Archive | February, 2013

Single Mom Success Without Being on the Pole

28 Feb

All right, I never do contests but I’m determined to win this one, because as Kanye said, “Madge is the best single mom of all time… all time!” (drops mic)

What does winning this contest mean?  Nothing really.  But it will pimp my blog out and more people will see it and hopefully I will get more readers.  Then when my book comes out in a little bit I will have more readers to pimp it to, which hopefully will be more money in my pocket!  Master plan, bitches, master plan!

So click on the link below and scroll until you see my blog and then vote for me.  I was at number 16, then I stopped pimping and now I’m down to like 34.  So vote!   Now!!!  …please?

Vote Here Top 25 Single Mom Bloggers

It’s supposed to be some badge, but I can’t figure it out.

Anyway, here’s why I’m the greatest single mom blogger of all time:

1.  I don’t have a husband, therefore I don’t use the God damn annoying word “hubby”.  (cut it out now, seriously it sounds childish and condescending)  At least have an imagination and call him something like “El Spouso” or “Uber Husb” (because really there is an s before the b) or “Donor”.  I would call mine “big pillow”, because a husband is one of those big pillows with arms that you lean against on your dorm bed.

husband

2.  I’m a broke single Mom who has tried like hell to earn well but make sure kids are well taken care of.  However failing miserable on the “earn well” part.  But if you look at me on paper you’d think I was tres’ fabulous.  You would think you’d see me in Nantucket Reds, Papagallo pumps and pearls and driving a Volvo station wagon with my squash racquet in back.  I’ve often heard, “Madge, oh you fancy huh?”.  But in reality I’m eligible for foodstamps.  Well yes, I do live in a great house, my kids go to exclusive private schools, I belong to a country club, I have a new (used) car, a new fancy phone, a son at snooty NYU, great jewels, and a charming wit.

Well, the house, I’m essentially just a boarder in this great house that is owned by my “manfriend”.  I pay some rent and do most of the housework.  I was forced to, couldn’t afford another rent hike at apartment, nor could I afford another security deposit.  And didn’t want to move to the low rent/high crime parts of the city.  This is supposed to be temporary, I want to provide my own home for my kids.

My kids all got merit scholarships and financial aid for these private schools because they are smart and driven.

My car? The old one died after 11 years and 172,000 miles, it was ridiculous to put yet another $1,000 into it (already spent $1000 this year) when I’d only get that much on a trade-in anyway.  I called in favors and finagled a no money down, ridiculously low payment a month.

Country club?  My manfriend belongs and we use it sparingly as not to create too much extra cost for him.  We can go to the pool, just don’t order any food or drinks.  lol  And I play golf as an accessory so when a guy he wants to do business with asks him to play golf with his wife, we have a great little social outing.  It’s just like when Darren Stevens used Tabitha as an excuse to bring a client and his wife over for dinner.  Chances are that married dude wouldn’t want to hang out with some single barfly guy right?  Just like hockey, I think I should get an assist on the score (sale).

NYU?  Merit scholarships.  He earned every bit of it and he works his ass off and works part-time.

Fancy phone?  Earned an upgrade after having the last one for two years, only cost $50 for latest Droid technology.

Jewels?  Charming Charlie’s or Michael’s.  If you haven’t been to Charming Charlie’s you must, it is to die for.  I have women that shop all over the world for jewels and ask me about mine and I proudly say, “Oh this necklace?  $6.99 at Charming Charlie’s”  Or I taken broken bits of jewels and repair them with bits from Michael’s and create new stuff.  Gotta’ know how to shop, ladies and gents.

Charming wit?  Genetic.  And I think I’m genuine and hard working.  People are willing to help if you are genuine and hard working.  I’m not asking for handouts but hand ups. I set up your social media, you give me gas money.  I bring you a new client, you give me a loaner car while mine is fixed.  It’s like old fashioned bartering.  I should be a fucking ward boss, just like my ancestors.  I’d be huge back in the days of Tammany Hall (well if I were a guy).

