Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The New Poor

Growing up without being able to take the easy life for granted is a good thing. It builds character, increases gratitude, and forms a strong work ethic. If you want it, you've got to work and save for it. I remember one occasion as a child, I tried repeatedly to give Mom back a quarter she'd given me to spend. I'd overheard (ok, I admit it - as a child I "overheard" lots of things) her talking about how tight money was, and couldn't bear to squander such a large chunk of the family budget.

There's no denying it's affected both of us, though in different ways. By the time he was an adult, Jack loathed chicken, after several lean stretches meant chicken served morning, noon, and night, in every conceivable way, shape, or form. Fortunately he became a vegetarian, so that's not an issue for him any more. And his moratorium on poultry fortunately didn't extend to soy chicken. We don't like to spend money, and don't habitually carry much cash. I'm doing good to have $2 in cash on me, and tend to deal mostly in coins. Jack isn't quite as bad, and usually has $5-10 on hand.

Last night, Devon the Incorrigible Snoop picked up Jack's wallet and began idly looking through it. When he came to the cash pocket, it was empty except for a receipt. His jaw dropped and his eyes bulged. "Mom! There are no dollars in here!"

His face fell, and his brow furrowed. Sadly he asked, "Are we really this poor?"

Of course I didn't want the little fella to worry, so I made sure Jack left with some money in his pocket.

Hey, $2 is better than no dollars.

Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth

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