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BOTD 06-07-2017 Money Matters - An 18 Smacked Production

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Skater

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Bransom Postmaster
Money Matters (À propos d'argent)
An 18Smacked Production


You have been raising your 13 year-old son, Mason, by yourself since your wife left you when he was 2 years-old. Around the age of 9 or 10, you began to discuss finances with him so that he had a grasp of how to manage money better as a teen and an adult. This evening, Mason came to you asking for money to buy the latest game system and three or four games to go with it. If you get the accessories that he also wants, the total tab would come to almost $ 950. You have a good job, and can afford some nice toys for the two of you. Mason is a very nice boy, considerate of others as well as the less advantaged. So, you don't mind an occasional indulgence for the boy.

The thing is, although you've not told this to your son, you've been trying to save up money for a trip to France in November. As much as has been possible, you have been saving up money for this trip so the two of you can have a great experience. Mason has been studying French in school, and the idea of his using the language "in real life" for a couple of weeks, the two of you exploring Paris and the Louvre sounded great to you. On the other hand, Mason has not had an expensive "toy" in quite a while, and does not have a full-sized game system of his own, so you understand his desire for this kind of thing.

By the same token, Mason and you have not had a vacation away from home in almost three years, and that one was just a quick, three day getaway to Disneyland. Both of you are overdue for a real vacation.

The question is, should you try convincing Mason to take the trip to France, or just delay the trip a bit so he can have his game system first, instead? Naturally, you always retain the right of making the final decision on these matters, and your son definitely knows that. Using the money Mason wants would put a crimp in the budget for the France trip.


Mason - 13
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How will you handle this dilemma?


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Y Lee Coyote

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This has made me realized that perhaps, just perhaps MY dream trip might NOT be his.    It is one thing to surprise him with an item or a day but it entirely different with two weeks in a distant land.

We need to talk about vacations.  I have to listen to his ideas / thoughts / wishes / dreams and he needs time to consider.  Maybe Montreal for is a better choice?

Y.

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Padraig

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Trailboss
950????

Sure there is a cheaper configuration he can do with for a while and I can deal with without postponing the trip (but, really, France... - well, if I'm a climate scientist Cool sorry, could not resist)

Jack

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Admin
"Buddy, I've been saving money for us to go on a long vacation together. what if we got you a used game system, where you can get cheaper games, and take the vacation together? I really want to do this, but maybe we can work something out."


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StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
He's out of luck.

Stevie ain't spending $950 on summat as is purely a toy and all...

Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
Research shows experiences bring more pleasure than possessions. I really believe the trip together is what Mason will remember in years to come. A game system will soon be obsolete.

I'll do my best to upgrade Mason's game system, as well, but the trip needs to have priority.

Kat



Last edited by Kat on Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:44 am; edited 1 time in total

18Smacked

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Cowboy
Kat wrote:Research shows experiences bring more pleasure than possessions. I really believe the trip together is what Mason will remember in years to come. A game system will be soon be obsolete.

I'll do my best to upgrade Mason's game system, as well, but the trip needs to have priority.

Kat

I am with you on this one Kat, for the reasons that you state!



Last edited by 18Smacked on Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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18Smacked

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Cowboy
StevieWeeks wrote:He's out of luck.

Stevie ain't spending $950 on summat as is purely a toy and all...


In all fairness about the game systems- some of them are able to be used as a computer system and can interface on the Internet, stream movies, and do all a computer does.

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AFinch

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Sherrif
I'm with Jack and Kat. I have tons of memories of experiences, dating back to before I was in school. I have no memories of expensive toys, at least not of one that didn't and up broken and with me in trouble (a different kind of experience).

ivor

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Marshall
I don't think I'd contemplate spending $950 on a present for my son - not even at Christmas or birthday let alone somewhere in between. Unless of course I was very rich, but I'm trying to reply as a real life parent.

The question is why France? Is that for me or has Mason expressed an interest in going there?

As someone said earlier the holiday is far the better choice, but I need to find out what where he wants to go. Hopefully that will be somewhere we can both enjoy.

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MemoryMan

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Sherrif
Around the age of 9 or 10, you began to discuss finances with him so that he had a grasp of how to manage money better as a teen and an adult.

I am obviously treating Mason as a young responsible adult and this is the perfect opportunity to sit down with him to discuss finances, the spending projects in mind and jointly agree a viable solution to the dilemma.

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squarecutter

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Sherrif
This is a bit more than an indulgence. I daresay I might stretch to that for a Christmas present. Wonder what Masons savings are like. Would they make a significant dent in which case I might go part way. I think I will just have to tell Mason I cant exactly do that at this moment if I am not at this point going to tell him about the planned holiday. Don't think I would ever have asked my old man for an expense like that just for me. I know what the answer would have been.

