In high school, I had more disposable income than I probably ever will. My wardrobe was full of original pieces from local boutiques, and my music collection was more than ample. Mind you, this was when people still paid for CDs. Remember CDs? Those discs that come in colorful cases and magically play music when inserted into special electronic devices? If you don't, wikipedia can surely help.
Anyway, a typical Saturday during my senior year of high school probably would have involved brunch at a garden diner with friends, picking up some threads at Buffalo Exchange, one too many espressos at Spiderhouse, and a show at Emo's. I would spend money at four (maybe five or six) different places in ONE day. And I didn't even charge it to a nearly maxed out credit card! And I didn't even have a regular paycheck.
No, my Mom and Dad did not generously give me cash whenever I asked for it (though I obviously tried...a lot). And today, after receiving sixty dollars of tax-free cash for four hours of trampoline jumping, I remembered the financial magic that is babysitting. BABYSITTING! Or in my case, playing with rambunctious kids and then eating lots and lots of the best ice cream in the world.
Now, some people might think it's a wee bit under the skill-level of a college graduate to spend time playing tackle-hide-and-seek with eight-year-olds, but I tell you, these kids can reveal lots about the lives of the housewives of the wealthy. For instance, today a neighborhood girl revealed that her Mom had a tummy tuck. Although I earned a college degree, nothing in my studies had ever mentioned this curious procedure, so I asked the girl to elaborate.
This is basically what she said:
"My Mommy had a fat tummy so the Doctor sucked out all her tummy fat and then sewed her up, but he left out the extra skin. "
I thought her description was rather insightful, given her recognition of problematic skin-flaps after episodes of extreme weight loss (remember that guy who won the first Survivor and lost tons of weight? He spent some of his prize money getting his extra skin removed).Then she grabbed my generous portion of abdominal cushioning and giggled. During this poke-session, I recalled my earlier fling with cookie-dough ice cream, and decided that I would rather spend money on embellishing my tummy fat and having children poke me as though I were a suckling pig destined for a Christmas meal than spend money having a doctor suck it all out.
Then I remembered that this babysitting gig was just a gig, and that I don't have enough money to eat normally, and felt a bit of satisfaction. That housewife had to pay to eat AND pay to get her fat removed. When you're poor, you can't afford to eat, so you accumulate food savings, fat savings, and plastic surgery savings. Therefore, I decided to cherish the piglet feeling, because after a few months of unemployment, people might ask me who performed my tummy tuck.