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it’s the principle…or is it?

March 31, 2011

Instead of teaching my siblings and I how to be good people while we were growing up, my dad taught us how to fight everything to death. 

According to my dad, you see, everything boils down to the “principle of the matter.” And it’s because of him that I usually freak out if something even remotely violates my principles.

But you know what I realized? I kind of don’t care much about my principles anymore.

So today I paid $11 to park for 45 minutes.

I have no excuse! I mean, I could have arrived at my doctor’s office early and hunted around for parking. I suppose I could have sported the classy Nike’s-and-dress look so that I could have easily trekked a mile to the medical complex. If nothing else, I probably could have gone ballistic on the office staff about the lack of free parking. 

But I didn’t because…I didn’t feel like it.

Unlike my dad I'm trying to teach my child useful how to be FEARLESS.

Getting older sucks, right? You get gray hair, everything you eat starts giving you a stomach ache, and if you are anything like me you have to squint to see 2 feet in front of you. But the older you get the less $11 really matters to you. So maybe, just maybe, getting older isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be?

Or maybe I’m trying to justify the $11 I just shelled out?

72 Comments leave one →
  1. spiceandmore permalink
    March 31, 2011 1:12 am

    I’m convinced on the $11. We have enough to contend with as we get older without having to also worry about the small but insignificant thing.
    Snake around the neck, party plate in one hand…watch out Bindi the Jungle Girl here come Maya!!

  2. March 31, 2011 1:30 am

    I’ve gotten really lax with money. Before I met Mr P, I really was a penny pincher. By just learning to relax about little things, you give yourself the freedom to enjoy life a bit more.
    … and besides, I don’t work so its not my money LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    *kisses* HH

  3. March 31, 2011 3:42 am

    I agree, in the long run, what will that $11 really matter? 🙂

  4. March 31, 2011 3:47 am

    There’s something to be said about “time is money”.

    I don’t like it, but can’t say I haven’t done it before in a pinch. Because I’m reminded of the time where I literally drove around for an HOUR before giving up and doing $30 garage parking for the night.

    I refuse to ever drive around for an hour looking for parking again… the anxiety is NOT worth it.

  5. March 31, 2011 3:51 am

    I’ve paid 22 for parking for 30 minutes before because when it’s cold THIS girl does not walk 30 minutes to get where she needs to go. Plus I always find someway to make it “business” so it goes to my expenses 🙂

  6. March 31, 2011 4:19 am

    lol you are not old … surely …. and that is one fearless kid i am telling ya 😀 … I think I can never do it even though I want to do it ….holding a python like that. Amazing.

  7. March 31, 2011 4:29 am

    WOa maya is amazing! your a great mother figure to her…my mom would be to afraid to let me handle a snake lol. I’v noticed that my parents used to spend money without caring when they were younger but now they save even the 11 dollars…they are kinda strange lol. maybe its the economy!

  8. March 31, 2011 5:28 am

    Ohhh, I am TOTALLY the same way. Last summer, we actually parked in SHORT TERM parking for a week at the airport, just because it was so close. It was SO freakin’ expensive…my dad would have killed me if he knew 🙂

  9. March 31, 2011 5:33 am

    You’re going to hate me for this…but I’m hoping Maya doesn’t one day want to dance on stage with a snake wearing a green bikini top. Just kidding!

  10. March 31, 2011 5:45 am

    Maya is definitely more fearless than I am!! I wouldn’t go within five feet of that snake!

  11. March 31, 2011 5:49 am

    Haha I originally read that as $110 so seeing it as $11 didn’t seem that bad…but you know what, sometimes it’s ok to throw that money down for convenience sake and looking for parking IS a complete bitch and at least for me to tends to exacerbate anxiety/put me in a bad mood (especially when I FINALLY find a spot just to see that it’s surrounded by two cars which had no idea how to park within their line constraints.
    Oh yessss and you have one brave daughter 🙂

  12. March 31, 2011 5:50 am

    I always start an argument with “it’s the principle of the matter!!!” The husband hates that.

