I was recently accused, in reference to money, of being “tight as a duck’s ass.”
I hadn’t heard that one before. But I’ve heard plenty.
When I was 10, Uncle Jack offered me $5 to buy something, but I couldn’t find anything that seemed worth it, so in the end I asked if I could keep the cash. He liked to say that when I took out a dollar bill, George Washington blinked, he was so unused to seeing sunlight.
I don’t think I’m cheap; I know I’m exceedingly frugal. I don’t just save money, I save everything. It’s possible I lived a previous life during a depression. In fact, I might have starved to death in that previous life, as horrified as I am at throwing away food.
My first job was babysitting, paying about $1 per hour. I hated babysitting – being at other people’s houses, trying to put children to bed, being around children generally – so to me, every dollar was hard-earned and I was in no hurry to part with them.
Later, working at Ponderosa, spending any of my meager pay was still a struggle. I bought the album The Pretender because I believed I couldn’t live without it – that it was worth the $12. ( I was right – I still have that album and it is still my favorite.)
It really took me a while to figure out that what is “worth it.” Like springing for the good theatre or concert seats. Or like on our honeymoon, when they asked if we’d like to upgrade to the Jacuzzi room and I was about to say “hell no” but Mike said “of course we would,” and I was horrified – right up until we opened a bottle of champagne and got in that jetted tub. Definitely worth it.
I was born in Oswego, NY,
"I had always wanted to be a writer, but was impeded by the belief that to be a writer one had to be extraordinary, and I knew I wasn't. By the time I was ready to give up my academic career I had realized that while books are extraordinary, writers themselves are no more or less special than anyone else." The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield