I constantly ask myself: “Is this at least $10 worth of fun?”
That seems to be the limit. Any more than that and it just doesn’t seem quite worth it.
1. Let’s Go To The Motherfu*kin’ Movies
My best friend got $50 from her parents for her birthday, which was a lot of money, especially for a fifth grader. It was the most money I’d ever seen a kid our age have. It was more money than I’d ever had.
“Shouldn’t’ you save some?” I kept asking.
“Why? We’re already here,” she kept saying back. Here was a movie theatre attached to the mall where we’d already spent a good portion of that $50 on junk food and other things I can’t even remember what.
We saw an animated film that was a bit young for us, but which was the only thing playing at the time. It had odd musical numbers that ultimately proved memorable only because they were slightly less worse than the film itself.
Movie tickets back then were under $10.
The next week and we were broke again, and would remain that way for weeks to come. For weeks on end.
It was almost worth it.
Anyway, it was the best we could do. It was everything that we, between us, could have done.
2. Wholesale $50
My dad found $50 on the ground next to the wholesaler’s where we went to every two weeks to pick up vegetables for our small grocery.
“Don’t tell mom.” That was the first thing he said. “Let’s go for pho!” was the second.
We ordered pho dac biet, the special. It came with everything. Usually, we’d get fast food or something else, something cheaper, but a wholesale $50 is a wholesale $50.
“Here, you can have what’s left,” said my dad. He gave me the change from the bill. But the difference between what he gave me and the cost of the meal did not add up and I told him so, thinking perhaps we’d been shortchanged by the server.
“I took $5 for lottery tickets,” he said.
Was it a confession? To this day, I’m still not sure.
3. Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls
Stephen and I once found a crisp $50 bill at the foot of a frozen waterfall during a hike in the snow. It shone red against the white of the forest floor; a beacon on a cold winter’s day. A sign, if there ever was one.
$50? Think of the possibilities. An easy $50, free and clear!
But. We were living a new life in a new city and were still in the process of settling in. Extra money therefore meant extra responsibility, or at least the sinking feeling that we should act extra responsibly with it.
We used the $50 to buy groceries. Also, toilet paper. The good kind.
No lie. It was everything.
Double ply, double happiness.