Oh and having a nice rack never hurt anything either.  Sometimes you just can’t have shame, well maybe just enough to avoid the pole, though.

3.  Another reason is because I have created a master race of successful, well adjusted children. (fingers crossed)  My kids aren’t douches.  Ok, maybe sometimes just to be funny but we can’t avoid things when a laugh is to be had.

4.  I never announce to friends or large crowds, “I have to go pee”.

5.  I have had exactly one boyfriend in my 12 years of divorcedom.  Spent the first 9 years single and hid my shenanigans from my kids.  Nothing is worse for a kid than a revolving door of men. (so do it in private :))

I deal with what I’ve got.  I use my assets and talents and cherish my friendships.  I make the best of things.  Just because I’m broke doesn’t mean I can’t try to be upwardly mobile.  I want to be successful.  I’m not pretending, everybody knows I struggle (maybe too much sometimes, I’ve been trying to stop).  But number one, I’m bound and determined to give my kids everything they EARN.  Not want or need, but earn.  They are smart and good and deserve a chance and I want them to be as successful as they can.  And that doesn’t even mean earning the highest possible income, it means being a good honest person who works hard and has a lot of love in their lives.  That is success to me.

So suck it.  I’m the best single mom, vote for me.  🙂

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Bring Back Feudalism, Then I Wouldn’t Need to Figure Out a Career Damnit!

26 Feb

I must say I have had several different attempts at re-inventing myself in the last, well… 47 years.  I was going to say during this whole 12 years post divorce thing, but really thinking about it, I’ve spent my whole life trying to find the real Madge.

Well to begin with there was the whole name thing.  I was born Margaret Frances.  Jesus Christ I hated that name as a kid.  Did my parents want me to be a nice Irish Catholic Nun?  You know, growing up in the 60s and 70s all the girls had cool new names like Jennifer, Linda, Lisa, Wendy, Jan, Cindy, Marcia.  I had everybody’s Grandmother’s name.  But that’s ok because my parents called me Peg.  After my Father’s favorite song “Peg O’ My Heart”.  And as odd as it sounds Peg is the international nickname for Margaret (no idea why).

Then that turned into Peggy.  Then of course was the phase of “Peggie”.  And then Peggie with the i dotted as a heart.  (gag, I think that was like 5th grade)  Then as all my siblings will tell you, I had an alter ego within that, “Peggy Starlight”.  (God how embarrassing)  I was probably 4-6 years old and I used to wear this floppy sun hat, a poncho, and these big yellow plastic sun glasses and I pretended to be some sort of international superstar… or dried up lounge act, who knows.  That became a big joke over the years.  I was absolutely mortified, when I went to my niece’s wedding last year, flew into Seattle and was picked up by my sister’s friend holding a sign that said “Peggy Starlight”.  SMH.

Moving right along, then I was back to Peg.  Then I got to college and changed to Margaret.  Then everyone felt the need to short my name and started calling me Marge but with thick Maine and Massachusetts accents people thought they were saying Madge.  Thought it was funny, so we started going with Madge.  I was a broadcasting major and decided to name my radio show on the campus station, “Soaking in it with Madge”, playing on Madge the Manicurist of the popular Palmolive dish liquid commercials of the time.  Ta Da!   And there you have it.

Oh that was just the name, honey.  Then there were the haircuts.  My Mother said she never knew what I was going to come home looking like on a college break.  The wedge cut, the buzz cut, the buzz cut with long bangs, a braided tail, the asymmetrical wedge, the Flock of Seagulls, the bob, then normal long hair.  That was just college.  Then later there were the various “Mommy haircuts”.  Ack.  I’ve had the long hair now for about 6-7 years.  What the hell is happening to me with the consistency?!

Then the jobs/careers.   TV, radio, admin assistant, stay at home mom, customer service, receptionist, print sales, realtor, freelance marketing, property management, non-profit crap, writing, social media.  Then I tried going back to school first for psychology (wanted to be a therapist), then for a marketing degree.  I even tried graphic design and realized when it was real high-tech, I bombed.  What the hell am I?  Who am I?  What am I doing here?  What do I do with my mess of a self?  The only thing I was ever 100% certain I was meant to do was be a Mother.  And I feel confident in that role, “Broke Single Mom Creates Master Race of Successful Well Grounded Children”.  Yea!

