Every year, I look forward to the day when school is out. It’s true. I’m ‘that’ mom.
I wait patiently for the day to arrive and generally when it does, I’m the one you see waving that checkered flag. Yep, that’s me in the white hat that reads “Deadlines Amuse Me.” You can’t miss me.
After a few short weeks of bliss, the sports schedules begin and soon, I’m the one sticking up the white flag—yes, the one signifying surrender. Generally, by this time, I’m in my T-Shirt and Shorts. The shorts read: “Mom in Motion—Move Over” on the ass and the T-Shirt typically reads “Writer’s Block—when your imaginary friends not only quit talking to you but they give you that ‘duh’ look too.”
That would be me.
These days, school sports and tryouts begin at the first of July but by this time, moms and dads have already shelled out thousands of dollars from their savings accounts to pay for the best of the best sports camps. (You know what’s coming next) Yes, that would be me standing in line for financial aid for the elite summer training camps. Oh, wait a minute; I guess I got carried away. That line never opened but…they gladly take cash or plastic.
Now that school is back in session, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect. Okay, so not really—because I am behind on the “deadlines” that once amused me—but it sounded good. In any event, I’ve started to wonder where on earth the school officials think the parents in public schools earn their money? Really, I’m curious. I mean the first four weeks of school and I know I’ve dropped a thousand dollars to pay for this or that.
I used to think I earned a pretty good income. I’m not rich by any stretch of the imagination but I’m not standing in front of Home Depot (with my tin cup in hand) using their two by fours as some measure of protective clothing either. However, I’m starting to feel the crunch here. I really admit it. In fact, those cardboard feed-me signs are starting to look sexy.
Just last week, my son hit me up for his class ring. Now, keep in mind, my son made over $350 a week this summer as a baseball umpire. I’m not amused that he doesn’t have anything to show for it so I’m not rushing out to buy a class ring. I would have if he didn’t have the opportunity to call baseball games and earn his own money but right now, I’m not willing. He’s told everyone he can’t afford it and every single time I hear it, I postpone paying for it another week.
In addition, here’s what we spent on two kids last week. We bought two lunch tickets at $20 a pop. The kids came in for some kind of T-shirts they wanted at $15 a pop. The activity fees and student sports pass (or whatever they’re called) at something like $40 a pop and wait a minute…then we had school pictures and the sports pics too. Now, here’s the best part—the middle school is also conducting a fund raiser where every middle school child in this county has knocked on my door. As a side-note—I have two teenagers of my own. I can’t buy from every kid in the county.
There’s only one solution…everyone who lives in East Tennessee is a gazillionaire—except for me, of course. I’m serious here. The way we’ve been sending money out of here the last two weeks, you would think my husband and I had a new crop of Ben Franklin trees producing more than ever before. Really, at this rate, it’s more like Grover Cleveland and maybe that’s where the real trouble lies—everyone wants to see how long these trees will pluck green. My neighbors have fruitful ones—so do I. In fact, I think it’s the mentality around here. We all keep up with the Joneses but someone tell me—who are the friggin Joneses? I want to talk to them and ask them if they are gazillionaires.
Oh, and then there’s the weekends to fund. This generally starts with the “Mom! Everyone is going to the game and then tomorrow night we’re going to the movies.” No problem son, here’s a fifty—keep the change. Darling daughter, you too—have a coke on mom.
I could try telling them I’m all tapped out but what’s the point? They wouldn’t believe me. They really wouldn’t and here’s what I’ve recently discovered that my son does. If we tell him we’re finished handing out bills for the week and a buddy calls to invite him out—you got it—he burns our asses. He simply states, “Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t go. My parents are tapped out.” Or the one I love the most, “We can’t. My parents don’t have the money.” He doesn’t bother telling whoever is on the other end that his mom only works for him in the first place! I’m serious here. I’m not self-employed. I work from home and I have two bosses. I work around the clock for both of them—my son and daughter.
So again, I ask of you—where are the gazillionaires? I’ve been keeping up with the Joneses and just discovered the Joneses have moved up to a different income bracket—they must be right up there with Bill Gates. Since the schools always have their hand out for one fee or another—tell me please, how are you keeping up with the gazillionaires? Do the schools in your neck of the woods load you down with fees from day one forward? I’d love to know your opinion!
Until next time, Keep it Sexy—Read it hot!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Move Over Billionaires--the Gazillionaires are Shaking