Monday, January 03, 2005

A letter from my Father.

I don't know what to say.

Dear ******,

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/12/14/
for_lottery_winner_113m_hasnt_bought_happiness?mode=PF

The article above is about a lottery winner who since winning a tremendous fortune had been plagued with a series of tragedies which included losing thousands in gambling leaving a half million in his car unprotected which was stolen and making promises to charities which he was unable to keep.

The one common element to these tragedies was that he had a hand in them with his irresponsible behavior with his windfall.

This quote sums up the winner's state of mind

''This clown is not capable of handling a $10 bill, much less all those millions. Every time you turn around, he's having trouble with the laws of our state. What a waste of all that money."

But his greatest blow was when his granddaughter was discovered dead from a drug overdose.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-12-22-lottery-tragedy_x.htm

"I would've torn up that ticket." is what his wife is quoted saying.

After reading these articles I not only felt great sadness about his life but it also made me think about our own situation. Since you have acquired your trust fund you have become lackadaisical in the direction of your life and your treatment of your family has become unacceptable, putting a tremendous amount of strain on all of us.

As far as I am concerned you are no different than that lottery winner wasting your life and money way on frivolous pursuits. Your sister tells me you want to be a rock star, but what do you know about the music industry? Do you know how to get an album deal, how a record is produced and have you ever even done an internship where you were made to fetch coffee and run errands?

I am not an expert however I am very well aware of the odds of success in that arena. For one Madonna, there are millions of waiters, bartenders, real estate agents and others who work for a dream that exists only in their mind. Often the closest these unfortunate souls get to stardom is a weekend gig playing the bar mitzvah circuit.

We brought you in this world as our own yet you do not show the proper respect or gratitude that is due to your parents. Instead you treat us as atm machines or as nagging dogs nipping at your heels. I shudder to think how you act in public. I suspect your the impression upon others is not favorable at all.

When your Grandmother implemented the trust funds I begged her not to allow you and your sister to have immediate access to this money and at least wait till you were both 35, married and able to understand the nature of what you would be given.

Your Grandmother refused, telling me that any type of enforcement could just make things worse. From her experience children often do the opposite of what parents want since children, unlike parents, do not have the foresight of years gone past.

I never understood her till now but I realize there was absolutely no way we could have prepared you for this burden. Only through facing this first hand would you be able to understand the gravity of your situation. But it frustrates me that you have yet to grasp even the fundamentals of managing your finances. I mean, what possessed you to think that an 11 million dollar apartment was the appropriate choice for you?

Today I will be liquidating the assets of a client who declared bankruptcy due to a series of unfortunate high-risk investments and the only thing he has left is a mansion in Florida, which he will have to sell in order to pay for his son's medical school tuition. However I think he is far luckier than I am. He may end up living in a condo in Boca Raton with his wife for the rest of his days, but his oldest daughter is an investment banker, his middle son is a successful lawyer and now his youngest son will be attending Harvard medical school. His greatest legacy in this world will not be the millions he once possessed but his children. I am still pondering what I shall leave when my time comes.

Besides your indolent treatment of your finances and family, my other chief concerns is the way you treat your time which is more valuable than any amount of money in the world. Money can be lost and gained but time can only be lost. I lie awake at night with this fear that you will not have found your way and end up becoming a spinster who lives alone with her 20 cats becoming bitter and angry with the realization that any opportunity to create meaning in your life is long past.


Your trust fund does not give you the right to do anything you want. It is an actually responsibility that has been given to you. And you are failing miserably in fulfilling it.

As parents we have failed in raising you properly and now your life is entirely out of our hands and we are helpless to assist you. In all honesty I think that lottery winner's tragedies are understandable. He lived a life of three meals a day and now he was given his very own feast which must have been truly overwhelming. However you were raised in this lifestyle and exposed to this world that this man had so much trouble adjusting too. Yet you show no signs of acquiring any knowledge from your upbringing.

I beg of you to please wake up and think very hard about who you are and what you are doing with your life besides focusing on dreams that will never come to fruition. You have many years ahead of you; please you use them in a productive manner and review your life. The last thing I want to do is compare you to your older sister. But my heart wells with great pride with her accomplishments. I am not telling you to become a doctor, get married to a lawyer and raise a family in Palos Verdes. If you yearn to become a doctor and get married then do it. If you desire to become an English teacher at Exeter that's fantastic too. But on this New Year please pick a path and walk it.

My intentions are not to hurt you with my words but to wound you as deeply as possible. Perhaps it’s the lawyer in me that brings this out but from where I stand great pain must be inflicted upon you in order for you to respond. You may hate me after this. But I don't how else to help you.

Love,

Father

16 Comments:

Blogger zillah said...

wow...that's a really touching letter. it really shows how much your father loves and cares for you. i hope you do the best thing for you and your family. good luck.

zillah

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seem to be a little thin skinned so I expect you'll react to this comment in anger but WHY would you post such an inimate letter from your very anquished father? It is very obvious that you have caused a great deal of pain in your family and will surely cause even more if your parents find out you did this.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think posting personal letters like this might have something to do with your father writing this?

Since you have acquired your trust fund you have become lackadaisical in the direction of your life and your treatment of your family has become unacceptable, putting a tremendous amount of strain on all of us.