I think I finally got my shit straight when I read a self-help book for apparently people with ADD like myself.  It said that you don’t have to have one straight and narrow path.  Many of us have many tastes and desires, so dabble, diversify.  Which is funny because I spoke to a psychic once that said I would need to have several streams of income, I won’t be happy doing just one thing.  Well, duh now.  Which goes against everything how I was raised and that was to have laser focus on one thing and do it the best of anyone.  Yikes.  This book talked about things like having this one career, then owning property on the side, and doing this other sideline.  That’s all great, but when you have to raise 3 kids on your own, time and waiting for income to come around are two luxuries I can’t really afford.

I now realize and accept that asking me to laser in on one thing is like asking a spastic 4 year old to sit down and watch “Lincoln” and take notes.  Oh shiny!

There is all this talk about going after your dreams!  Which I’d love to do, but again how do you logistically do that with being a sole supporter of 3 kids.  I guess now that I have one in college, I’m getting closer but being able to pay for college is still hanging there.  And I still have two in high school on the way to college.

I’ve been trying to whittle down my interests.  I think I have it right for now.  Writing and social media/marketing.  I’m doing both and loving it.  Still waiting for it to be really profitable but I hope that will come in time.  I’ve already taken a couple other interests off the list, one of which includes acting.   I auditioned for a couple of things, didn’t really get any good parts, decided it wasn’t worth the time.  Maybe I have no patience, maybe I realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was, maybe I just realized my heart wasn’t in it like it used to be.  I’d rather do my own material and just be me.

But we come back to that ever-present question… what the fuck is “me”?

Is it odd that I felt totally alive when I went to a celebrity revue drag show the other night and thought, “That’s what I want to do!”.  Is there such a thing as a female drag queen?  Maybe kind of “Victor/Victoria”-ish.  (look it up folks, old Julie Andrews movie).  I just want to be fabulous and lip synch and tell jokes on stage, is that so wrong?

Well, good news is, I’m taking one dream further than I ever thought… my book.  I have a photo shoot coming up for cover and headshots.  *gulp*  The book is being combed over by a trusted friend and writing associate.

I feel a lot of anxiety and fear which I never thought I would.  What if I spend too much money getting it out?  What if my editor friend says it sucks?  What if you say it sucks?  What if I only sell 5 copies?  I guess those questions can be answered with, “Well at least you can cross it off your list and now you know”  And maybe I’ll keep trying or maybe I’ll just move on to the next thing like another name change or hairstyle.  And there’s always work in phone sex…

Have any of you decided to go for broke and go for a dream?  Do you have trouble knowing what you are supposed to do in life?

Harlem Shake – Just Stop it Right Now!

21 Feb

I have below a little commentary on this stupid ass phenomenon called the Harlem Shake.  Harlem is an historically black section of New York City.  Harlem Renaissance (look it up), Harlem Globetrotters… yea, ya’ get it?  The Harlem shake was actually a dance started by young kids in Harlem, who mostly happened to be black.  Now every idiot is putting on a costume and doing it.  Do you see where this is going?  Directly or inadvertently turning this into a modern day minstrel show.  Click video below.  Thanks.

 

Old Harlem Shake

 

New Harlem Shake

 

You decide…

If You Hated High School… Get Over It

19 Feb

So I got some emails regarding my high school reunions this week.  Wait, do I tell you what number?  Oy I don’t really care but sometimes these younger little cretins will tune you out if you say you are “older”.  Well, hey ya’ little douchecopters it’s my 30th high school reunion and I f-in’ rock!

Did I tell you I got a new phone and I still can’t figure the fucking thing out?  It keeps dinging at me.  Stop it!

