June 28, 2011

Vroom Vroom

When I was a kid, there was this guy who lived down the street from me. He was, maybe, seven years older such that when I was at the age when I thought high school seniors were cool he actually was a high school senior. His life got derailed when he and his Ford Bronco were involved in an accident with a motorcycle. He killed the driver and was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. This, perhaps, colors the story I'm about to tell.

The other day, the four of us were in the car riding home from somewhere when Owen spied someone riding a Harley. He became instantly infatuated and proclaimed his sincere desire to own a motorcycle. Now, I'm not one to limit the options of a child. I want both my kids to have the full panorama of the future unfolded in front of them. But, to Beth and I, jumping on a motorcycle is on par with smoking, unprotected sex, and shooting heroin. Especially around here with unpredictable traffic, huge roads, constant construction and terrible drivers.

Of course, all those arguments meant nothing to Owen because he's three. So we decided to put it into a context he could understand (which is code for we made shit up).

Beth: You know, if you want to ride a motorcycle, you have to get a tattoo.
Owen: Cool! I'll get one!
Me: Really?
Owen: Yeah, then wash it off in the bath.
Beth: No, not one of those. A real tattoo. Put on with needles.
Me: It stays on forever.
Owen: Needles?
Me: Yeah, like lots of shots all in a row.
Beth: So, do you still want a motorcycle?
Owen: Oh yeah!

What we tried to do there was change his mind not because we have anything against tattoos but because the kid hates needles. And...parenting fail. Not only did we lie (to my knowledge there is no actual tattoo requirement for motorcycle ownership) but our lie totally failed and we, in the process, introduced something else we don't want him to long for.

What did you want as a kid that your parents were less than thrilled about?

Posted by Chris at June 28, 2011 6:36 AM
Comments

I wanted a dirt bike when I was 13, but by the time I was 16 I'd discovered sex and so.....

Posted by: Maribeth at June 28, 2011 7:29 AM

I never got the dirt bike I wanted either, but I think that was mostly a money thing. I had a pellet gun, BMX bike but no helmet, skateboards, I'm pretty sure I even had lawn darts.

Posted by: COD at June 28, 2011 8:27 AM

Heh. I'm pretty my mom lied to us about stuff like this all the time, it's just that I don't remember. (So don't worry about scarring the little dude or anything.) When I was a kid, I wanted my own car more than anything, but of course that didn't happen.

Posted by: Fraulein N at June 28, 2011 8:53 AM

Oh, a b.b. gun, no question. Not something exactly legal in a small Twin Cities suburb in the 70's, but I PROMISED not to shoot it where anyone could see. (negotiation=fail)

Posted by: J at June 28, 2011 8:55 AM

My dad handled the piercings rather well, but I remember when he first saw my tattoo he said "We need to get you a social life so you can stop with the self mutilation."

Pretty sure my dad would have preferred I just get laid.

I didn't own my motorcycle until much later :)

Posted by: Becky at June 28, 2011 9:48 AM

I don't recall my parents lying, but when I expressed the deep desire to own a motorcycle, my dad said that I would have to spend an afternoon at the local physical rehabilitation place and talk to the people severly injured from riding accidents.

Posted by: Rai at June 28, 2011 10:21 AM

Weirdly enough - my mom didn't want me to get my ears pierced a 2nd time. So - within 2 weeks of being at college - guess what I did?! Didn't come home until Thanksgiving - mom was not pleased but I was over 18... Not to worry though - within a year after that - my younger (!) sister had hers pierced 3 or 4 times each.

Posted by: Sue R at June 28, 2011 10:32 AM

I wanted to date guys with long hair and sometimes they had earrings. This drove my mom BATSHIT CRAZY. I really think she was a little overboard, considering they were all nice guys and none of them even HAD tattoos, and I was an honor student and a nice kid. But I'm not bitter. Two other things that I did that made my mom roll her eyes - poit! - right up into her brain were get a navel piercing (I was 26) and get a hair wrap on Venice Beach (I was 20). Seriously. That is what my Mom had to deal with and you'd think I was a criminal. (*poit!* into my brain)

Posted by: Brooke at June 28, 2011 11:55 AM

I held a man's hand on the side of I-215 in Las Vegas as he was dying of fatal injuries after flying off his motorcycle and skidding head first into the concrete median. He had his helmet on. It didn't help his neck. He was an older gentleman, and his last words were "call my wife and tell her I'll be late. She worries." Motorcyles absolutely terrify me.

I wanted to go to certain places where I was not allowed to go. A certain pool hall with older boys smoking and drinking beer comes to mind.

Posted by: Mindy at June 28, 2011 12:09 PM

I wanted The Dead Kennedy's album "Too Drunk to F*&^" before I even know what f*&^ing meant. Didn't understand why my parents didn't want to buy it for me.

Posted by: meanie at June 28, 2011 12:47 PM

I wanted a motorcycle...never did get one. After being in a very bad (the cop thought the driver was dead, but I was driving) accident in my Jimmy I have changed my mind. My mother always told me I could get a motorcycle "over her dead body"...

Posted by: Krush at June 28, 2011 1:22 PM

The question should be...what DIDN'T my parents like that I wanted? They didn't believe in having me wear wire-framed glasses because only hippies wore them. (Nevermind that Lincoln/Roosevelt/Truman, etc. wore them). I wore knee socks long after all my other friends were wearing panty hose. Makeup. Shaving (even though I needed it) and I wasn't allowed to read 17 magazine until I WAS 17. By then? It didn't matter anymore. Yes. You could say I was raised very strictly. Because it's true. It warped me.

Posted by: Schadenfreude Warehouse at June 28, 2011 11:06 PM

you know what cured me of ever wanting to ride a motorcycle? Hearing a story from an EMT where the showed up to an accident scene and had to remove the guys testicles from the front of the motorcycle when the guy was lying in a ditch a few hundred yards back. No thanks, I'd like to keep my testicles.

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