He Says, She Says: Getting a Dog, Wearing Skimpy Outfits, and Buying a Motorcycle for a Teen

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Safety Crash Course

My son wants to get a motorcycle for his high school graduation, and my husband thinks it's a great idea. I'm violently opposed. They're high-fiving each other, and I'm furious. What should I do?

She Says: There's a lot of stuff that I can joke about, but as the mother of two boys I can't be flippant about vehicle safety. And in this case your husband's being a jerk. Tell him in no uncertain terms that you don't think he's being a responsible father. If he still insists on giving your son the motorcycle, say that your graduation present will be a series of intensive safety lessons -- and you won't give your son a penny for anything else until he completes them.

He Says: I know what you're thinking: Roaring down the open road, Steppenwolf blasting on the radio, your son's body parts rearranged like a Picasso portrait. While I've had a few Harley fantasies, I agree that teenagers and motorcycles are usually a bad combination. To scare him off you could get a tattoo and threaten to ride with him. Or if your husband and son insist on a bike, demand that the gift include safety gear and a gift certificate for a motorcycle safety course.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, May 2006.


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