Dad says no, Mom says yes

Written by
Peter Dunn

Growing up there were only a few real strict rule in my parents household. As long as I steered clear of these things, then life was pretty good. Well, I had some steering issues, and repeatedly slammed into some of the cardinal sins of the Dunn household. There were two main roles that I often transgressed. The first rule was don't live for the sole purpose of annoying your big sister. Sorry Pops, no dice. That was exactly what I lived for. What little brother doesn't? The second rule was don't get a "no" from one parent and then go ask the other parent for a "yes".

You know what I'm talking about. Let's say that you want to go the movies with your friends, and your dad says, "No, Pete, you need to mow the lawn".  While I certainly respected his authority (and disrespected my indentured servitude), I didn't exactly want to accept "no" for an answer. Fortunately, I was in a two parent household. I could always talk mom into things like this. "Mom, I know that I need to mow the grass, and I think I'm going to tomorrow. Some friends are going to a movie, and I would like to go. My friend, Joey, is anti-social and I'm trying to save his parents from spending a bunch of money on counseling", I would say.

"Sure Peachie Pie", mom would say. (Dammit, why did I just tell you what my mom called me).

Anyway, dad would always get real bent out of shape when I would pull this. I finally understand this, and I hope you do it. But, most people don't. As consumers, we pull this trick all the time. We get a "no" from a conventional loan officer, or from a car dealership finance director, and then we start getting creative. You can't afford a conventional mortgage? Then ask someone else until you get the answer that you want. Even corporate America has gotten in the game. The big 3 auto companies recently asked Canada for a multi-billion dollar bailout.

There is something to be said about perseverance, but ignoring authority or common sense, makes no sense. The phrase "can't afford it" disappeared for years, and fortunately for everyone it is back. Do you keep looking for a yes?

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