Saturday, February 16, 2008

Emotional spending and wasting money?

My daughter and I attended a flute clinic earlier this afternoon. She takes private flute lessons once a week and her instructor told her this would be a good idea to attend. She begged and begged to go. It cost $35.00 for students and $10.00 for the parent tagging along. I finally agreed when I looked at the itinerary. It appeared that there were several flute classes that she could take and be taught by area professionals. When we arrived and registered we walked around a bit because her beginner "class" was not starting until 1:15. We decided to go into the "exhibit hall" which housed hundreds of flute vendors. (I just didn't realize how many manufacturers of flutes there were!) Since we already had a flute, we looked at the various "accessories". There was a brightly colored fuzzy flute cleaner, so we purchased that. $11.00. When it was time to go to the "class", we went to the appropriate room and my daughter took out her flute. But alas, this was not an instruction period for students. Three students were chosen to play solos, (all arranged ahead of time), and an instructor was going to critique them in what they were doing right and/or wrong. So in essence, this class was more helpful for flute instructors. My daughter's heart sank when she realized, so she put her flute back into her bag and was flush with embarrassment. She was disappointed, and uncomfortable and after realizing that this was not what she expected, she wanted to leave. We were there for 1 hour.
This was a learning experience for both of us. I didn't want to go, and I wasn't really sure of the benefit of it, but I also did not want to disappoint my daughter. Although I spent $45.00 for a registration fee and $11.00 for a flute cleaner, it was worth the realization that I can not make decisions based on emotion. I needed to listen to my head first, when it said, "no, this isn't worth the $$, maybe when she has been playing for a couple of years..."
But, as we were headed home, emotions swept up again as my daughter sat in the car very disappointed and told me she felt bad that I spent the $$ and we didn't stay. She even offered up her savings to pay for the day. We stopped at Target on the way home to pick up a few needed items, then I decided to head over to our favorite Starbucks coffee shop to share caramel frappaccinos and just talk. It was worth every emotional penny!


Canadian Saver said...

Really, her instructor seems to be the one who steered her in the wrong direction... I'm sorry it wasn't worth the money, but time spent with your DD is priceless, isn't it?

And the frappuccino had to be great, that's one of my favorites at Starbucks!!

CT Mom said...

Hi Sharon - how disappointing. It's really hard to make decisions sometimes when you know it's your child's wish and it's what makes her happy. If I was in your shoes, I would be disappointed also, but also feel a bit misled if the event was marketed for students and turned out to be a trade show.

How sweet that your daughter offered to pay ... I think this was a good life lesson to her that sometimes we make mistakes even when we have our best intentions at heart. Btw, Starbucks always makes us feel better, too :-)