Once upon a time, when I was a young child growing up with my sister, my Gramps spoiled the mess out of me. I could pretty much flutter my eyelashes at him and I could get another book from the bookstore or DQ* for dinner. However, my father kept me pretty down to earth, and still does to this day. We (like many families) were not rolling in the money but we always had enough to make it by. Our clothes might not have been the newest trends, but they were clean. My books might have been secondhand, but they were books nonetheless.
I grew up with a few friends whose parents were “loaded”. And when I say that, I mean the mother of one was a typical stay at home lady with the customary Juicy sweat suit and a fluffy dog. She was the BOMB. Seriously, I loved her. I was always in awe of their home, my friend’s cute top of the line clothes and how she had highlights in grade school. Whereas, I still had frizzy, brown, unruly hair that made me look like a troll. With a beer gut. Cause ya know, DQ. With that said, I rarely ever felt pangs of jealousy for her life. Why? Exactly. Why would I? Wishing for her life would never change mine. I would always be the little frizzy haired weirdo with mismatched socks and knock off shoes from Target instead of the cool shoes that she wore. Where ever they were from.
Enter Middle School; I was still weird. I didn’t know how to do my hair, make up was just straight outta the question, I still wore thrift shop clothes and had second hand books that I lugged around in my book bag. I wasn’t popular, but I had a group of friends. Some with families that had more money than others. Some without. I lived in a small town where football ruled Friday nights and Aeropostal was the height of fashion. I didn’t get a cell phone until my senior year, when my boyfriend bought me a cheap Alltel (back when they were a thing, before Verizon took over) flip phone that I had to add minutes too, so we could talk outside of school. The majority of my friends already had those cool Razr flip phones, ya know, the ones that the cool girls had. Props if they were colored. Again, I didn’t care too much. Mostly because I had to pay the bill on my itty bitty flippy phone myself, my dad wouldn’t pay for it.
I didn’t get my drivers license until I was17, again, during my senior year. My first vehicle didn’t spawn until I had already graduated. My dad paid for a portion, I paid a portion and finished paying him back. I never got to drive to school, instead I took the stinky ol bus to and from school every day. And it was terrible. Do you hear me? TERRIBLE. I hated every second of it, but I did it.
My first job was working as a substitute teacher, which I loved and the kids loved me. My second, I worked as a waitress in a small like pizza place right in town. I did both, while going to school. I had classes until around 10, worked at the school until 2:45, then pulled a shift making pizza from 4-9 every Monday-Friday. To say I was exhausted in an understatement. But my bills were paid, I still had a prepaid phone, and old clothes but I wasn’t taking money from my parents.
I worked as a manager in a Dollar General for 2.5 years and hated every single day of it, while still going to school. I barely slept, I had to make money. I finally got a job at a bank, where I worked for a little under a year until I got a job offer for where I am currently. I never asked my dad for money, I never called in sick to any of those places. I worked really hard, sacrificing time I could have spent with my sisters on the lake in my dads pontoon boat, going pumpkin picking in a field, doing basically anything else then working.
I got married at 21, my husband and I paid for our wedding out of pocket, with the exception of my dress which my sister put on credit. I paid for our tickets at Disney out of my paycheck. We paid for the whole honeymoon ourselves. We purchased our two story house at 23 without the help of anyone else.
So when I hear people complain about not having what I have, I get a little irritated. You see, we worked for what we have. We had help along the way, of course, but the majority of what we did, we did it ourselves. We don’t do “date nights” as often as I would like, we have no Wi-Fi at the house, but we bought our house ourselves. I have a nice new 2015 Fusion, that I picked out myself. Did I need a new car? Nope, I drove an 08 Altima previously and loved it. Did I want a new car? Yes. Did I buy a new car? You betcha. And I heard snide comments from “friends” who told me how dumb I was for buying a new car. But here is the difference, I work hard for my paycheck. I get my butt out of bed every morning and get my booty to work so I can afford nice things. My husband works long hours at a thankless job to help make every end meet in our home.
So next time you get a little green in the face with envy, see about changing your tune. The world doesn’t own you a diddly dime, sweet cheeks. Nope. Your mom, dad, sister, rich uncle from spain, spouse or the man down the street doesn’t owe you a thing. You want nice things? You want a nice house, with a nice car? Or new clothes? Or your hair done? Get a job and get them. Already have a job? Put that money away instead of spending it and buy it for youself. Oh, and keep your jealousy in check. It’s getting out of hand.