|The East Kentwood High School band. I'm the one behind the knee of the|
guy in the front, on the left.
With a cross-border visit to Toronto awaiting the East Kentwood High School Band, I discovered the candy bars practically sold themselves. I'd tote them around school, setting an open box on my desk upon arrival in class. In the few minutes before lecture began, kids swarmed, eager to drop their change into my hands in favor of a Caramello or 100 Grand. For each 50-cent candy bar I sold, 25 cents went toward the excursion.
|My senior picture.|
Perhaps my mom suspected she taught us too well. She thought if she gave us spending money, we'd use it on our trip. But, in a spectacle highly uncharacteristic of teenagers, we protested, not wanting the burden of cash we knew we'd barely touch. Preserving our bank account balances was no motivation; we just didn't buy if we didn't have to, and exercised ample creativity to avoid it. Nothing could change our modus operandi--not even money from a parent.
|Ask me for a game piece? Certainly!|
|My brother, in his musical instrument repair workshop.|
Some shy away from labels. But when I say, "I'm vegetarian," people easily comprehend, so I suffer few strange looks. I've known for years I'm frugal, but when I participated in a Voluntary Simplicity discussion group several years ago, I discovered my philosophy owned a name. And when I heard the term, "non-consumer" recently, I knew the moniker fit. How I wish I had had an easy label to inform the chaperones and my fellow students.
In lieu of a better one-word explanation, 'weird' stuck.
|Art and I enjoying more frugal fun, back in 1994.|
In high school, we grew close, divesting ourselves of the bickering and sibling rivalry of youth, sharing our love of musical instruments, Scrabble, and, of course, frugality. While the other students brought back kitschy mementos, my brother and I returned with full pockets, and a fuller appreciation of each other--and the 'weird' label (which would score eight points in Scrabble, and follow us throughout high school).
But that didn't bother us much--not when my brother and I had our own new label for each other, one with a higher value:
Do you have a special friendship with a sibling? A memory of a fun school trip? Please comment below!