  13. March 31, 2011 5:56 am

    To park for 45 minutes $11 seems crazy but on the flip side you just spared yourself an inordinate amount of time looking for a parking place and bought yourself some sanity for the mere price of $11. Totally worth it in my opinion.

  14. March 31, 2011 5:57 am

    Great space, really fascinated by your revolutionary ideas. Thanks for being at my spot.

  15. March 31, 2011 6:19 am

    Haha. My motto is suck it up and walk. 🙂 I hear what you’re saying though. I just can’t avoid being a penny pincher. It’s in my blood. Your daughter is so brave with that snake.

  16. March 31, 2011 6:21 am

    I’m pretty frugal when it comes to stuff like that. My husband HATES it. He doesn’t think anything of things like paying to park in a parking garage for example. If it’s free for 30 minutes, you better believe I’m checking my watch often and we will RUN in my heartpounding, anxiety-stricken state to the car and hightail it out of the garage to beat the clock. He couldn’t care less if he had to pay the $5 or whatever it might be. And on top of that, the garage would ONLY be considered after several failed attempts at finding a free meter/spot elsewhere.

    I know what you mean about principals. I do find myself saying, ‘but its just the principal…’ all too often. I’m glad you are improving. It’s something I have yet to work on…haha.

  17. March 31, 2011 6:23 am

    Valet…always… on principle. It’s a couple of cups of coffee without the jitters. Now if I could just convince my principled husband who drops me off at the door in my shoes designed for admiration rather than the required pilgrimage from the outer limits of the parking lot because he’s too principled to troll for a parking spot close to the door.

  18. March 31, 2011 6:32 am

    Why is it always medical buildings that make you shell out ridiculous amounts of money for parking? It’s discrimination against the very people who can’t walk far distances– sick people!

  19. March 31, 2011 6:47 am

    I’m so with you on this! I am definitely a principle person but at some point, I’m just like, screw the stress and let’s just make life go smoothly.

  20. March 31, 2011 6:57 am

    I agree… the older I get the more relaxed I am about $11… or $5… or even 50 cents. I can be a complete money nazi! Obsessing over every dollar. Making sure it’s saved, or invested and definitely NOT wasted. But I bet that $11 was the best money you spent all day. Peace of mind and ease of life definitely cost something… and I’ll now gladly pay!

  21. March 31, 2011 7:20 am

    Sometimes it’s worth it to pay extra for convenience so no need to sweat about it.

    Btw that’s a HUGE snake around Maya!

  22. March 31, 2011 7:21 am

    Paying for parking is the most ridiculous thing in the world, isn’t it?

  23. March 31, 2011 7:28 am

    i would have just shelled out the $11 too. screw trekking a mile to go see a doctor.

    you better hope maya doesnt ask for a pet snake…;)

  24. March 31, 2011 7:30 am

    Oh boy! I just don’t know if I could do it. $11 for parking!! I cringe at that for even a night out downtown. Call me cheap! But, I will say it’s good to be able to just let things go sometimes and not fret over every single thing. So, that part is a good thing. I could NEVER touch a snake let alone hold it. Maya has some guts!

  25. March 31, 2011 8:00 am

    Aaack! You must warn me of snake pictures. I almost threw the phone out of my hands. Although this should make up for all those pictures of beheaded prawns I’ve made you scroll through on my blog. Lets call it even. Lol.

    I’m still trying to find a balance between teaching my kids to be fearless of anything or anyone, but being very fearful of me. So far I’m losing big time. They’ve become fearless of me and fearful of everything…sigh.

    Hey, $11 to save those very costly heels is a small price to pay. No man will ever understand that 😉

    • March 31, 2011 8:02 am

      Huge kudos to Maya! I wouldn’t dare go near that snake. Yikes!

    • March 31, 2011 2:52 pm

      Fearless of me and fearful of everything…I love it!! Come on over and I’ll teach you how to make them fear their mother! 🙂

  26. March 31, 2011 8:05 am

    I think it’s all about the opportunity cost. What is scavenging for parking, walking further for nothing, being frustrated worth? A lot more than $11!

