Thursday, March 8, 2007

Frugality, Gum, and Great Grandmothers

Sometimes I puff my chest up a little as I feel proud about the fact that my wife and I are frugal (or at least my wife is). My wife shops at Aldi's, cuts coupons, and shops for clothes at the thrift store (but only on the last Wednesday of the month when things are half price). That is frugal!

Or is it?

The other day I was in charge of the masses when CrazyMom was away. F.G. wanted some gum so I gave her a piece. Now I admit that I don't know if she has had gum before and I did not watch to see what she did with it and all of that other stuff I should have done. When I came home from work the next day, my wife started asking me about gum. It turned out that F.G. was found chewing gum sometime during the day. I was pretty sure that F.G. chewed the gum the night before and that she had brushed her teeth and did not have it then. We started to wonder if she stuck it somewhere for the night.

While we were talking about this, F.G. somehow understood what we were talking about, ran off, and came back with 1/3 of a stick of gum. She evidently had a third of a stick the night before, a third of the stick that day, and was saving the last third for the next day!

This is just one incident along with many others. K.D. got a look of horror when he dropped a jug of juice and it broke. I don't think wasting food goes over very well in Ethiopia. F.G. and K.D. found a coin in our house, knew it was money and that money is valuable, and marched off to find CrazyMom to give her the coin.

When I use to go visit my great grandmother in the nursing home as a child, she would often talk about the old couple down the hall. The OLD couple down the hall!!! Ha! What did she think she was?!? I learned from this that old is relative and I am learning from F.G. and K.D. that frugal is relative as well.

While we were in Ethiopia, the missionary couple we were staying with told us that if you give an apple to an Ethiopian who is hungry, he will not eat it. He would take the apple to the market, sell it, and use the money to by a few loaves of bread. That casts a whole new light on what it means to be frugal.


Kris Long said...

This is a great post. I love it.


CrazyD said...