Human beings share one characteristic, the ability to experience emotions. It is the trait that sets us apart from other creatures. Clouded judgments, impulsive decisions and disastrous relationships all stem from ways we allow our emotions to control us. Learning methods designed to assist us in identifying our emotional responses can guide us towards creating positive experiences. Understanding those methods does not insure that we will be able to apply them when the need arises. I like to believe that I employ these tactics the majority of the time but my emotions have sabotaged me quite often. Love and jealousy waged an intense battle within me this weekend but love emerged as the victor.
My youngest daughter attends college and works part time. Both factors demand that she have reliable transportation. Those familiar with her understand her to be dependable, responsible and self reliant. Shortly after obtaining her drive's license she purchased a used car with her own savings. A year and a half later it began to show its age. Over the course of the summer it visited the mechanic several times. I had begun to suspect its days were numbered and was proven correct last week when the mechanic delivered the fatal diagnosis of a blown engine. This was the catalyst that provoked Miss Independent to raise a white flag. Unfortunately no galant knight on a white steed was available but two parents in a light blue Sante Fe will do in a pinch. Several co workers convinced Michaela to pay a visit to a local Hydundai dealership. Excuse the oxymoron, but an honest salesperson led her to believe she would be granted a loan if there was a co signer. Additionally her meager savings of $500 would be adequate for a down payment plus they would use her car as a trade in. Long ago I discovered that trying to reason with children is a frustrating and generally fruitless operation. Keeping our thoughts to ourselves, my husband and I agreed to meet her at the dealership on Saturday morning. Not surprisingly, the sales girl informs us that due to Michaela's age she does not qualify for a loan. I forgot that anger had also paid me a visit. Luckily that is one emotion I have managed to develope good control over. Watching our daughter's face crumble as her hopes were dashed was akin to having a knife driven through our hearts. Twenty years of marriage ocassionally puts our thoughts on the same wave length and this was one of those times. Without consulting one another, we indicated that the sales girl should continue her pitch.
A grateful Michaela is now the owner of a white 2009 Hydundai Accent. The vehicle is in our name but she will be making the payments. I love my daughter and want her travels to be safe. She is responsible and I know she will make these payments as well as pay us back for the additional deposit money. Buying another used car was an option but we would not have been sure of its reliability. The loan still would have been in our name and the cost would not have been much lower. This possesion will be cherished and well taken care of. She is not one to take ownership of a vehicle lightly. Knowing this was a just decision did not prevent pangs of jealousy from coursing through me. I am 46 and have never owned a new vehicle. Odds are favorable that I never will. We are close to paying off the loan for our used car and the thought of buying a new one had entered my mind but that idea has been scrapped now. The struggle to keep the jealous feelings at bay served to remind me of how fragile the hold we have on our emotions is. Allowing those feelings to surface would have taken some of the day's joy away from my child. I can only hope winning this battle of emotions has earned me a few more brownie points towards my quest of getting into heaven.