Peter_Z

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Wrangler
To France you go in November (ugh) - most probably because he hotels are cheapest in this time. Then this expensive tool is a no go!

When you have already discussed finances with him he should know that this it over the top.
I think he is too young for that but if you think he did just not listen, than you may take consequences.

MemoryMan

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Sherrif
"So, you don't mind an occasional indulgence for the boy."

So, have some not read the scenario.

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Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
MemoryMan wrote:"So, you don't mind an occasional indulgence for the boy."

So, have some not read the scenario.

I think everyone has read the scenario. Some just have a different idea about what constitutes a reasonable indulgence.

Kat

MemoryMan

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Sherrif
Kat wrote:
MemoryMan wrote:"So, you don't mind an occasional indulgence for the boy."

So, have some not read the scenario.

I think everyone has read the scenario. Some just have a different idea about what constitutes a reasonable indulgence.

Kat


I may have been a bit abrupt with my remark and I apologise if I have offended anyone.

We occasionally get a BOTD scenario that is internally contradictory.  This was not one of them.

All (or almost all) the BOTD scenarios presented are hypothetical, (although there is a fair chance that the situation will have occurred some place, some time.)

I always try to respond to a scenario in the spirit it is presented since a response that strays towards an "I personally wouldn't have been in this situation" sort of critique is i.m.o. disrespectful to the writer who has taken the time and trouble to create a situation for us to ponder.

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Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
MemoryMan wrote:I always try to respond to a scenario in the spirit it is presented since a response that strays towards an "I personally wouldn't have been in this situation" sort of critique is i.m.o. disrespectful to the writer who has taken the time and trouble to create a situation for us to ponder.

I think that's a good approach. Cool

Kat

StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
Stevie will never reply to a BOTD ever again...

Jack

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Admin
Kat wrote:
MemoryMan wrote:I always try to respond to a scenario in the spirit it is presented since a response that strays towards an "I personally wouldn't have been in this situation" sort of critique is i.m.o. disrespectful to the writer who has taken the time and trouble to create a situation for us to ponder.

I think that's a good approach.

I disagree, at least to some extent.

The trouble is, it's one thing to say - as I sometimes do - "I wouldn't be in this situation, because we do (such and so) at my house; however, if..." It's something else entirely to say 'I wouldn't have been in this situation, and anyone who is must be..... '. Unfortunately, some people tend to stray more towards the second. Whether that's because they don't understand how they sound, they aren't comfortable with the scenario, or they're just trying to stir up trouble, it's difficult to say. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but after the same thing happens again and again, it seems to start being deliberate.

So yes, let's all enjoy this. To me, discussing the scenarios and the responses is part of enjoying them. However, think twice before you post - let's not be attacking each other, and let's try to avoid posts that might easily be taken that way.


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18Smacked

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Cowboy
ivor wrote:I don't think I'd contemplate spending $950 on a present for my son - not even at Christmas or birthday let alone somewhere in between. Unless of course I was very rich, but I'm trying to reply as a real life parent.

The question is why France? Is that for me or has Mason expressed an interest in going there?

As someone said earlier the holiday is far the better choice, but I need to find out what where he wants to go. Hopefully that will be somewhere we can both enjoy.

I chose France because French might be a language that a child might have studied in school for a number of years, and by travelling to France, they'd get a genuine experience of using it and have fun with speaking what had been only an academic exercise until then.

And, if you would tell me that the same experience can be gotten by going to Montreal, I would differ with that statement. I studied French starting in 3rd Grade in school; i.e at nine years old. As a Junior and Senior in H.S. I was in a certain club that enabled me a lot of contact with a French-Canadian boy my age. He was most comfortable speaking Canadian French. The French I studied, and what kids in school in America study was Parisian French. When we did get together, we both were often struck by the multiple disparities between the languages.

My school system actually went to the point of recruiting teachers who were from Paris, so I can state that we did learn Parisian French.

I knew a few parents who would routinely spend as much as $ 1K on Christmas gifts for the kid(s). Now, I happen to agree with Ivor- I'd never do such a thing. Honestly, I just wanted to pick a "significant sum" of money that would have a potential to be a make or break for a trip such as was contemplated.

Finally, Stevie, I do hope that you'll reconsider your statement about not replying to any more BOTDs in future. I never take not of who does/doesn't reply to my BOTD scenarios. I do hope that folks enjoy the situations I present, and I do hope they want to reply. But I don't want to have folks get to a point that they are offended by the replies that develop from my scenarios. If that happens, I would prefer not writing them any longer. I have always valued all replies to the BOTDs I wrote. But, Stevie- don't get so upset, please! It sure is never my intention that that should happen.

I am only hoping folks have some fun with the scenarios I present.

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Jack

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Admin
18Smacked wrote:And, if you would tell me that the same experience can be gotten by going to Montreal, I would differ with that statement. I studied French starting in 3rd Grade in school; i.e at nine years old. As a Junior and Senior in H.S. I was in a certain club that enabled me a lot of contact with a French-Canadian boy my age. He was most comfortable speaking Canadian French. The French I studied, and what kids in school in America study was Parisian French. When we did get together, we both were often struck by the multiple disparities between the languages.

So - rather like Americans speaking to Brits.


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MemoryMan

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Sherrif
Thank you for your scenario 18S. It is a good scenario and I don't think you have any need to justify any part of it.

I tend to read the BOTD scenarios carefully as written and, where necessary, try to read between the lines before giving my own p.o.v. on the situation that is presented.

I must be getting cantankerous in my dotage since any variation of the "I wouldn't have started from here" response tends to push one or two of my own buttons.

Sorry if I've sort of hi jacked your very good scenario - keep 'em coming -- please.

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Y Lee Coyote

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18Smacked.

What ‘studying French’ means is widely different.  Based on my experience in school (a long time ago) it meant a lot less work and time than you experienced.  That’s what colored my answer.

There was not anything in the given scenario to suggest that the boy had expressed any interest in visiting France nor the reverse. If there had been, then the discussion I would have been needing was to balance the trip and the toy.

Incidentally, I should have said Quebec rather than Montreal as the later is mainly English speaking.  (Did not think it was necessary to make a post to change it.)

Y.

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Jack

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Admin
Y Lee Coyote wrote:There was not anything in the given scenario to suggest that the boy had expressed any interest in visiting France nor the reverse.  If there had been, then the discussion I would have been needing was to balance the trip and the toy.

And this is where we have a LOT of trouble.

The person in this scenario is the boys father.  Presumably he has some acquaintance with his son.  Yes, I suppose it's possible that the boy is taking French in school, but absolutely hates it, but the father thinks it's a great idea, so he was planning to force the kid to go.  More likely is that the boy has said enough about his lessons and has obviously been enjoying them, and so Dad was inspired to do this.

The problem is that you have a handful of people who write most of the BOTD scenarios.  David M. Katz, Kat, Ivor.... 18Smacked has written a lot lately.  There are a number of other people who submit them occasionally or have submitted a number in the past.  That's a problem because all of us have many things going on.  While BOTD is fun, it's not something that anyone wants to dedicate their life to.  I very often come up with an idea, write it, and post it, all within an hour or less.  What I am not doing is trying to write an Agatha Christie style 'honest' mystery, where every single detail has been considered and answered.

I'm sorry if I'm coming across as snarky or rude, but I know this issue has been addressed before, and not that long ago in the past.

It used to drive me crazy when Icono would post an answer that was basically "I was silly to make this rule, I will definitely not enforce it," because it read to me like he was saying the parent in the scenario, who did make that rule, was an idiot, which somewhat implied the same thing about the author.

It takes people to write these.  People write these for fun.   When they are torn apart (the scenarios, not the writers), it takes a great deal out of the fun of creating them, especially when it feels like insults were meant.

I know (hope) no one is deliberately insulting the people writing these, and I certainly don't want to tell anyone not to discuss things.  But maybe you can give the characters the benefit of the doubt that they actually have some idea of what they're doing, and that they're trying to be good parents, doing the proper thing for their children, it might make things go a bit more smoothly.

One last thing - I have dealt with a lot of parents in real life. I know that, in real life, not every parent is a good person, and they don't always have their children's best interest at heart (much less the ones who have a really weird idea of a kid's best interest). So, let's just remember that this isn't real life - it's to be fun.


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Y Lee Coyote

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Deputy
Jack et al,

The other side of the coin is that we are not mind readers who can infer the background the scenario writer thought but did not actually express.

In this case 18Smacked had in mind a boy who had been studying a French for half his life and was proficient in it.  Of course, to him, such a lad would surely want to go to France to show up his old man who would need a translator.  (Oh, if not then man and boy would have been chatting in French.) I thought of a different boy that fit what was said.

I’m sure it impossible to write an iron clad scenario in a reasonable time and short.  The result is people will extrapolate according their own experiences.

This is certainly not disrespectful.

Y.

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