Diddy, Diddy, did he? Why yes he did, GEMs! Back in January this year it was widely reported that Sean “P.Diddy” Combs bought his son a car for his 16th birthday – an event documented on MTV’s ‘My Super Sweet Sixteen’. But not just any car, a 360,000-dollar Maybach! His duly grateful son, Justin Dior Combs, said it was the best birthday of his life. Ya think?
Well now Diddy is coming under fire. In an interview on last week’s Nightline on ABC, Diddy defended his right to spend his money how he sees fit, including a car that costs more than the median home price in this country.
Come on now! Surely Good Enough Mother cannot be alone in thinking this is WAY over the top for a 16-year-old! Yes I know Diddy has a lot of money. Yes, I know he loves his son but is he doing a disservice to his kid?
In the year leading up to my 16th birthday, I dropped all kinds of hints to my folks about the type of car I wanted. Clearly I was laboring under the delusion that we has some secret stash of cash somewhere and that my mom, clipping coupons and using powdered milk and soy vegetable protein, was a ruse to get my sister and I to THINK we were poor so we wouldn’t ask for stuff. To my great disappointment, there was no Al Capone’s vault filled to the brim with tens and Bens. Nope, just two working parents trying to pay bills on time and clothe and feed a couple of teenage girls who were growing faster than dandelions in an open field.
When I got to college, I got a part-time job selling clothes at a local mall. Along with paying my own tuition, I bought myself a severely used Toyota Corolla that I paid $115.00 a month on, when it was running. But I took great care of that car because it was all I had and it represented freedom to me as well as something I owned that I bought all by myself.
That didn’t stop me from lying in bed at night, wishing I were one of the rich kids whose parents bought them cars and pretty much anything else they desired. But my parents did give me something that money couldn’t buy then and cannot now. My parents taught me, whether intentional or not, that hard work will fill you with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Diddy sat down for an interview with Martin Bashir of ABC’s Nightline and seemed to be on the defensive when asked about the extravagant gift he bought Justin.
Okay, no one is going to tell Diddy how to spend his money but outside of providing food and shelter for our kids, what lessons do we need to arm them with? For me, I want my kids to be self-sufficient, to know that they have responsibilities just by virtue of taking up space on this planet. I want them to know while they are special to me, they do not deserve special treatment. I want them to understand the value of a dollar and to know the world owes them nothing but an opportunity.
I won’t judge Diddy because you know it makes my head want to pop off when people do it to me. But I am curious. Is Diddy feeling bit of guilt here? The whole scene reminds me of when someone dies and the family then goes out and spends thousands and thousands of dollars on a fancy casket to assuage their guilt about how they treated them while they were alive?
Diddy is a self made man, worth an estimated 345 million dollars. Justin is one of his six kids by three mothers. Maybe, just maybe, he should spend more TIME with Justin and the others instead of working to make money FOR them. But what do I know? I drive an 8-year-old car filled with dog hair and trash.
Am I alone in feeling this way? Would you, if you had the money, buy your kid an extravagant gift?