Anyway, oh yea 30 years.  Oh and why did I say “reunions” you might ask?  Well, I was born and raised in one place and then I moved to another place 2 hours away when I was a junior in high school.  Really incredibly crappy time to move, took me about 20 years to get over.  Seriously, I’m not kidding.

But anyway I go to the reunion of the high school I actually graduated from and then I go to the reunion of the place that is really my home.  The place I call home is where I was born, my 5 brothers and sisters were born and my Dad was born and my Dad’s parents were born.  Anybody before that came from Ireland.  So there was a lot of tradition there.  The other place I was a fish out of water but still made some good friends.

The last several reunions I went to both reunions.  This year, wouldn’t you know it both are on the same weekend.  I think I’ll probably go to the place I was born reunion.

But a lot of you are probably saying, “HS reunion, blech I’d never go to mine I hated high school”.  Sorry but you people kind of bug me as those “sour grapes” types.  Someone had to say it and I finally did.  I know, so much in this world is “not cool” and it’s really cool to shun things.  But honestly, I had some of the best times of my life at reunions.

So you may have been picked on in high school or not one of the cool ones, what better way to say “in your face, you didn’t take me down, I’m still here and I make a lot of money now, so suck it”.   Or something to that effect… than to go to your reunion and look ’em in the eye and smile?

I’m not saying high school was the best time of my life… because college was.  But it’s not about high school per say, it’s about your childhood.  That’s why I feel so much more comfortable at the place I grew up because those were people, some of which I have known from pre-school.  Who else can you laugh with about the kid in 1st grade who always tucked his shirt into his underpants which showed out his pants and had a strange attraction to the nuns at school?

It’s familiar, it’s home.  It’s Mom and Dad, and the street where you lived, and the stoops you sat on, and the corner store.  It’s not about the dickhead named “Meat” that used to stuff you in a locker.  It’s not about Denise who told everyone you were a slut.  Remember the good childhood pals you had.  Also, I almost guarantee you will befriend Meat and Denise at the reunion..

People change.  Everyone is an asshole as a teenager.  Even my own kids.  Ok, not really kids, sorry.  But they can do jerky things at times.  And every time I went to a reunion the kids who were assholes in high school either A.) Don’t show up because they are miserable people to begin with and think it’s stupid or they are embarrassed because they don’t look like they did in high school (i.e. weight gain or hair loss). B.) They show up and they are really nice to you and say they are sorry for being an asshole in high school or C.) Show up and just kind of stick to the other idiots they hung with in high school.  They aren’t mean to anyone but they are embarrassed about what a putz they were in high school.  They had enough guts to show up but not quite enough to apologize.  And that’s ok.

I’ve never once encountered someone being a jerk at a high school reunion.  Nor has anyone I’ve ever known.  It’s actually always been kind of a… healing process.  I don’t know if that’s the right term.  You just kind of get to clear up some stuff in your head.  You get apologies.  You find out what really happened on prom night.  You find out why Joey was really kicked off the football team.   You find out that Linda really broke up with you not because she didn’t like you but because her Mother made her because Mom was an alcoholic and getting a divorce and if she couldn’t be happy, no one could. (seriously, this happened)   It’s like an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries”.  And if you’re single you can always hook up with an old flame (that is single) or someone you always wanted to hook up with (that is single).  Did that.  That was awesome.

Yea, I know we all have Facebook now and that connects you to people but just like internet dating people are COMPLETELY different in person… and when alcohol is involved.  I know, my 20th reunion I ended up in a hot tub in a t-shirt and underwear with a bunch of other classmates…

Another added bonus… great business contacts!  Seriously, I’ve known so many people who made connections, got new business, found new jobs, or found funding for a project.  It’s a great networking opportunity.

So before you poo-poo the high school reunion again, just think about it… get the stick out of your ass and see it as a positive experience.  🙂

 

 

10 Wildly Inappropriate Yet Well Meaning Valentine Cards

14 Feb

Remember in elementary school how you’d buy (or rather your mother would buy) that box of small little Valentine’s Day cards and you would fill out each one with a name of a classmate and then sign your name?  Remember how you would carefully choose the coolest, cutest, favoritest character ones?  Then if you waited too long to go buy them, you had to pick from whatever was left like some lame Tom and Jerry shit or Strawberry Shortcake?  And the messages sucked.

