Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Value Of A Dollar

Yesterday, while I was feeling overwhelmed by the pile of laundry stacked three feet high and six feet long "hiding " behind my couch, I got a brilliant idea. "Hey Sam!", I said in my most enthusiastic voice. "Do you want to earn some money? I'll pay you a dollar to fold all the towels, rags and washcloths in that pile." He is saving up for a Nintendo DS, so I thought this was a win/win situation. He looked at the pile and said,"Two dollars." I said ,"DEAL!" Then once he saw them all gathered into one heaping basket he tried to talk me into three dollars, but there was no way I was going up again. He still folded them and he did a good job. That boy knows the value of a dollar.

About a week and a half ago, during a conversation/Sunday School lesson/ Story time we had that was taught by and elderly gentleman in our ward, we were informed that we - Matt and I, work harder for our money but get less for it than "back in the day". Brother Stoyteller said that he and his wife could go out every Friday night on a date to the temple, pay the girl down the street 25 cents to watch their 8 children (this was before the last two came along) and after the temple they would go get a burger, fries and a drink for 15 cents each! A whole date for 55 cents! Then he told us minimum wage was less than $2/hour. Still! Holy Cow! 55 CENTS! WOW! And here my six year old is saving his money for a TOY that cost $200 once it's all said and done. (DS plus a game or two.)

Many of you know I work in a middle school. Those Tweenagers are full of shenanigans. Someone has super glued a quarter to the bathroom floor. The first time I saw it, I gently, so that no one could tell brushed my foot across the quarter to see if it had been adhered to the floor. When I found out it was I thought, HAHA (evil laugh) you can't fool me into bending over to pick that up. (Did I mention the ladies room was empty except for me?) Now, twice a day, when I'm on my usual visits to the bathroom - one to GO and the other to make sure I don't have any lunch in my teeth - I kick at the quarter with my foot. Because at this point, I am outraged that someone wasted 25 perfectly good cents. What is the point? It's not like they are hanging out in there watching to see who falls for it. If they were then hey, that's some cheap entertainment. But who wants to hang out in the bathroom. Not me. A much better place would have been in the hall or the lunch room where you can sit and watch unsuspiciously.

I have a brother, who shall not be named to protect his "innocence", who got together with a bunch of friends and found some fresh cow poop, rubbed it on a dollar bill, and then set it on the ground in an obvious spot right outside the doors of a grocery store. They then ran to the car, which was strategically parked in a space with a good view, and waited until someone came out and picked up said poo dollar. And then they had a good laugh when the "lucky person" realized there was a smell, or something sticky on it. The person inevitably dropped it and then it sat for it's next unsuspecting victim. Again, cheap entertainment, though this one I do not endorse. EWW!

I have long thought that Matt and I were born in the wrong era. Why weren't we born in the times when money stretched farther and things cost less, or how about the times when people wanted less? Was there ever a time? Then I think about the problems they had and the things they had to go through, and I'm back to being happy about where and when I am. After all, there was no blogging back then, and it's free!


Becky said...

I too go back and forth as to what era I would like to have lived..."simpiler times" seem appealing. I'm pretty sure Nathan would prefer a time when people were more self sufficient and provided themselves with what they needed. Sewed their own clothes, grew their own food, etc. He's always wanting to learn new skills and how to make stuff himself. He says, "Why should we have to rely on someone else?" It's not so much the price tag that inspires him, though I think it is a major factor. It's mostly because he wants to be able to do everything himself if he ever needs to....you know in catastophies or if there are "hard times" in the future.

Interesting post.

Cote Corner said...

i'd say that I am happy to be on this earth now. Even though there were less "ID" people then, there are definaltey more privelages for us now. Women can vote, hold jobs if they want, etc.
P.S. In case you didn't know, "ID" is "I Deserve" and is what this generation is now known for. (including myself I suppose) I admit when I was growing up I thought I deserved a whole lot. Now I realise that we need to work hard for things and not expect things to be handed to us on a silver platter. Wish me good luck on teaching that principal to my kids!! :)

Jeanna said...

My family finance book has some interesting statistics. We really do make less money than our parents. Their dollars were worth more than ours.

Good for Sam for knowing how to negotiate the terms and good for you for sticking to the verbal contract.

KordelandHeather said...

Our last trip to the temple on a Friday night did not include any type of food for ourselves and was for 4 hours. We only have one child and the cost for the babysitter for that amount of time was double minimum wage. Where as in your story that sweet man only paid a 1/4 of minimum wage for 6 kids and dinner!

Amalia said...

I just want to say I love reading your stories. It takes me back to a "simpler time" of high school and us talking and telling stories rather than participating in PE. "Walk, Girls!" Memories :)

Julie J. said...

Oh yeah. Do you think Mr. Muma still wears short-shorts on a daily basis?

Kim said...

You are so good at blogging. I loved this post.

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