These parental folk of mine are what is known as "tight wads." There is nothing wrong with that. Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. They are hardworking middle class folk who know how to budget, and are true savers. Everyone should take a lesson from them.
I recently took a week long trip with my family and extended family to Yellowstone//Jackson Hole//Tetons. It was a very enjoyable trip. We had a lot of fun, and I would go again in a heartbeat. However, the timing was not so great for me with work and money. (Sheesh - is it ever for anyone?) I usually don't buy much when I travel, except for the necessities, and FOOD. I don't see the need to buy anything, therefore I take lots, and lots of pictures and count those as my souvenirs. I feel I have become like this because my parents are very much this way. As a child I don't remember ever having the chance to buy anything on a trip. It's cool now, I am older and can see that most little souvenirs are basically junk, collect dust, and later get given to good will. (I'm hoping my sister will soon see this - she is big on buying souvenirs when traveling...to each their own I suppose.)
I imagine we don't always want to turn out like are parents, but in the way of spending//budgeting I hope I can truly turn out like mine. A classic example of their tight wadness is what I would like to share today.
As our family trip was coming close to an end we spent one of our last days in Yellowstone National Park. After leaving the massive park we had to drive through the small touristy town of West Yellowstone. The few streets were lined with many shops offering loads of souvenirs, clothing, and one store in particular - cowboy hats. My Mommy dearest was pooped from the park and found a bench to read as my Daddy, Sis, and I perused the shops. Each shop looked the same, and they were all starting to blend. I was quickly done with perusing through each shop as they all ended up having the same thing in each one. We were beat and tired by this point, and we still had about a two hour drive back to our cabin. As we were getting ready to leave the small town my Daddy wanted to go back to a particular store to buy him a cowboy hat. The rest of us just wanted to get on the road. I happened to be driving at this time and kept asking my Dad what he wanted to do. We are driving the few streets as the talk back forth went a little like this,
Libby: "Dad! Do you want me to go back to the store?"
Heff (aka Daddy): "I don't know, Ellen (that would be my Mommy) can I get the hat?"
Ellen: "Do whatever you want I just want to go back to the cabin and we still have two hours to drive!"
Libby: "Dad - SERIOUSLY what do you want to do?"
Heff: "Okay, go back to the store. Oh wait what is this store? They have belts and cowboy hats. Let me run in there real quick."
Libby//Ellen: BIG SIGH! (As the car is stopped at now a different store.)
Heff: "Well that store was too expensive. Let's just drive to the store I originally found the hat in."
Ellen: "So, how are you going to pay for this?"
Heff: "I guess I will use my piggy bank money." (Dad pulls out a huge Ziploc bag with lots of quarters.)
Libby: She sees//hears the Ziploc bag and starts laughing so hard that she wets herself...just a tiny bit...she does have a little bit of self control.
Ellen: Starts to laugh because Libby is laughing so hard she is wetting herself and gasping for air like a walrus.
Heff: Suddenly becomes very embarrassed about his Ziploc bag of quarters, and says, "Never mind, I don't want the hat. This is going to look funny with me counting out quarters."
Ellen: "Oh stop it. You want the hat, so you should get it."
Heff: "But, I don't want to count out the quarters in front of people!"
Libby: Still laughing uncontrollably!
Ellen: "Fine! I will go in with you and help count out the quarters. Besides you will never see these people again, so why should it matter that you are counting out quarters?" (Good on you Mommy - of course these people will never see us again, but I'm sure they will have a grand time making fun of the man who counted out a bunch of quarters just to pay for a cowboy hat. If they make fun, so be it.)
Heff and Ellen leave the car, find the store, find the hat (he just had to have), and take their sweet time counting out quarters to buy his precious cowboy hat. Meanwhile Libby just sits in the car laughing.
|Photo taken by my Mother Dearest on her cell phone. (Never thought I would see the day my Mom took a picture on her cell phone...but then again I never thought I would see the day my dad paid for something with quarters.)|