My Pledge is in the Mail

Mr. Random Name is hosting a  Scheharazade Pledge for cyber world’s famous David Rochester. So far, an unofficial poll of pledges finds that the people are embracing the David Rochester situation with open arms.

I’m a good guy, and I like to donate to just causes whenever possible. That is why, after cooking the books and going over my expenses, I have decided to jump on the Pledge bandwagon. David, my contribution is in today’s mail. To prove it, I have included photographic evidence.

I know that it’s Sunday, but you should be receiving this envelope by Wednesday at the latest. I have used a business envelop (being cheap) so Mr. R, please don’t think that this is junk mail and throw it away. As you can see, this is a tidy sum. I’m hoping that it will at least keep you in kitty litter for a couple of months. Or cat food. Or your favorite coffee. Or, God forbid, if someone should happen to catch your eye and you decide to take her to a movie (please choose the matinee so you have some money leftover for popcorn).

Now, on the off chance that Mr. Rochester really doesn’t want to accept my “pledge” because maybe he has a problem with actually being a charity, I will offer this alternative. Mr. R can edit my novel, at least offer $25 worth of editing. Is that fair? Otherwise, consider this a gift.

I am proud to be part of the Scheharazade Pledge. I only wish I could give you more.

Being Unaware and Clueless is Not a Good Thing

We own a couple of businesses. One is a cash-only business, and the benefits of that are too many to list here. Of course, there are downsides as well. One of the biggest downsides is having to leave a rough area of town with a wad of dough. (Well, it’s a lot of money to me, but I imagine there are drug dealers in the neighborhood who think our daily take is chicken scratch.)

I have one thing going for me when it comes to leaving the business with a lot of money: I’m not the kind of person who looks  like I have a lot of money. I don’t wear designer clothing and rarely do up my hair and wear make up. Being low key can be very annoying when shopping for high end items like cars, furniture and video equipment. Most sales people in those arenas tend to view me like a bum, so I get treated like one. However, if your business is located in the ‘hood of a major Rust Belt City, this is viewed as a plus. Since right now my car’s front bumper has been dinged a couple of times, and I haven’t washed it in a year, I’m really looking the part. I have coats with inside pockets, so I put the money in an envelope and put it into my ratty coat. No one knows the difference.

The business is open seven days a week. This means on weekends we must keep the money somewhere before the bank opens on Monday. Usually, it’s on my kitchen counter. We’ve done this forever. Perhaps acting in this way makes us unaware and clueless. We assume people will not break into our house and steal from us, and were amazed and dismayed when our next door neighbor came by to tell us they were burglarized. Our house keys are in the hands of several people, including a friend who cleans for us and the exterminator. In our other business, during the summer months, my husband could possibly bring home many thousands of dollars in a night. Our kids have lived with this, and they know how to hit us up for cash for their own personal use, so it’s never been an issue.

Today, Mr. Demonic was counting up the cash, and found that the Friday envelope was $60 short and the Saturday envelope was about $75 short. This is bad. For one thing, I brought both of them into the house. Not only did I count both twice before I left, one of the girls at the business counted both twice with me. This way we double check for errors, and there has never been any. In fact, on Friday, we were $10 over from the paperwork, and Sunday (Mr. Demonic’s day) we were $20 over.

Since my house has lately become the scene of much teenage drama, my daughter is now surrounded by her friends. The list of suspects includes them. I don’t like suspecting my daughter’s friends of stealing cash. Is it the really nice one who is going to California with us next month? Is it her other friend who is saving up money for a cruise?

I have a feeling we won’t be keeping the daily take on the kitchen counter anymore.

Time Off From School?

Mr. Demonic Jr. announced via email that he would like to take time off from school once he graduates in spring 2009.

I’m all for it, but I sent him a brief email back stating he’d better think about a job. Remember, the gravy train makes its final stop sometime next year.

By spring 2009, he will be close to 22 years old. Except for a short stint as an ice cream boy in Ghiradelli Square, he hasn’t had a real job, ever. Especially since we employed him before that. We own a real business, but when you are the boss’ son or daughter, it’s not like having a real job. I know this from working in my father’s gas station. Working for family is sort of like slave labor with loads of benefits.

From working at the tourist trap-chocolate factory, Mr. Demonic Jr. knows that 1. nothing chocolate is in his future and 2. he hates foreign tourists.

I had to bite my tongue with him (or, in this case, curb my urge to type angrily) with regard to old stories of my own checkered youth. I didn’t have parents who funded my upper education. With five other kids, they couldn’t afford to. I worked like a dog for the two years I did get in, but fell to the wayside when I decided eating was more important than a degree. Even my husband, Old Mr. Demonic, foot the bill for his own college studies. His parents gave him room and board, but nothing else.

My sister has a wonderful idea when it comes to children and how much of your wealth you should share with them, especially with adult children. She’s worked hard all of her life, and is thrifty, which is why she’s got a nest egg the size of an ostrich’s. Her own daughter has a kind heart and is a good mother, but has tended to make poor choices. Let’s say her nest egg is about the size of a frog’s.

My sister called me about five years ago asking my advice on what to do with her money. She would have loved to have given some to her daughter, but felt it would not have been spent well. My niece is the type who would take a windfall, buy a vehicle, and promptly crash it before getting insurance. I suggested donating some to whatever charity she likes best.

After some conversation with my brother-in-law, she decided what she was going to do. She would spend it all before she dies. They just returned home from a vacation to Disney World, where neither had ever been. Now they’re planning a vacation on Tahiti. After that, I might go with her to Japan.

It’s nice to have children, and it’s nice when they are adults. It’s even nicer to forget about your adult children and do what you want to, what you dream of. I think I’ll try to pen this idea in a sensible way, and answer Mr. Junior Demonic’s email.