“I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”
― Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
WARNING: This entire thing is dripping in sarcasm, so don’t slip. Bundle up, grab a cup. and sit down for another round. (God, help my rhyming skills!)
Though this quote may be a little melodramatic (oops), it still seems to fit the situation. If I’ve not yet mentioned it, I attended a public high school. And like anyone else who’s attended a public school, I’ve seen many things; some too horrific and scandalous to say (insert dramatic gasp!). I’ve met the likes of every time of person, and I’m not particularity fond of any of them. Most of the jokes were obnoxious and the laughter was atrocious, but I managed to find my little nest of weirdos, and we all tucked in till graduation day. But, my friends and I are another story for another day. This is about one kiddo in particular…and yes, it was a guy (insert even more dramatic gasp!).
For a bit of background information, let me mention that this boy was given no limitations. Though his parents were strict, nothing seemed too expensive if it came to this child’s fancy. He had the best of the best which is not a bad thing, but he grew to be a 20-year-old who didn’t encompass the meaning of “NO.” He was, to me, an image of entertainment. He resembled my lovely dog, Dory, who when scolded or refused a treat, retreats to pout and lick her wounds. This particular young man made an impression on me, but it wasn’t his actions that I remember so vividly; it was his parents’. Keep in mind that these respectable parents of his were hard-core, raving sports fans. Jesus might have been their light, but football was a fluorescent light bulb hanging adjacent to the cross. Couple their second religion with their insurmountable need for control, you have quite the lethal pair. (Lucky Aaron!)
This boy (we’re going to call him Aaron) had just attended a local Jr. college for the last two years on a football scholarship, and he was looking to transfer to another 4 year college just for his degree, so he would have to quit football (Such tragedy). Well, Aaron’s parents were quite keen on him continuing his football career despite his evident resistance, and struck up a deal with him (insert the INTENSE Rumpelstiltskin vibes). They offered to buy him a brand-spanking-new truck in order to bribe him into staying at his Jr. college and playing football. Aaron (the poor dear) was unable to resist the dangling prize hanging in front of him. Parents-1, Aaron-0. They had successfully bribed their adult son, but not with a piece of candy or a crisp twenty. No, they used a $40,000+ vehicle to trap the young buck right where they wanted him. Now, they have their bragging rights, and he has a vehicle and the knowledge that he is putty in their hands. The worst thing about the entire situation was the parents’ behavior. They acted with only selfish intent, and now their son has become a mere reflection of them. A1 parenting!
I know this may not shock that many people, and it might also seem natural to others, but I did not grow up like this. My free will is not up for sale. It comes with no price tag, and that’s exactly how I like it. When I look at Aaron and his manipulative parents, I feel pity. No, I don’t get everything I want, but I’m thankful that my parents (though they have flaws) reared me to be a young lady low on greed and heavy on fight. I am under no allusion that the world doesnt’t revovle around money because it does. Nothing is free and money is neccessary to live, but there is no need to let it control you. I 100% believe that greed and selfishness are not instinct; they’re a learned trade. In the case of Aaron vs. his parents, this rings true. No one deserves to be manipulated, especially by the ones that are supposed to love you unconditionally, but everyone will one day encounter something like this. I hope you all keep your battle axes as sharp as mine; you’re going to need them…maybe even for your family. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Aaron.)
“You have my soul and I have your money”
― Charles Bukowski