Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Damned if you do, damned if you don't...

Okay, I am distressed and sort of confused in my thoughts right now. See, early this morning (1:38 am, to be precise) my son Joe called me, asking me if I could possibly help him with a little cash, since his car had been towed and impounded, and he needed to raise $300-and-some to get it out. I told him that I had no money at all and could not help, and he said, very cheerfully, not to worry about it, and he would see what he could do.

But telling your mother not to worry about something that you have woken her out of a sound sleep to ask for, rarely works. After the adrenaline surge finally calmed down -- I respond very badly to being suddenly woken, for some reason -- and my heart stopped racing and my eyes would finally close, I was still unable to fall asleep, for a few hours. So I am feeling sort of heavy and somewhere else, today.

And what I keep thinking about, over and over, this morning, is this: to what extent should I, as a mother, and as a human being, be willing to get involved in my son's life by way of giving assistance when the thing he has done deserves the result it has gotten?

In this case, he was parked across several parking spaces in a private parking lot, unloading stuff from his car to someone's apartment. Since it was so late at night/early in the morning, he sort of assumed that no one was going to be doing much coming and going. But apparently one of the spaces he was blockading belonged to someone with a short fuse, they called the towing company, who came at once and towed him before he even came downstairs for his next load. Now, I know this has probably been skewed for my benefit, but I can only tell you what he told me, no?

The kicker is that this morning, as he has spent several hours trying to locate his car, and figure out how and when he will be able to spring it from impound, he found out that they are unwilling to release it to him at all, since his name is not on the title. Oh, dear.

Now -- there are many reasons why this might be the case, but I know Joe, and I know that the reason this is the case is that he simply did not want to take the time out of his important life to make the trip to the DMV ( which he described to me once as being staffed and visited by total losers) and pay the $70 or however much it costs. And while I sympathize, I completely do not agree with this sort of behavior. I don't like the DMV either, but I have never, and I mean never, allowed any of the paperwork of owning a car to even get late. Okay, that is just me, and apparently I was incapable of convincing Joe of the importance of not getting on the wrong side of the people with the power. So, sort of my fault.

But see, that's what I am wondering. This sort of thing is what ought to really make him understand that you can't (to coin a phrase) fight City Hall. But a) I feel tremendously guilty for allowing him to fight this one out on his own, (even though there is, literally, absolutely nothing I can actually do about it) and b) this sort of thing has happened a lot in the past, and hasn't done any good so far. 'Course, this is the first time he has had his car taken away from him. So maybe.

Oh, I don't know. Urg.

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