Wednesday, 4 April 2007

‘Like Father Like Son’ or ‘Mamma’s Boy’


I was peacefully watching Hollyoaks in my room this (Tuesday) evening, escaping from the realities of life that must be put on hold for thirty minutes. Just then, my sister bursts into my room, “Dad wants you.”

My pops had got back from work a short while ago. I went downstairs to see what was up, he looked smug and my mom looked quite worried. My pops extended his hand for me to shake it. As we shook he said “I’ve got you the car.”

OK, OK, back up for a second.

I’m planning to get a car before August, so I’ve been
talking about cars to anyone who will listen (and anyone who won’t). Pops
happened to be one of those who would listen, and comment, and offer advice. It
turns out that Pops ‘knows a guy’ who sells cars (at suspiciously low prices); I
don’t ask too many questions. Pops isn’t a shady character; he just works with a
lot of people that can get ‘stuff’. This is to be expected though, he works in
Hackney (there I go generalising again).

Monday Pops tells me about
this friend, he is selling a Mitsubishi for £500. I tell him I’m interested, I’d
like to know more.

Tuesday . . . “I’ve got you the
car”

Huh?

My dad is shaking my hand with a big grin. My mum looks exceedingly apprehensive, and I’m standing there bemused.

My dad put down a deposit on a car I haven’t even seen before! He was so happy that it was hard for me to even grasp the reality of the situation. He was waiting for gratitude which never came, my mum quickly wiped the smile on his face as she adopted the role of the concerned parent and began to poke holes through his ‘good intentions’. As the quarrel heated up I sat on the couch, zoned out and let my brain catch up with the occurrence.

Both parties have strong arguments.

Dad: I’m trying to help you get a ‘great’ deal. These kind of deals don’t come around too often. Why can’t your mother see this son?

Mum: How can he expect you to buy a car that you’ve never seen before? Don’t agree to anything you’re not sure of son!

So there I was, listening to their verbal grappling match. I’ve been in this position before, several times in fact and I’ve learned that the argument is rarely as important as whose side I’ll take. Especially when they both have my best interest at heart.

I know most of you are likely to agree with my mother’s argument. It would seem illogical to buy a car without even seeing it. We’re not talking about Nike trainers or mobile phones. Yet at the same time, I’m sure we’ve all been in the position where someone else gets an eye-popping bargain and we ask them twenty-one questions about it. It’s usually a case of them knowing the right people, or being in the right place at the right time.

“Why didn’t you get me one” we yell enviously. I guess my dad didn’t want this to be the case with me.

I (obviously) decided that I wasn’t prepared to shell out £500 for a car that I hadn’t even seen. So yeah, we went to see it.

My dad was too tired from work, and too angry at my mum to drive. So I had to get behind the wheel. The more you drive, the more you appreciate the passenger seat. As I drove I got a text message, which I read after we pulled up (safety first). It was from my mum:

Do not comi your self to any financial
implication you are not sean for. please.

OK, dodgy spelling, but you catch the drift.

I had a rough idea of what the car would look like when my dad told me the model. So I wasn’t too surprised as I stood in front of the dark green Mitsubishi Colt and was given the keys for a test drive. As soon as I saw the car I knew I wasn’t going to buy it. There was no mass appeal, I wasn’t drawn to it in the slightest. It had a broken side view, dodgy passenger seat and a chunky dent in the rear bumper . . . oh, and a few bolts hung loosely off the back of the roof where a spoiler used to be. I had no desire to kick the tires (that’s what you do when your checking out a car right?) so I just jumped right in, twisted the key, shifted the car into first gear and rolled on. I must admit, it was a nice drive. Smooth gear changes, and not a lot of noise coming from the car either.

After playing with the vehicle I was asked “Well, what do you think?”

I had been thinking about this question whilst driving around. I wasn’t in an elaborate mood, and knew that my fathers ‘rep’ was riding on this response. Regardless, I kept it simple, “thanks, but no thanks”. No need to waste anymore time right?

The drive home was quiet, a few words here and there. Pops didn’t show any emotion about it, but it felt like I was letting him down. It’s as if I’m saying mum was right and you were wrong (which is only true because I didn’t like the car). I couldn’t buy a car just to play dad’s advocate.

Ugh . . . so I guess I’m a mamma’s boy.

A to the . . .

3 comments:

Sebastien said...

Well, I think it's nice of your dad, but just because you didn't buy the car doesn't mean you let him down! At least I don't think he should feel bad, nor should you feel bad... finding a car you like is what counts!

copper stiletto said...

Its hard when you are placed in the middle of your parents disagreements, and the actual decision is about you. I feel for you!

Lady_T said...

Pele AK, I mean I would say that your dad doesnt feel let down but I know Naija parents and he felt let down! At the 'end of the day' the decision is UP TO YOU, why don't Naija parents see this?