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Is This My Problem?
by Michael Wilmot 
11/06/04
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Sometimes I just have to wave my hands in the air and ask "Is this my problem?"

While on holiday to Korea one year with our two children my wife exercised her tyrannical powers of "Mom Incarnate" and forcibly borrowed $100 from our daughter. This happened when someone over extended their allotted cash flow and "Dad who pays the bills" refused any further extensions.

Time passes and a few months after they had returned home to America the debt is still outstanding with no indication of when it will be satisfied. As the days and weeks pass this situation finds its way into more and more of conversations around the home. Something akin to this:

Dad who pays bills - "We should go to the zoo today"

Mom Incarnate - "Sounds good. Hey kids donít forget to bring your pocket money for extra shopping."

Daughter of limited funds - "I would if SOMEONE would pay me back the $100 they owe me."

Mom Incarnate - Begins an hour long lecture to daughter about how much she has done for her in comparison to a pitiful little sum of $100. Key words like labor pain, diapers and late night feedings find their way into the discourse.

Daughter of limited funds - Storms off to her room to the sound of a slamming door.

Son who learns fast - Runs to his piggy bank and gives it a quick count.

More time passes and soon Christmas looms near and I have had enough. I explain to Mom Incarnate that she needs to pay off the loan and set a better example for the children. I hint that it may be a poor Christmas for her if this is not done and at long last my daughter is gleefully tugging $100 from her mother's death grip and the problem is solved. Or so I thought.

A few days ago my daughter agreed to pay for 1/2 of one months horse riding lessons. Total cost $140 and she needs to cough up $70. I go ahead and write the full check and tell my daughter to give her portion to her mother. My daughter asks "Do I have to do it right away?" I had to think about that and finally just waved my hands and walked away while Mom and Daughter started round two of the payment war.

A man has to know when to run if he wants to avoid serious injury.



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