Well whatever you got, as you got older you thought the sayings were corny.  Then of course as you got much older you thought about how to make the sayings on those cards somewhat inappropriate.  Hell as adults, you probably even made some porn-themed Valentine greetings in your head.  Come on, it’s fun to smash the innocence of a good old fashioned Valentine!

So, I offer some do-it-yourself inappropriate Valentines, just add impure or unkind thoughts…

1.  flinstone

From the Hallmark Mary Kay LaTourneau Collection

2. rash

My advice… get some penicillin, then sue.

3. vintage_valentine_sink

Uhhhh, well I hope so or it’s back to number 2 above ^^^^

4. retro-valentine-1 club

The Chris Brown Valentine…

5.  emo valentin

Wow, that’s uh, pretty intense.  Call the suicide hotline pal, don’t send a Valentine…

6.  sexting valentine

The first sexting Valentine obviously.  Teaching young girls to send pictures of themselves in underwear to boys since 1952!

7.  retro_us_military_valentines_day_card_

This Vulcan (check out her hand) bowling bobby soxer wants to give it to you good when you get home soldier!  Nothing says sexy like bowling…  Live long and prosper while killing Nazis!

8.  egg valentine

From the Hallmark Small Penis collection…

9.  ronald

You’d take that clown over me?  I knew you slept with him!  F**k you!

10.  eat

Uhhhh… yea.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

10 Things To Never Ever Do on Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

Who gives a shit about Valentine’s Day?

Heart_corazón.svg

Well, really a lot of people do.  And I would say 50% of those “people” are women.  10% are men who fear they will never hear the end of it if they don’t do something spectacular for their woman.  10% are men who just met a woman and are desperately trying to impress her.  And the other 30% are gay men in love, like, or lust.

Yes, you’d think that the percentage of women might be higher but it’s not really.  Ok, yes when females are younger, we care.  Who didn’t sit anxiously by that paper bag taped to your desk in elementary school, waiting to see the bounty you would reap?  “Oh I wonder if Suzie will have those yummy chocolates taped to her cards again this year?”  “I wonder if Billy will write something special on his Flinstone’s card to me?  I Yaba-daba-do like you!”  “I wonder if Patty will skip me because she’s a jerk?”

Then when we little darlings were in our pubescent glory in junior high, we wondered who would slip a little Valentine into our locker.  Yes, you could always count on sweet loyal Wendy, she’d make up hand written cards to all her girlfriends to wish them a great day.  Ok, that’s great but is Stevie gonna’ put a note in my locker?  Will he ask me to check a box yes or no if I like him?  My 13 year old self had an aneurysm, a myocardial infarction, and a  nervous breakdown waiting for the results.

Which brings us to high school.  You wondered if your boyfriend would bring flowers to school or tape something romantic to your locker.  Maybe take you to a special Valentine’s dinner at Howard Johnson’s.  Nothing says love like fried clam strips or a clamwich, after all.  The side effects were slightly less than junior high, no aneurysm was suffered.

College… you hoped for some romance but everybody was just mostly hoping to get laid.

heart

Early 20s?  That was a little more fun because now the guys have a little bit of money… and we could get laid.  Come on, that’s pretty much what it was about at that age and you know it.  I had a great Valentine’s Day once, I actually got 3 different surprises.  I was working at a TV station and first I received a cool exotic contemporary flower arrangement from a guy I had gone on several dates with over the last like 6 weeks.  Next I got a dozen roses from a guy that I had a lengthy “complicated” thing with whom I had just left behind when I moved from North Carolina to NY.  Then I received a gift bag with a rose, a teddy bear, and something else I can’t remember from a guy I had met about 2 weeks before and had gone out with a couple times.  That guy would later become my husband.  That was my ultimate spoiled princess dream that I will never have again, but it was cool to have just once. 🙂  But to stay neutral and keep my options open and be a good girl, no one got laid that night.

