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I Was a Kindergartner and…

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Milk Money Popular


They say you get fifteen minutes of fame… mine lasted roughly 24 hours before my mom put the kibosh on my short lived notoriety. Probably just as well.


“Launder Money!”

Acrylic and resin on wood panel

10” x 10”


Mom shut it the fuck down.


I don’t know how it came to be. Whose idea it was, certainly not mine… but I also didn’t shoot it down. Matter of factly I decided that the idea was so splendid indeed, that it only made sense to expand upon said venture and expand upon I did. Which I suppose, is where one could also understand my mom’s problem with the whole operation… it had been so successful that shutting it down became the only possible solution so… Mom shut it the fuck down.


I was basically a hero.

“You can’t monetize friendships! It’s not how you make friends,” said my mom, maybe not her exact words but close.


I looked at her and then at my bright yellow Teddy Ruxpin lunchbox sitting open on the counter.


Inside were $21 single dollar bills in various states of orderliness; some crumpled in wads, others neatly folded, a single one folded into a shape… “perhaps to win extra favor,” I had thought. Not that that mattered now… And what a shame too because the lucrativeness of monetizing friendships?


Well… the Teddy Ruxpin lunchbox overflowing with cash spoke for itself.


And that was the thing too… the cash was a perk but… that wasn’t how it started. So of course when mom asked, because she was going to, I let her know that it started with everyone just wanting to be my friend and that whole escapade escalated around lunch time, when it came time to pick friends to sit next to and then Jessica had had the idea that she could give me a $1 of the $1.25 we all got for weekly lunch money and STILL have money left over for chocolate milk on Friday and from there the idea really just became a no brainer. Jessica wanted to sit next to me, but so did everyone else so… the dollar made the choice easy peasy and then when Brad offered up HIS dollar… and I still had one whole side just made for sitting next to… well again… now I had TWO dollars.


BUT I came home with $21? And that’s correct. Fucking astute you are. ;)


After Brad and Jessica bought, I mean were chosen to sit next to me, they were thrilled but and this had bummed me out… 19 of my new wanna be best friends were not happy. Not happy at all.


Which was where I got the brilliant idea to make them happy… by offering pre-paid-lunch-room-seating-next-to-yours-truly privileges for everyone… well everyone with $1. Next thing you know 19 kids forked over nearly the entirety of their milk money, and mind you, they were thrilled to do so at that.


I was basically a hero.


That was of course, until my mom, incredulous, found the lunchbox filled with cash.


“You NEED to give everyone their money back,” she said firmly… emphasis on the NEED.


This was not going well. “Well what about Jessica and Brad? They already got to sit nex…” I started.


”You need to give EVERYONE their money back,” and her voice let me know that was the end of it.


”Fine.”


***********************************************

The next day I let everyone know that the whole arrangement was off. Everyone was getting their money back…


”What about Jessica and Brad,” someone asked, “They already got to sit with you…”


Too bad mom wasn’t there. I wasn’t the only one that saw the problems with me giving back ALL the money. I sighed, “EVERYONE,” I assured my classmates. Jessica and Brad grinned. Jessica stuck her tongue out at Lisa who seemed the most incensed by the turn of events and Jessica’s perceived windfall . And then everyone crowded around to get their dollar bills back and that was it… my fifteen minutes were up and everyone scampered off to get to the swings and slide and I was left standing all alone.


Which that night as I laid in bed thinking about my day, I decided that having my popularity stripped wasn’t such a bad deal after all. Being the “it” girl was exhausting. And worse yet, with me only having two sitting sides and just five lunches a week for said sitting, I was going to have to stay “it” for at least two weeks…


No thanks. And that was that. No one ever offered me money for friendship again and that was more than fine by me (and my mom).



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