10:07 AM  
Blogger zillah said...

oh give me a break anonymous. what gives you the audacity to deliver such harsh words to PP? get off your high horse. do people know who she is IRL? no. did she give her father's name? no. this is HER journal. the place that she chooses to let loose. if she decides to share intimate letters to the rest of the world, she has every right to do so. i'm sick and tired of people judging her because she's young and wealthy, and, well, most likely they're not. don't be so pathetic.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

She hasn't revealed anything anyway.
People who are strangers have no idea who she is , or who her father is...and I hardly think the fact that someone's dad thinks they're spending a little too much money is a defining feature...almost all parents worry about their children, and even my mother offers financial advice, and she and I will always be broke!
And if her friends read it and know what's going on well, that's not exactly news either. I discuss everything with my friends anyway...you need to get stuff like this off your chest, otherwise it will drive you crazy.
I hope PradaPrincess lets this digest a bit and doesn't take it too seriously...don't let this put a damper on your new year. It's okay to pursue dreams, that's the only way you'll ever reach them. It's okay not to know what you want to do-take your time, and do what you love.

J

10:29 AM  
Blogger NYiBanker said...

Wow. A very powerful letter, zillah is right, without ever being too obvious, that letter expresses true love and caring. Someone asked me once, if I love my girlfriend, I said yes, and he said that there are a lot of people you love in your life, your family, your friends, however, you never know true love until you have kids of your own.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Prada Princess,

I find your website to be an entertaining and amusing part of every day that I spend making $15 an hour answering phones in Denver.

I can tell you that although our bank accounts vastly differ, my problems with my father stem from the same thing - Managing Money. It is a hard task and one that you don't just pick up on overnight.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Your Father does love you but his love shouldn't hinge on your mismanagement of your finances and he needs to know that HE IS LUCKY TO HAVE YOU and someone else is not luckier just because he views the success of a clients children. Believe me I have seen many investment bankers, business owners, lawyers, etc... get caught up in far worse things that mismanaging money and I am sure if given the choice your Father would realize that you really aren't that bad. And besides these are just examples of his views on happiness.

Ask yourself, what will make you happy and get to it!

3:32 PM  
Blogger Chris Lloyd said...

It seems all parents, regardless of class, race or dnet worth, care about the future welfare of their children. It's a part of life. Do you have a finacial advisor? I know i'd be completely lots if i had to deal with a lot of money. Your apartment cost $11 million? Must be a hell of an apartment. Anyway, just wanted to say I enjoyed the blog.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this for real?? Was your father drunk? I just can't believe that your own father would say his intention is not to hurt you but to wound you deeply. That's a bit rough, isn't it? And surely his intention is that you make some changes in your life??

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you make typos putting the letter up here or does your father just have poor grammar? Maybe he should hire a proofreader.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This scenario is all too familiar...don't fret, your Dad sounds like a classic control freak (much like mine) and now he feels like he's lost control over you and he's freaking out. Don't worry, he'll eventually calm down, but it may take a few years. In the meantime, I suggest getting a job, or even an unpaid internship a few hours a week. You Dad will be HAPPY HAPPY, even if it is lame and not in your field of choice. Trust me, work makes all parents happy.

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be very interested to know how you respond to this letter. Do you think he's wrong? If so, why? ARE you understanding the responsibility that a big sum of money can mean? Are you being careful with it and understanding the huge possibilities that you have been given because of it?

I'm not saying you're not, I'm just wondering, too.

I would say that your Dad really cares about you, and it's his job to write you letters like that. That's what Dads do.

I don't know. I think it would be really hard to come into a large amount of money all on your own. I would say it truly is a massive responsibility.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you don't want to hear this, but your father brings up some good points. It also took quite a lot of swallowing of the pride to admit to both himself and you that, in his eyes, he missed something in your education about life. I know money is a touchy subject, but I would like to thank you for being so honest about your life with regards to money.
-Dan

4:44 PM  
Blogger -J. said...

Okay, Dad could have phrased it better. But it sounds like he's at a loss as to how to convey his point any other way.

You're just out of college, right? Don't know what to do with your life? Can't handle money quite yet? Guess what, you and every other recent college grad. There's nothing wrong with not knowing yet.

If you've never read it, you might take a look at "What Should I Do With My Life?" by Po Bronson. It's not boring or all self-helpy, I promise, and it doesn't have answers per se, but it's a glimpse of people at different stages of exploring the question.

You seem to realize that you're at the start of a journey on your own. You got a crash-course in real estate, that's for sure. Stay open to possibility and try to act responsibly. The rest, very likely, will come.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your dad rocks - it's obvious that he really cares about your well-being and wants to raise his children to be concientious individuals. I myself am not a trust-fund baby, but have many friends that are. For the most part, their parents are just not involved in their lives at all. Yeah, it's great that we can go out and not have to worry about money b/c my friends' parents' credit cards are taking care of everything. But I would never trade my parents that have taught me value of of money and integrity with my friends' parents who don't seem to care about anything other than being an 'important figure in society'.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Ole said...

I quite agree with one or two of the other posters on this thread. I find it beyond vile and contemptuous that you should choose to share this letter, written so earnestly, with the world. What were you expecting? Approval? Understanding? Sympathy?

I don't know you and have no idea whether your father is correct. But the simple act of placing the letter on your site suggests to me that he probably is.

9:25 AM  

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