Saturday, December 26, 2009


My family managed an apartment building when I was growing up, in exchange for free rent in a 3 bedroom/1 bathroom townhome. There were 8 of us. But I digress. We also got paid for things like painting between tenants and such. Our duties included cleaning the common areas in the buildings, mowing and shoveling, collecting rent, etc. And my dad ran a tight ship. I rememeber being very tiny and picking up litter like cigarette butts to keep the grounds nice and clean. This place was huge too, it took days to mow the lawn. Once it was finished, it was time to start up again. And the shoveling. It pains me to think of the miles and miles of sidewalks that needed clearing, at ungodly early hours in the morning.

One day when I was like 7 or 8, an old man found me shoveling sidewalks. He was surprised at how little I was, and exclaimed, "I hope you're getting paid for this!"

"Yes, TWO dollars." I answered. He must have decided that really wasn't worth it.

Misreading his reaction, I added, "Yep! And I get it EVERY MONTH!"

This was after our family meeting where mom and dad sat us all down at the dinner table and explained that we were about to start receiving allowance. Imagine our excitement! No longer performing slave labor, but actually being compensated for our hard work! Kim was to receive $30 per month, Keri $25, and on down the line, ending with me and Kasey receiving $2 each. "But," dad continued, "Kim, you'll pay the electricity bill. Keri, you'll pay the water bill," etc. I swear you could actually hear the sound of our hearts being crushed.

Now THAT'S good parenting.


Josette said...

Look at how happy and cute you guys are!

I wonder where you'd be today if you'd been slumped on the couch watching tv like "normal" kids :)

I can relate to the 8 in a 3 bedroom - we were often 5 in a two bedroom - fortunatly the high cielings allowed for triple decker bunk beds.

Anonymous said...

Every time the girls get money for whatever random reason relatives fork money over to them, I tell them, "Rent's due!", then laugh maniacally. I don't mean it, of course. Love, Jacqui

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...