Friday, December 2, 2011

Chicken Dinner!*

Among the many phrases the not-yet-grown Boys learned to parrot with accompanying eye-rolling was "Yes, we can afford it, we just choose not to buy it."

Back in the day when the young'uns were young and I was working full-time but non-salaried as a mother, this phrase was used often as we walked through Wal-Mart and were dazzled on every side by Lego sets, Star Wars paraphernalia, and stuff SO COOL it just didn't make sense to not buy it right then and there.

"Can't we afford it?" a Boy would ask after I marched by the fabulous toy without putting it in the cart, and I would answer "Yes we can afford it, but we're choosing not to buy it."

This was, of course, a total lie.

Okay, it wasn't a total lie. We were not poor in the sense that we ever lacked for anything important, including music lessons in multiple instruments for multiple children. But every dollar was pretty much spoken for, with not a lot of wiggle room for gratuitous Lego sets and light sabers.

That's why I was absolutely flabbergasted when my name was drawn for the gift card given away at Small College's health fair yesterday. Even now, with two professional salaries in the family, having FIFTY DOLLARS that are not earmarked and pre-tagged is just a mind-boggling embarrassment of riches. This little card could become new Christmas placemats, or a stash of yarn, or a plug-in-able kitchen appliance. I get goosebumps just thinking of the possibilities.

It occurred to me that I'm probably more excited about a modest gift card that will be used to support a big box store (albeit one that employs local folks) than Donald Trump is when he buys a new island. After all, he probably can justify buying a chain of islands easier than moms with four kids in college can justify buying a completely random kitchen gadget.

Donald, you could not possibly be as rich as I feel.

*Hmmm. Perhaps not everyone is familiar with the phrase "Winner, winner, chicken dinner." It seems to have puzzled some of my readers. Feel free to use it liberally in connection with yourself.

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