My twenty-year-old daughter attends university in a large metropolitan area. She spent the first year living in a dorm, with access to food service and easy access to the campus. For her second year, she decided she wanted to live independently and off-campus. She chose a duplex about a twenty minute walk from campus. But she has no car, so getting to the grocery store or a doctor appointment or doing other errands is a challenge. But she does have access to the city’s public buses and she does have a bicycle. At least one of her roommates has a car. And she has friends who have cars. She doesn’t have her own car because she chose to take an extraordinary heavy class load, which leaves her no time for a part-time job to pay on a car loan or for car insurance.
It is about a half-hour drive from our house to the university, not awful but not very convenient. Since she is in the city, we have to plan our trips to her around rush hour traffic. What should be an easy thirty minute drive can turn into two hours if there is an accident or a snow storm. Lately she’s had a lot of doctor appointments, and since she has mostly afternoon and evening classes, she’s made those appointments during the day when the rest of us are at work or in school. Her choices have caused great friction for our family, but we’ve done what we can to provide her with a car on those days when she needs to get to her appointments.
About three months ago, my daughter decided this situation wasn’t working out for her. She wanted her own car. I don’t fault her for wanting that. But she didn’t change her course load so that she could get a part-time job and have money to buy a car or to pay for insurance. Instead, she began arguing with us and telling us she is entitled to a car. Entitled??
We told her she made her choices and since they aren’t working for her, she needs to make new choices. She basically told me that because I brought her into this world, I need to provide for her every need.
Well, it’s easy to see this argument has gone nowhere fast.
A week ago, she told me she would be contacting “legal services” to take action against me because I am neglecting her. Evidently she believes that because she has some medical issues and I am not providing her with a car 24/7, that is cause to sue me. I silently laughed about it. One of her older sisters was much more outspoken and basically told this twenty-year-old to grow up.
Last night I received a text message from the twenty-year-old indicating she has contacted “legal services” and will be taking action, and by the way, “I need the car the week of March 12.”