When I was your age…
Just kidding, I have no idea how old you are. However, when I was younger I recall chowing down various food items that were of the generic variety. True generic. White background with black lettered writing stating nothing more than what was inside of the package with no promise of a guaranteed decent taste or quality. The food my mom usually went generic for was cereal or canned vegetables or potato chips. And I ate those corn flakes just the same as I would have if they contained a prize inside. I did not care of the difference. I knew it was the cheapo version of national brands. I just thought we were somewhat on the lesser side of the spectrum as far as family incomes were concerned. I was gullible.
Please understand, we were not amazingly wealthy. However, I think my parents tricked me into thinking we were poor so I would not assume material things were going to be around when they were not. I did have everything I needed, and more.
I guess, if there was one thing I would say my parents did ‘right’ when my sisters and I were growing up, we did not get handed to us things…ever. I remember one time, my mother told me I could a new bed to replace the one I’d had since I left the crib. She took me out and we picked out a FOLD OUT SOFA! So, I was probably fifteen, and not only did I get a new bed, but a couch in my room! It probably cost her a few hundred dollars and I though I was the most spoiled child in the world. I felt badly because my sisters were laying around on their daybeds and I had a grown up bedroom! If only I could have convinced me to get a phone with a cord and I think I would have become Catholic from the guilt I felt for the luxury.
I am guessing every generation feels the same way, so scoff if you like. But I feel as though I spend more on The Max than my parents did on the three children in my family combined. He’s into these toys, Bakugan. And I succumb to his desire. Why? Two reasons.
#1 I want him to be able to play with the boys on the block whos parents but them Bakugan to brawl with.
#2 He really gets into the things, and I like buying him things that he actually uses.
But what if…what if I didn’t buy him Bakugan, or clothes I feel are trendy enough or shoes that he considers cool for walking through the second grade hallways? My fear is that he would be considered a weird kid. I mean, he is weird. All kids are. But, he is ‘in’ enough because of my purchases that I have prevented him from becoming a social outcast because of fashion or play-thing rules?
Why can’t we all, as parents, get together and say, “ENOUGH!” Let’s not waste our finances on making sure our kid feels hip enough for grade school and buy a decent car for the family or pad college savings a little more or take a vacation or something more worthy or our labor.
How to I start this petition? Where do I get other folks to sign up for my generic mission? Even if you head to your local Target, you no longer receive a handsome black and white container of chips, but an Archer Farms bag of coffee or bottle of ketchup. Possibly, when I decide The Max ought to try his first beer, I will seek out the worst of the worst: BEER beer. I fondly remember selling this as a cashier in high school. It came in beautiful white cans with plain no nonsense writing:
There was a lady who bought a six pack of these puppies EVERY DAY. At $1.99, why the heck not?
To end this rant of blabber, I understand that society levels and status will be around for eternity. I just hope for my own son, that even if he participates, he understand that when he was a kid, he too, ate dirt. And he loved it.