Like any kid, I had no real concept of money other than the fact that apparently my family didn’t have any. Anytime I asked for anything I was always told, “We don’t have money for that.” What made it worse? Catalogs.
My mom was always getting catalogs in the mail. These catalogs were filled with pages and pages of beautiful things… things we could never buy. I would flip through them and wish. Wish I could have that doll. Wish I could have that necklace. “Mom, please, please can I have that??”
Of course not.
I got to where I didn’t even want to look at those catalogs filled with dreams and wishes that would never come true. It made me mad. Why did we have to be so poor? Why couldn’t we have been born rich like everybody else? Why couldn’t I buy whatever I wanted. I hated it.
Then, one day, I discovered something magical.
It started out as a normal day. I scanned the pile of mail (never for me) and saw one of those catalogs. It was filled with jewelry. Being bored I decided to scan through the pages and give in to my wishing. Looking at the neat and beautiful rows of chains and earrings, I started pretending I was rich and mentally picked out the ones I would buy if I had money. I started a conversation with my mom, telling her all of the ones I would buy if I were rich. She kindly “oohed” and “ahhed” over my selections. Then I started wondering what they would look like.
I decided to cut them out.
I cut out a few that were really elaborate and as I looked at them, I asked my mom for some tape. I taped them on. It was magical. I felt like I actually had those beautiful earrings on, even though they were just a paper copy of the real thing. As I looked in the mirror I got so excited. That catalog was FILLED with earrings and necklaces and bracelets! I could have all of them! All I had to do was cut them out. I quickly went to work cutting out as many as I wanted, making a neat pile of bracelets and earrings. As I tried on a few, I noted the necklaces weren’t quite the right size, so I got some paper and created some extensions for the pendants and lockets in my pile.
I was in heaven.
I started looking forward to the next batch of magazines, knowing that I could wear whatever I wanted from those beautiful pages of offerings. It didn’t cost anything. I didn’t have to worry about whether I had the money to afford them or not.
I stopped worrying about being poor.