Saturday, June 25, 2011

Not Cheap, Thrifty.

I've been thinking about how my family is extremely thrifty these past few days.  It became pretty clear with my dad's birthday and Father's Day the past week.  Do you want to know what he got for Father's Day?  Handmade cards, breakfast and dinner.  That's how it normally is at our house.  Same with Mother's Day.  Ever since I can remember my sisters and I would each make a card and write a nice note inside.  Then we'd make her breakfast, go to church, and have a fancy dinner.  If we got her gifts, they were simple and nothing big.

I didn't think that was cheap until this year.

It was a week before Mother's Day, and I was talking with my manager and a friend at work.  I asked my manager what she likes for Mother's Day.  She said last year her daughter got her a months worth of tanning, and a pedicure.  Her daughter is 14.  I was shocked.

Then I said, "Seriously?  Last year I drew my mom a picture and wrote a note on the back."

My coworker: "What, are you five years old?"

Now, I can understand why my response sounded so ridiculous; I DID sound like a little kid, but I drew her a really nice picture of a mother and daughter!  Guess what I gave my mom for Mother's Day this year?

Yep.  A drawing with a note on the back.
You be the judge.

My mom even put our cards on the fridge.
Family birthdays aren't so bad.  We might get underwear and socks, but we also get presents we actually want.  This year, my dad didn't want presents.  I don't know why.  For some reason grownups stop wanting gifts.  I'm pretty sure we're material creatures our whole lives, so this doesn't make sense.  Anyway, I still wanted to give him a present, so I bought him Doritos.  But not any Doritos, the Taco flavored.  Hey, he likes those a lot.

My sister gave him a big bag of fortune cookies.

Since we felt bad that we gave him such crappy presents, Lily and I wanted to give an AWESOME card.  We decided to combine our talents and make one card together.  I made it look good, and she wrote the limerick.  The poem is written in the clouds.

FYI, it has a plane on it because he has recently found love for RC planes.

Like most families, we had less money when I was younger.  Combine my thrifty mom, and the fact that my dad is a financial planner, and you get one deprived child.  At age five, I didn't know what a french fry was called.  We hardly ever ate out.  I thought McDonald's was called Bowling Green, because the only time we got fast food was in that city on the way to our Grandparents' house in Indiana.

But I'm not complaining.  I'm glad I wasn't spoiled, but sometimes our thriftiness could be really embarrassing.  And that's when we return to the subject of birthday gifts. 

Birthday parties were a lot of fun when you were little.  You got to play with your friends, eat cake, and give/open presents.  Other kids would give brand new barbies, clothes, and toys to their friends.  Not me.  Nope, I gave them homemade aprons.  My poor friends. 

Of course I didn't give aprons to all my friends.  I gave them other homemade presents that only I saw the value in.  Later on in life I continued to give horrible and cheap presents to my friends because I chose to.  I started to get a bigger allowance when I was 7, and I was expected to buy my own clothes, toys, etc.  That included gifts, so I wasn't willing to empty my pocket for a friend. 

Jeez I sound so cheap.

Basically I bought all my friends bags of candy for their presents.  A lot of my other friends did the same, but they included a $20 gift card along with the candy.  They also bought their cards.  Only twice in my life have I actually bought a card.  Once for a birthday, and the second for a wedding.  Those things are a freaking rip off.  So that's why I make my cards. 

Once I forgot to make a card for my friend's birthday, so on the way to her house I wrote a letter on a yellow Wendy's napkin.

I now know that my mom is thrifty, but I am definitely cheap.


  1. all i can think of while i am reading this is that one paper crane i made out of my relief society newsletter for your birthday.

    shoots. i'm sorry for being cheap. but hey, i'm chinese.

  2. Haha, this is funny, I was trying to explain all of this to someone the other day, next time I'll just give them the link to your blog :D

  3. i love this blog. hahah my mom is so cheep. asians.