Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lessons learned

The excitement of earning an allowance seems to have palled for one Alison Reed. It was another $4 week after Captain Reed determined the young redhead hadn't quite lived up to her chore list. Her chief offense was in having to be reminded to feed her two fish.

Jeff took advantage of our dinner hour to relay the news. And as is his wont, he tried to impart a little fatherly wisdom as he brought down the hammer. "You know, Alison, your fish rely on you to feed them, just like you rely on Mom and Dad to take care of you, to get you to camp, to get you food, to get you clothes. If we didn't live up to our responsibility, you wouldn't like it very much, now would you? You can rely on us. Your fish need to be able to rely on you."

(I'm giving you the abbreviated version. I'd pretty much eaten, cleared the table, washed, dried and put up the dishes before he was done.)

"So, Ali, do you agree that this wasn't a $5 week?" he asked.

"No, Daddy," she said. "It wasn't a $5 week. But Daddy?"

"Yes, my sweet?"

"Do you think it would be OK if I used my $4 to buy a small packet of Pokemon cards?"

The captain re-assumed his lecture position.

"Well, Ali, let me tell you about a man who taught your dad a lesson about unlimited wants and limited resources," he began, launching into the tale of his high school economics teacher, Dick Halpin.

"So, if you spend all your money on Pokemon cards, how will you ever buy your Nintendo DS or more Laffy Taffy or anything else you want?" he asked.

Without missing a beat, she leaned over, put her little hand on his arm and said, "Well, Dad, I'd rely on you for those things."


Dana said...


Jen said...

wow - she's being exposed to some serious "Halpinisms" at an early age. We didn't have to deal with him until age 15 or so. It's only a matter of time before he starts telling her about the 3 guys who can play the green monster...