Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they’re looking for ideas.

Lady Gaga’s mama told her when she was young, that we are all born superstars. My mama told me when I was young, to get a job.

Ren & Stimpy Pogs? Oh yes.

Many moons ago, in a world where Land Before Time was the best movie ever and Pogs ruled the earth, there was me. I was 10 years old, and partying like it was 1999 – which it was. Our summers were dictated by sharks and minnows at the pool, the ice cream man, and capture the flag. After a long day of hitting the “cement pond” (Beverly Hills Hillbilly’s anyone?) and half way drowning my friends, I returned home with my usual crew. Standing in the kitchen in my bathing suit, I could faintly hear the chimes of the ragtime classic, The Entertainer. My hair raised as I began frantically searching for loose change around the house, knowing my window of opportunity was short, and I had to have a Choco Taco.

I jumped to attention when I heard the clip-clop of my 6 foot tall mother wearing heals walking down the hallway. My savior! I quickly approached her and requested currency so that I could obtain my chocolaty goodness. Her response stopped me in my tracks.

“I’ll give you money, but this will be the last time. From now on, if you want something from the Ice Cream man or a Jem movie, you need to save up and buy it. It’s time you learn the value of a dollar.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How am I going to maintain this fabulous image with out an investor? I knew I had to act fast. First stop: my father. He quickly denied my request to be his security guard – Rude. Stop number 2: my next door neighbors, the Mendes’. I trotted next door, still adorned in my bathing suit and a nice chocolate mustache, and rang the doorbell.


Mrs. Mendes answered the door and looked me up and down with a sideways eye.

“Hi Mrs. Mendes, can I work for you?”
“What do you mean by work, Kate?”

“I don’t know, can I do something for you and you give me money?”
“Actually, I could use a mother’s helper”

And thus began my babysitting saga. Every Saturday I would walk over to their house, maintain order in the basement as their 3 boys played video games, ate gold fish, and made $20 bucks. I thought I was hot shit, which I was. The next time the ice cream man came around, and I handed him my $20 bill, I realized just how many Choco Tacos I could buy (40 to be exact). Having money was awesome. And to this day, I have never not had a job. I was able to pay for part of my school, buy my car in full, and moved out of my parents house at 21. Booyah! Yeah, I just said booyah.


  1. Haha, nice! It sounded like you had an awesome mom who definitely knew how to raise children.

    My mom really took care of me and financially provided me all of my life growing up, so…to this day…I can’t afford anything myself. :(

  2. Saying booyah is cool. Also, good for you! I’ve not had a job a few times, but thankfully didn’t rack up a crap ton of debt.


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