eglantine_br (eglantine_br) wrote,

Money and Memory and Inequity

When I was young I had a friend. Maybe you had one like her. She was everything I wanted to be. Her life seemed so golden to me. Her mother never seemed to say 'no you cannot have that, it is not a good value.' I did not just want her clothes, I wanted her life. I doubt she ever knew I felt that way. She was so much that I was not. Things came easily to her, she was athletic and poised, and popular. Her family had different breakfast items than mine did, and hers were so much more interesting. (Of course, as the years went by, my feelings moderated. She had problems, like anyone. Her family had tough times, all families do. But I can remember just wanting to be her. Children do not have cute little child-sized emotions, children are fierce.)

Her mother was cooler than mine, younger too. My mother checked all the clothes she bought me for deep hems, that would stand to be let out, and she tugged every seam to see that it was not poorly sewn. She never let me buy my own shoes in peace, she went with me to make sure I chose something that would stand up to wear, and leave room to grow.  She did not buy snacks, or sugary drinks, she was frugal by habit. And it embarrassed me.

One day the young son of this family was at the  at the store at the same time as us.He was a nice boy, no malice in him, he had good manners, in a preoccupied teen kind of way. On this day he got some change back on something he bought, and we watched him take the pennies and nickels out. He threw them in the dirt and walked away. Leaving them behind.

My mother was spitting mad. "Never forget," she said, "Every coin is someone's work. Somebody somewhere worked for that money, and passed it on until it came to you. When you waste money, you are treating other people with disrespect. You are saying that their hard work has no meaning."

I am not sure I can be that mystical about money. Times have changed too, But This is sickening.
Tags: family, from brooklyn, real life
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded