Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Worse than succumbing to mom jeans? Lecturing a teenager

Conversation I overheard between two employees at a girl's clothing store at the mall while I was perusing the jewelry selection:

Worker 1: "If you're having trouble saving, just take a paycheck from one of your jobs each week and put it away. Don't even touch it. That's what I do."

Worker 2: "I wouldn't be able to!"

Worker 1: "Oh, I know. That's why I give it directly to my boyfriend. He puts it away for me."

Worker 2: "That's a good idea."

Worker 1 (to me): "Are you ready?"

Me (placing my new necklaces on the counter): "Yep. I don't need a bag, though. I already have one."

Worker 1: "That'll be $11.05."

Me (handing her my card): "Hey, I'm sorry to butt in because it's really none of my business, but, um, the mom in me won't let me keep my mouth shut, so I'm just going to say it. ... YIKES! Don't give your boyfriend your paychecks!"

(Worker 2 laughs)

Worker 1: "Oh, no, it's okay, we've been together a really long time."

Me: "Well, just to give you some perspective, I was with one guy for four years and it ended. And poorly at that. You never know. Get another bank account you never touch. Or, hell, cash it and shove it under your mattress. Or freeze it in a block of ice in the back of your freezer."

(Worker 1 laughs)

Me: "Seriously, though, I'd just hate to see you have to deal with losing all your money on top of a bad breakup. Not that it'll happen, but why even subject yourself to it?"

(Worker 1 gives polite, but dismissive smile, forces herself to subdue an eyeroll)

Me (motioning to my purchase): "Okay, thanks. Just be smart."

I resisted tacking on the phrase "young lady," but it wasn't easy. That and slapping her upside the head, stealing her cell phone and calling her mother.


aj said...



you are amazing

WAY to INSERT your mom-knowledge all up in her business. Teenagers could use more lecturing these days...

Wendy M. said...

Hahahaha - freeze it in a block of ice!

Seriously, I had a shared cell phone plan with my bf of three years.

It ended disastrously.

My fiance and I have a shared account for house things, but do all our personal spending/saving separately.

Fit Mama said...

omg, I would totally do the same thing. It seems like I'm constantly lecturing people on finances and how to be responsible in any relationship (whether you are a babysitter for a friend or an intime relationship). But I think I do it because I'm an accountant :) I always say "There was this one Judge Judy episode where..." Apparently I lose all credibility when I bring up Judge Judy cases.

Lioncloud said...

Oh, Kel, you have definitely downed the "Mom Kool-Aid" now!


Gisela said...

yuck, I woulda smacked your mommy ass outta the store ;)

Erin in Scranton said...

It's actually not bad advice, though I normally hesitate to give strangers advice.

My dad left my mom after more than two decades of marriage and cleaned out all of their joint accounts before he split. Maybe your advice will make her think.

Jaclyn said...

Yeah, as soon as she said she had her boyfriend hold it for her, I was thinking, "what, are you STUPID?!?!"
My step-sister used to give her mom $100 from each paycheck to put into a savings account for her because she knew she'd blow it if she could access it easily. Unfortunately, her mom blew it for her on so-called necessities. So instead of saying, "Mandy, I need to put gas in my car, but I don't get paid until tomorrow; may I borrow $20 if I pay you back tomorrow?" she'd just spend it.
So if someone's mom could do that, a boyfriend DEFINITELY could/would.
Live and learn, I guess. But way to keep from throwing out the dreaded 'young lady'. =)

LeslieAnn said...

Good advice! My boyfriend and I live together but pay everything separately. We cover costs in proportion to what we each bring in and when we've made big purchases (a couch) we keep in mind who purchased what. Although my boyfriend wants to buy a condo or townhouse together next March. I'm not so keen on doing that without marriage or at least a legal contract. I just have to find a way to explain that to him...

Candi said...

Ohhh, I wish I could've been party to that exchange. Although I would've probably been hiding in a clothing rack laughing my head off -- therefore ruining any discretion the clothing rack might have afforded. :)

Amy said...

I hope that they actually take your advice. I've been there, done that, and it did not end in a pretty way.

Now if only you would have come into my work a few years back... After the required eye rolls of a 17 year old, I probably could've used someone telling me that same thing!

the_plainsman said...

Hee! "Lioncloud" certainly got that "downed the Mom Kool-Aid" right! But absolutely nothing wrong with imparting a bit of wisdom, just think you lost credibility when the "the mom in me" phrase was used. She might have wanted to do the eye roll exercise if "a big sister" had imparted the wisdom too, but I bet odds it might have stuck better. When each of us was her age, we hated being talked down to, but often valued talking with someone on a level field! HA! And that is a bit of MY wisdom, young mother!

the_plainsman said...

Hmmm....actually should have ended that last sentence with "young mom!"

the_plainsman said...

Hmmm....actually should have ended that last sentence with "young mom!"

Ray said...

LOL, cute post. Hopefully she'll take what you said into consideration when she and the boyfriend have a bad argument.

erica said...

Haha. Great advice. Even the "Freeze in a block of ice" bit was better than the hand over your money to your boyfriend bit. I've been with my boyfriend for four years and he still doesn't touch my money, nor do I his. It's not because we don't trust each other, it's just that money can be a sticky thing. Although I can't say I have an "it ended disastrously" story, but that's because I'm horrified to let anyone else control my money other than me. Almost as soon as I turned 18 I took my money out of my family's joint account and opened up my own account at an entirely separate bank... so maybe I'm a bit over the top. lol.