Lucky Number 13If there were an award for being cheap, my dad would be the winner! I would still be wearing clothes from age six, if it weren’t for my mom. The only time I got toys or other items I wanted was if I would cry. This was a power that only I could use. My brothers never had this power and had to run to my mom for the stuff they wanted. I guess there really is a perk to being the baby and the only girl.
My dad became cheap during childhood. He saw how hard his parents worked for their money, and he never wanted to waste it. If that meant losing quality for a cheaper cost, then that was a small price to pay. This continued, even after he became a prosperous Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist. He would do anything to save a couple bucks. For example, he would buy generic brands of food and ½ ply tissues. His personal favorite was keeping all of his children 12 or younger forever to get discounted tickets, meals, etc. I didn’t mind much and actually would enjoy seeing if the workers would actually question our ages. My brothers, however, didn’t like the age game, especially my oldest brother, Brian.
When I was seven, my whole family took a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. There, we went out to eat at a seafood buffet. In the restaurant, the waiter asked, “How many children and adult plates would you like?” Of course, my dad responded, “Two adults and three children.” The waiter didn’t contest it, but Brian did. Brian was always small for his age, so he hated being mistaken for even a year younger. So, big-mouth Brian said, “I’m thirteen!” Even my mom at that point was trying to shut him up. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and he shouted his true age for the world to hear. My dad laughs about this now, but at the time, he was more embarrassed than anything else, especially after it was apparent that the waiter heard. At the end of the day, my dad had to pay for three adults and two children.
If you ask my dad if he considers himself cheap, he will reply, “I’m just thrifty.” I guess that is one way to look at it.