Oh, it was a balloon, the other thing in the gift bag was a balloon. (which I hate but I married him anyway, should have been a sign)

Late 20s and 30s, just married… oh what romantic thing will my husband do?  Gotta’ send flowers to the office, no ifs ands or buts, it’s all about impressing the co-workers.  Seriously.  Romantic overnight?  Aw, ain’t love grand?

30s and 40s and divorce.  A slight reversion back to high school with a new flame… will he or won’t he?  With a side dish of college… hope to get laid.

Late 40s… I don’t really care.  Flowers would be nice.  How about just don’t make me cook or do the dishes for once?

Heart band

We’ll see what comes next.  Maybe the nursing home will be like elementary school but we’ll have paper bags taped to our wheelchairs.

However, I do know that at any age there are just a few things you DO NOT WANT TO DO UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ON VALENTINE’S DAY, unless your goal is to be a complete dick…

DO NOT EVER…

1.  Ask for a divorce.

2. Give fake/cloth/silk  flowers.  Unless it’s somehow an inside joke or related to something that’s happened between you two.

3. Break up with someone.

4. Try to go out to eat without a reservation.  There is nowhere to have dinner anywhere, ever at anytime if you did not make a reservation ahead of time on Valentine’s Day.  Seriously, no exceptions.  It even takes an extra hour to get a pizza delivered, and the line at McDonald’s?  Forget about it.

5. Go out with your mistress instead of your wife or girlfriend.  Yea, had that happen.

6. Be ungrateful.  Ladies, don’t be an ungrateful bitch even if he does the smallest thing.  At least he tried.  Or maybe he made as little effort as possible, whatever you’ll live.  If he does nothing, eh you can be a little disappointed but don’t dwell on it or “make him pay”.  That’s twatty and catty.  Just get over it.

7. Ask her to make a sandwich for you after you just pounded her.  Unless she offers…

8. Give the “I hate Valentine’s Day, it’s just a capitalistic holiday made up by the man” speech, when you know the other party kind of likes the day.  That’s just douchie and sends the message that you’re just too unimaginative to come up with a gift and/or too cheap.  Not to mention a little miserable.  Lighten up and enjoy the day with your sweetie ya’ tight ass…

9. Tell your wife you don’t get enough sex from her and then turn her down when she tries to create a candlelit roll in the hay on V-Day.  *ahem*  Yea, that’s when she’ll figure out you’re having the affair.

10. Fall asleep while putting the kids to bed.  If you have little ones, attempt to stay awake so you can get into bed with your loved one and do a little snuggling.  Even if you hate the day, set aside some quality time to show you care.  That’s really all it is.  Even if you’re man says he hates the day, he’ll appreciate the gesture and a little bit goes a long way.

hart to hart

No matter what stage you’re at or if you do or don’t get you some… Here’s hoping you all have a great Valentine’s Day!

 

Question:  Do you care about Valentine’s Day?  Did you ever have a great one or a terrible one?

heart balloon

 

Don’t forget to share my blog with your friends!  Kind of like herpes!  Share on FB, Retweet, follow me, like me, love before I relive junior high anxiety!!!!

Mo’ College, Mo’ Money

8 Feb

Simple question today…

If you are a parent, who should pay for college?

As you all know I have a son who is a Freshman at NYU.  Luckily he is wicked smart and got lots of scholarships.  The leftover is paid with loans.  Loans that he will pay after he gets out of school and probably until the end of time… and passed onto his heirs to pay.  Unless he becomes that international business dude he aims to be and can actually pay them off some day.

Jack college

Move in day at NYU for my son

 

Anyway, he also does work study.  He has a totally sweet gig that I wish I had had in college, not only because it’s better than schleppin’ slop in the dining hall but it’s great for a resume.  As you all know most resumes of kids right out of college boast things like “cashier at Urban Outfitters”, or “server at Chili’s”, or if they’re really lucky “bartender at Don’s Mixed Drinks” (a real place in Denver, btw).  His job?  Operations assistant at NYU MBA admissions office.  Ya’ know he files and sorts applications and does spreadsheets, nothing glamorous, but what an “in”, I tell ya’.  So that’s his spending money.