  27. March 31, 2011 8:30 am

    GO MAYA! She’s so brave! And I agree…I am finding that the older I get the less I worry about sweating the small stuff. 🙂

  28. March 31, 2011 8:39 am

    Having to walk home in running shoes and slacks/skirts everyday, I can totally understand that $11 is not very much money to keep your dignity. Though I’m guessing your runners/dress look is probably much more glamorous than mine 🙂

  29. March 31, 2011 9:03 am

    $11 for 45 minutes is insane, but anyway you can justify it works for me. I was giving a friend advice the other day and it was totalllly “the principle of the matter” type advice. your Dad is a wise man. Fearlessness is in a class all its own and maya seems to have that down pat with the huge a** snake!!!

  30. lowandbhold permalink
    March 31, 2011 9:43 am

    I love that Maya is holding that snake and that it’s probably heavier than she is. Awesome.
    It seems like the older I get, the more frugal I get. It’s not fun.

  31. March 31, 2011 9:47 am

    I’m not the type who can be a parking vulture, would rather pay the $11. That being said, my Dad would think it’s ridculous to pay more than a few bucks for parking. Generation gap, I guess.

    and OH MY GOODNESS, look at Maya! That lil lady is brave, I can’t even bear the site of snakes!

  32. March 31, 2011 9:47 am

    sorry for my typo, I meant *sight. I’m anal and had to clarify. haha

  33. March 31, 2011 11:00 am

    Oh Ameena, we have it so easy here in LA. In manhattan, 45 minuets can be 45 dollars. And sadly, I’m not kidding. And I paid 25 bucks last week for 15 minuets because I lost my ticket in a gutter.

  34. March 31, 2011 11:22 am

    Really it’s just that “wisdom” finally sinks in and it’s really not good to “sweat the small stuff”.

    I LIVE by my principles.
    it’s hell I say.

    LOVIN’ my book btw!!!! you’re the best and thanks for thinking of me!

  35. March 31, 2011 11:33 am

    Yah, I paid $5 to park for half an hour at the passport office. I realize thats not as much as $11 (impressive math skils, I know), but for the area, they should really be paying me to go there. Its shady, and scary, and thats exactly why I paid. I dont care if I can get free parking across the street, it would mean I had to walk by the crazies. No thank you.

  36. March 31, 2011 11:44 am

    Sounds like your dad was training you all to become trial attorneys 😉

    I’ve found that if parking is $11 it’s because finding sub-$11 parking is nearly impossible and you will waste time and increase your aggravation trying to find it – or think you’ve found it and then find out it was permitted parking without a sign and pay a finr 8x the $11. Your $11 sounds like money well spent.

  37. March 31, 2011 2:58 pm

    If I wasn’t flat broke I’d shell it out too darling. Convenience is becoming more and more important to me and my patience is dwindling. haha. and omg everything I eat DOES give me a stomach ache! wtf is that all about!?

  38. March 31, 2011 4:51 pm

    That is so cool, Ameena! what was Maya’s reaction after holding the big sssssssnake!

    • March 31, 2011 6:44 pm

      She loved it Priyanka! She said it was “very cool!”

  39. March 31, 2011 5:18 pm

    Oh I am all about paying the $11.00 for the ease of parking, heck for the ease of most anything. The older I get and the busier I am the more invested I have become in paying for convenience.
    And you know what my family appreciates it. Because now I won’t come home from the Doctor’s appointmen all annoyed about the parking situation.
    It is a total win win.
    And the snake, I have a very hard time dealing with those things, but I always try to suck it up for my kids so that they can be fearless whereas maybe I am not!

  40. March 31, 2011 5:25 pm

    Next thing you know, Maya is going to be catching that Cobra in the Bronx. Love it.

    I absolutely hate hunting for parking and the thought of doing it in any city larger than Minneapolis just sounds like too much to me. So $11 is justified as far as I’m concerned. And, compared to that gnarly Airport sushi experience you had, I think we can agree that this was a MUCH better deal on your end.

