Ask Grieves: I'm in Debt, But I Want a Motorcycle Now!



Grieves is a Seattle-based rapper signed to local hip-hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment. He recently released his fourth album, Winter & the Wolves, and will perform two shows at First Avenue October 10-11. You can ask him anything by emailing him here.

Hey Grieves,

I am a young guy who just got a new job and I have loads of student debt, but I really want to live my life too and buy a motorcycle. I know the debt will be there for a long time, so is there any reason besides not piling on more debt not to lease a new one? (I know how to ride, so I'm not worried about trashing it or anything). This new debt in my mind has a lot of benefits as well as downsides. Whud'ya think?

Easy Rider

Dear Easy Rider,

Let's rephrase this question. Should you be an adult and pay off your loans in a reasonable time frame? Or should you buy a chromed-out, 85 horsepower, double exhaust snatch magnet? The motorcycle was invented 129 years ago, it's safe to say it's not going anywhere. This doesn't mean you don't buy a motorcycle ever, but get your shit squared away. Know when you'll be out the woods with your current debt before you make a big financial commitment like that. Think of it as taking your time to find the right bike.

I'm the same way with instruments. I wanted to buy a Fender Rhodes for a long time, but I waited to pick one up until I knew it wouldn't set me back too far.

I know you're dying to zip up your leather jacket, tie on that all-over skull printed dude rag, get jumped into SAMCRO and hit the road with Jax and the boys, but in my heart of hearts I believe you should pay off your student debt first.

Dear Grieves,

My boyfriend is a recovering addict. We just moved back to our home town in Colorado and he's hanging with the same old crowd and has slipped up a few times. He's always honest with me and swears I'm the only person that can help him. We've gone through a lot of the same struggles, but I've never been an addict. I'm not sure how to help him when I can't be there 24/7 and I don't believe in yelling. That just makes shit worse. Thought you might have some helpful tips? Thanks for the help and motivation.


Hey D,

I don't know the source of this quote, but I heard it on Boardwalk Empire last season, and it went something like "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior." The truth is that you're not going to be able to change him -- he has to change himself. You can support him all you can, but so long as he thinks that "You are the only person who can help him," things will remain status quo. I've been in rehab and the truth is you have to change for yourself -- nobody else.

My advice is that you should get away from bad influences. I don't know how reasonable it is for you, but maybe getting out of Colorado is the best move. It's a hard and scary thing, but if you really want to be together and have a healthy life, you need to put some permanent distance between him and any enablers.

I know it's cliché, but it's cliché for a reason.

Hey Grieves :) 

My boyfriend of three and a half years is constantly cheating and lying to me about the stupidest shit. Every time I try to leave he says he will change, but never does. It's hard for me to throw three years away when I truly love him but I feel like an option to him. What do you think I should do?

-Faithful and Frustrated

Dear Faithful,

Put him out to pasture -- that dog don't hunt no more. Get your hair, toes, and nails done, crank up the Beyonce, and find somebody who really loves you. Headbob and triplesnap!

Write in to askgrieves [at] citypages [dot] com with whatever you want. It can be serious, or it can be funny. We'll print our favorite questions with my responses.

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