But I feel guilty as hell.  I’ve been broke ass broke for several years now.  Ex-husband left the picture, stopped paying for a few years (now coming back in drips and drabs but nothing to write home about).  So I have that whole Catholic guilt about making up to the kids for me being broke and their Father abandoning them.  I know, I know shut up it’s what we Irish Catholics do.  It’s like our favorite past-time.  I want to give them everything.  But I think the best lesson my kids learned out of all of this is that they can’t always have everything in life, life just isn’t fair sometimes.

I digress.  I struggle with who pays what.  Does he pay for books? Should I pay for books?  Do I give him a monthly allowance?  Do I help pay for spring break?  Do I pay the fraternity dues or does he?  Do I pay part of the loans back or does he?  I paid the deposit for enrollment and deposit for housing (which were hefty) so is that my fair share?  Ugh.

So for advice, just before school started I get on the Facebook page for parents of incoming students in the NYU class of 2016. (seems surreal doesn’t it?  I was college class of 1987, I couldn’t fathom 2016 then, I thought we’d be wearing Star Trek uniforms by now)  And a Mother starts a little forum about “How much are you giving your child for an allowance at school?”.  Not even if, but just how much.  I thought ok this will help.  Until I saw the answers.  “I’m thinking $100 a week, but is that too little?  Maybe $150?  You know so she can go to a movie, get some frozen yogurt, mani/pedis, maybe a cute outfit for a function?”.  Since when are these “necessities”? Then they all go back and forth debating whether it’s too little.  Meanwhile my lofty goal was $100 a month.  Hey, it’s college you get all your meals there and what’s a keg party these days, $5 a pop?  What does a boy need?

Actually he was fine with that.  He’s such a good kid.

When I was in college I literally had no budget.  No, not because I could spending anything I wanted… I wasn’t supposed to spend anything.  Now, God rest my Father’s soul who just died in October, loved him immensely.  But he was notoriously cheap.  He was a child of the Depression, that’s how they were brought up.  So, his great idea was you don’t need anything but if you do, write a check and then I’ll deposit the money.  I was in college in Maine, they were in NY, back in the early 80s it took like a week for  an out of state check to go through, you could do that.  But with a drunk college kid who orders pizza at 2am who writes a check for $3, you often forget to tell Dad.  And you don’t think I was embarrassed writing a check for $3?  Oy.  And I would have to go to the bookstore to cash a check for $5 if I wanted to go to a couple parties that weekend.  If I wrote a check for more than $5 I’d get a lecture.  And remember there wasn’t a vast network of ATMs then.

The best months I ever had were when I sold back my books at the end of a semester and had that small set amount I knew I could spend.  Yea, I think learning to budget was a much better lesson.  I choose to teach my kids to budget.  But who makes the budget?  Do I give an allowance or make them save from a job?

I knew people who… if they wanted to go to college back in the day, they had to pay for it.  Everything.  If you didn’t get the money, the parents said, “tough crap”.  Now most of the time these were blue collar parents with no college education.  They didn’t see an immediate need for college I guess.  Or they really didn’t have the money, I don’t know.  If my ex-husband hadn’t have gotten a hockey scholarship to college he probably wasn’t going to go.  And he wasn’t stupid, he was an A student at the same private all boys Catholic school my son went to (both of them on scholarship).  But it was all his money if he wanted to go.  I knew kids who couldn’t come back a certain semester because they didn’t have the money and the parents said “tough crap”.

I know it depends on the financial situation but which is better? Mom and Dad to foot the bill because he’ll have plenty of bills later, or he’ll better value his education if he pays for it all?

Do I make him use all his work study to pay for all incidentals or should I still pay for books?  I mean yea, if he wants falafel from the street cart, use your own money but what about the bigger stuff?  Thoughts?

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