though. I'm not sure what or when or where, but something happened. I was not concerned about money as much. I tried to find something that I actually liked to do; tried to put that first, before concerns of money. But, these days, it's hard to figure out was that is. And the things I'm doing certainly don't satisfy me on both fronts, which makes me not so thrilled about the things I like to do.

Wayne Coyne keeps singing in my ear, "I don't know how a man decides what's right for his own life." It's on repeat.

And all I know is I want a new bike.


Mary said...

..."I tried to find something that I actually liked to do; tried to put that first, before concerns of money."...

David, I admire you about this decision -- and, there is no "right" way to do this life -- and, only you can know what is right for you...

and... lots of things don't even cost money!

I know how you can get a bike for free....

"Mr. Michael's Recycles Bicycles" -- check it out.
I read about it in the newspaper a while back.

Mr Michael Recycles Bicycles
Address: 1440 Lafond Ave, St Paul, MN 55104
Phone: 651-641-1037

This cool couple refurbishes and gives away bikes for FREE. There is NO ELIGIBILITY. Simply call, say how tall you are and what kind of bike you want. It might take a few months (waiting list), but, Heck- a free bike!

Jason said...

I agree with Mary, stay the way you are. money would be nice but not at the expense of your sense of contentment/accomplishment you seem to have right now with life in general. plus you're like a cat, you always land on your feet, yo.

Molly said...

I like this post. It's honest, and funny...and who doesn't like Alex P. Keaton? On an unrelated note, thanks for recommending Guernica on your Gmail all the time- I always read really enriching stuff there.

becka said...

i think you should become a yoga teacher. then you won't need a new bike. you can just levitate, or even astrally project yourself, everywhere.

that's what i do, anyway.

Barry said...

It's all a mystery. Listen to your heart- Roxette. It's your thing, do what you wanna do- Isley Bros. All you need is love- John Lennon. Money seems to be only important when you need it. And your dad is right, the truest measure of success, happiness, and self worth is property, money, and choosing the career that will net you the most of both. Although it's nice for fathers to be concerned about our futures, it's a little uncomfortable when they seem to assume we never think about it. Call me, I think our fathers would get along famously.

Jocelyn said...

David you better get a better j.o.b. so you can take care of our kids. thanks.

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About Me

David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (, an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine ( His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post,, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.

This is how my nephew loves me

This is how my nephew loves me

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