The summer before I started 5th grade my Dad took me shopping in Bloomington, Indiana for new school clothes. I was so excited when I found out that for some reason my Mom couldn't go and Dad was taking me. Why you ask? Because I just knew he'd sit on the bench outside each store and send me in with cash. Yes! Jackpot!
Well, my Mom must have briefed him before we left, because for the first time ever, he followed me around the stores keeping a little closer eye on my selections. Now, the summer before 5th grade… I was 10 years old, and it was 1988. Yikes. Anyway I found a pair of acid washed tapered leg Guess jeans with the zippers at the bottom that I HAD TO HAVE. Come on 30ish girls out there… you know the ones… bright red triangle on the butt? The price tag said $52.00
You're wondering how I remember that? Well you're about to find out.
I begged and I pleaded. My Dad informed me that they sell jeans at "Tractor Supply" for $15.00 and I didn't need $52.00 jeans. We headed out of the store and as we walked he told me that he wanted me to have nice things, and that he could afford to buy me those jeans, but that he wanted me to REALLY understand what $52.00 was. We talked about how many hours a person who made minimum wage had to work to pay for those $52.00 jeans. He talked to me about how much he made when he and Mom first got married and what that $52.00 would have meant to them. When all was said and done, I got the jeans, but I also got a life lesson that still stays right in the front of my head on a daily basis. Anytime I want to buy something, I stop and think… "How many photoshoots will I have to shoot to buy that?"… "How many hours of editing does that translate to?"… "Do I REALLY want it that bad?"
Thanks Dad. Thanks for spoiling me, but not spoiling me rotten.
Oh, and thanks for sucking the joy out of senseless spending for me.