  41. March 31, 2011 6:07 pm

    i’m heading your way slowly but surely. i fight things to the death but lately i’ve been giving up my…well i like the word principles better because morals is what i was going to use…oops? hahah

  42. March 31, 2011 9:47 pm

    I think teaching your kid to be fearless is a fantastic thing to do unlike paying $11 for parking, I get really angry when you get hijacked with parking like that….. grrrrr

  43. April 1, 2011 1:27 am

    Fearlessness is a great thing to teach your kid! I often think that parents are so afraid of their kids getting hurt so they instill too much general carefulness in them, which might translate into them not having the courage to chase their dreams (as great as my upbringing was, that’s one result of it I do have to work on – more fearlessness) Oh all the things we “know” we would do differently from our parents (even though they did great in a lot of ways), I’m actually scared of having kids because I’ll most definitely screw them up some other way.
    And dropping the principles sound great – if principles start to complicate you life, they can’t be worth it…

  44. April 1, 2011 6:23 am

    Hi Ameena,
    How is the book idea coming along? I assume you are busy with motherhood and work!
    Need a babysitter…I’ll come and live with ya and help out 🙂

  45. April 1, 2011 9:35 am

    You found the Bronx Zoo Cobra!!

    Also, that’s how I fight, too. It drives The Man nuts. Someone will wrongly charge me a dollar and refuse to take it off and I’ll fight it not because I can’t spare a dollar but it’s the principle of the matter!

  46. April 1, 2011 11:08 am

    I agree. As I get older, age, or whatever you want to call it, I just don’t care about certain things anymore. They have ceased to be important.

  47. April 1, 2011 11:56 am

    Holy snake, that is amazing. I think it is smart to figure out where you want to spend you energy (and you $11, haha). I have definitely become way more laid back about “principles” I used to care about. Besides, time IS money. So leaving earlier, etc, does cost you, just not in dollars.

  48. April 1, 2011 1:58 pm

    yeah, sometimes it’s better to just relax and enjoy life, it’s like, what you prefer.

  49. April 2, 2011 4:51 am

    I actually don’t think 11 bucks for 45 minutes is that bad, but that’s just the chicago in me. But, I feel ya on the principle’s thing. the older I get, the more exhausted I am, and the less I care. I’m starting to think its not such a bad thing, ya know?

  50. Kath (My Funny Little Life) permalink
    April 2, 2011 7:47 am

    I prefer to pay a little more and save me some stress. It’s worth it. 🙂

  51. April 2, 2011 8:58 am

    When we’re guilty, as adults, we do three things: rationalize, project/blame, or minimize. The stress parking and commuting causes on our health is immeasurable. a 30 minute commute can take years off your life, and definitely your stress hormones.

    🙂 I would rather not pay to park and buy coffee…on SUNNY days. But if it’s raining and after 4 and I am tired, nope. I am going for broke with the pay ticket.

  52. April 2, 2011 10:12 am

    I so agree. It’s so great to just let things slide. My eldest daughter and I were throwing my son into the pool this morning and splashed this old guy. No big deal right? He had a cow and acted like he was about to die. I just ignored him and thought “he is headed for a heart attack soon”.

    And I agree with the comments about wanting your kids to fear you, I certainly do.

  53. April 2, 2011 4:16 pm

    Would’ve done the same thing 🙂 No shame, whatsoever!!

  54. April 2, 2011 4:44 pm

    Hi! Thanks a million for stopping by my blog! I LOVE yours. Your writing style is fab-u-lous!! And I couldn’t agree more with what you said about getting older. Some things suck, but the carefree feeling and not giving a darn is the best parts eh?


  55. April 2, 2011 5:15 pm

    Ack! Is that a real snake? $11 is justifiable. After all the vomit that you recently had to deal with. Hoping Maya is feeling better, not that a snake wouldn’t help 😉

  56. April 2, 2011 6:06 pm

    Glad to see you didn’t raise a wussy daughter!

    Heh, you’re not a college student. You’ve earned your money so spend it how it makes you happiest. It’ll just get cold or poorly invested otherwise!

    I can’t wait to hopefully see you this April!

    • April 2, 2011 6:08 pm

      Oh, yes, it IS possible to find crappy Indian food in Britain. Probably less crappy than crappy US Indian food, but there are still crappy buffets. Or, what’s a bit more common, decent food but crappy service. I was splitting an order of rice with a friend one time and the waiter got all up in my grill over it. “Pfft, it’s not for two people!” I finally just said “I’m ordering the bloody rice!” Turns out my friend and I didn’t even finish the rice–there was plenty!

      But my good Indian experiences largely outweigh the crappy ones 🙂

  57. April 3, 2011 6:23 am

    All my thoughts after seeing that pic of Maya are OMG! what a brave six yr old. that is scary I mean I am so scared of dogs I call the hosts before hand to inform about it if they had one. So that they don’t think of me as a crazy person. I will never be able to do that with snakes at-least not in this lifetime.

    I think being fearless is more important, well if one is fearless they can fight for their principles.

    As for spending 11$ I would not like to spend money on parking but I always end up grumbling for having to spend and in the end I spend in such situations may be because I’m too lazy to walk that extra 1o or 15 mins. i justify myself saying it’s not worth the time (even though I do somthing utterly useless with that time).

  58. April 3, 2011 6:50 am

    Haha! This has totally happened to me. Like you, I grew up with a father who would refuse to park where you had to pay and who would not wait in lines, “for the principle of the thing”. I definitely inherited some of his attitude about similar situations, and would subsequently get really frustrated and angry (and get a stomachache) – but since I met Peter, I’ve gradually learned to let stuff like that go and have been much happier for it. The funny thing is, since my dad moved out to CO five years ago, he’s become a lot more mellow, too. Guess the CO air agrees with him 🙂

    Love the pic of Maya with that huge snake! It must have been heavy! :O

  59. April 3, 2011 11:06 am

    I definitely think that as you get older you care less and less about the little things. This is one of the things I look forward to most about becoming a Mom, I desperately need perspective on what does and doesn’t matter.

  60. April 3, 2011 12:59 pm

    so with you! even though i’m not exactly rollin’ in it at this point in my career, i find TIME to be the more scarce resource! so, a little $$$ for convenience – i’ll go for it almost every time. justify away!!!

  61. April 3, 2011 2:25 pm

    I am utterly convinced on paying 11 bucks to park.If you can shell out few pennies extra and avoid little discomfort-why not. When I came here, we always self parked at the casinos.Not any more now.I find it easier to give a few bucks as tip than to take the pains of walking down form parking lot to main area especially when wearing heels 🙂 Its far better.
    Man, your girl is BRAVE- I m scared just by looking at that reptile.

  62. April 3, 2011 5:28 pm

    I have to admit that I’d not have paid for the space. Everything in me just cringes at the thought of someone gouging me like that. I can’t give them the satisfaction. However, major kudos to you for the lessons Maya is learning. Love the snake accessory!

  63. April 3, 2011 5:29 pm

    Thanks for dropping by in my blog 🙂 you have a nice space here .. beautiful writing! I am a scary poo and can never even hold a cockroach in my hand 😀 What you teaching you kids are great stuff!!
    stay in touch 🙂

  64. April 3, 2011 6:16 pm

    i can’t believe i forgot to put reading on my list!

    i think that paying 11 dollars is okay… sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!!
    way to teach your daughter to be fearless! she’s stinkin’ cute!

  65. April 4, 2011 6:24 am

    Oh no! Now I’m kind of confused. I have already started doing that and I don’t think I’m getting old!! OR am I? Wait are you telling me I’m old?

  66. April 4, 2011 12:18 pm

    I know that feeling for sure. I’ve gradually started parking closer and closer to building I have class in, even though it costs me $8.00 a day if I spend anything more then 2 hours on campus. But, I’d rather pay that then walk a mile in the freezing cold!

  67. April 8, 2011 6:48 pm

    Oh wow, that snake is huge! She is a brave one for sure 🙂
    $11 for parking, it’s LA 😉

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