Matthew Lickona 3 p.m., Feb. 24
- Community Blog
- A day in the life....of a thought-filled wife.
A Borrowed Image. The Price of Success.
I was watching television the other afternoon, and the subject of the show was finances, over spending and debt. How the relationships of husband and wife are tested, the reasons for the debt and why people end up in the circumstance.
Though they never really gave any tangible hard reason, just by listening closely you could easily see the underside of the situation.
The couple discussed what financial problems they had, and where they were at on their debt, $250,000.00 in loans and a mortgage at $3 million, partially paid down, and three cars with loan notes. None of which were economy type cars. As a matter of fact one very useless car, obviously for show, not for the two young children they also had to support of course with all high end toys and clothes, which they proudly displayed.......they had lost family and friends and now were fodder for the neighbors with the stares and whispers as their possessions were being repossessed....Hum.
After an hour, they had come to the conclusion, they had spent too much money and needed to figure out how to rid themselves of the debt. Yet, they didn't want to give up anything they had... nor the lifestyle. And still there was no reasoning or realization as to how or why they ended up in this predicament...
In general, they stated they wanted someone to bail them out so they could go on living the lifestyle they were accustomed to.
Well, I guessed that one of the biggest problems, was that they did not want to believe they had a problem. Family had bailed them out one time, then they ran up the debt again. Then family bailed on them.....and high end friends were dropping from their life like flies...the couple stated. And could not understand why.
Yet they kept saying they just wanted their kids to have better......Now is it just me, or do you think kids really care how much the house costs, as long as the love of their family is there....And do you think that those two children cared if dad was driving a sports car they weren't even allowed to be in....I'm sure they were happy mom was a stay at home mom, but dad only brought in $250,000... compared to the debt they had created...most of the house was cordoned off from the kids, so how fun is that...Mom and Dad were constantly at each other throats fighting over money. Yet they owned things that were useless...Things that were not even touched or used. Strictly for show. All to keep up a facade, not really success, but an image of success, and now the loan was being called in...So the kids were unhappy seeing Mom and Dad fight, and watching them struggle. But Mom didn't want to move and Dad wanted to keep the sports car and give up the family suv, the third auto was a Lexus sedan, too non descript for Dad to drive, as he said it didn't portray success?! Neither does having your furniture hauled out by repo- men, or having a boot on the front wheel of your hot sports car....
I personally do not live in the most expensive or large home or drive the best car, but I love what I have and appreciate all that it has to offer, the love that supports this house I call home. I live in my means, though I do strive for more, I go step at a time....but my ego is not so weak that I need to show success that has in essence been loaned to me, not really my success if I only have it if it is paid off or defaulted on. The people it attracts typically are only there till the failure of that "loaned success" is called due....Though they will boost your ego till your pride gets the best of you and there is no going back, and you have gone so far that the fall is going to devastate you, leaving you broken for those "friends" to gawk at...
The person that dies with the most toys wins...
I understand the American dream is to own a home, have a family and great toys. But has anyone ever said the American dream is to be happy, healthy and loved. No matter where you live or what you drive, or what designer your kids wear...It's okay to strive for better things and want them. Even acquire them. But for what price success?....The price of our family? The time and the love that we share with them.
The kids will remember the ball games at the park with dad, and the dinners spent together talking about the day. They will remember playing in the sprinklers on a hot day or water balloon fights...I have never heard an adult say I remember my 6th birthday, when all my parents friends showed up and they had it catered and the food was fantastic, Or the Paris trip when I was 3 was amazing....They remember Mom and Dad loved them and that they went to the beach and collected shells and found a sand crab and held it in their hand, or a fish swam by...that they got to bury Dad in the sand. And the birthday they got to eat hot dogs and cake and hit the pinata'.....and the cool toys from their best friends.
I realize now as an adult we were not wealthy when I was young, but we had fun. Family dinners and dad letting us ride in the back of the truck from the back yard to the front. Going to his work and eating lunch with him, and he let me ride on the grader...The sandwich he brought home and shared with me while watching cars pass in the afternoon....The dresses Mom made for me, and the little sweater pin shaped like fruit that she bought at Kmart. Playing baseball and Frisbee in the park and having a picnic....For the life of me, I can..t remember if the furniture was as good as the neighbors or if our lawn was kept up by a gardener.....I do remember finding my love for classic cars...[Dad had a 60 T-bird]...I remember saying a prayer each night, thanking God for the gifts given to us each day....and I learned that we were successful cause we were appreciative of those gifts and that we were wealthy people in spirit, if not of cash...
I think many kids are cheated nowadays, they get a lot of material things to replace the time lost with their parents, like a pacifier. When most kids would be happy if they were not the excuse for their parents financial situation, all for a loaned image of success......Instead to have cherished time and simple memories and a home that is lived in rather than seen as a statement.....
So as they concluded the show, they had figured out that they had spent too much money......and still insisted it was for a better life for their children.....So sad for the kids.....to grow up thinking, it was because Mom and Dad wanted so much for us, that they no longer loved each other....or wanted to be together.
So really, they will lose everything. And in the end have nothing truly valuable to hold onto...
The price of success.
More like this:
- If I Could Have, I Would Have Lived at the Ballet Studio — Nov. 23, 2010
- THOUGHTS OF MY DAD ON VETERANS DAY — Nov. 10, 2010
- Anatomy of a Divorce — April 6, 2010
- Bankrupt — May 12, 2005
- Moving Out — Aug. 13, 1998