communication, Erin Brokovich, family conflict, money, Scrooge McDuck, sisters

"Sell me Your Bed"

Big Son: “Hi Bella, can I have a hug?”
4yr old Bella: “No.”
Big Son: “Pleease?”
Bella: “Give me fifty cents and I hug you.”
Big Son ( aghast): “What!?”

I am somewhat troubled by my 4yr old’s willingness to exchange affection for cash…BUT I am impressed with her entrepeneurial spirit. It got me thinking about a similar little girl that I knew, a long time ago. My little sister Scrooge McDuck. Her understanding of money and how it works, is legendary in our family. As a child she was a miser with her allowance which meant that she still had cash long after ours was gone. At the gentle age of eight, she was happy to lend us money though. With interest. And penalty fees. (Who in hell understands financial stuff like ‘interest’ when they’re eight?!)

Once my littlest sister Erin Brokovich wanted to borrow money to buy lolisaiga. Scrooge gladly lent her two dollars. Then when Brokovich failed to make her payments,(Hello, she was only five so can you blame her for being a slack debt repayer?)  the interest began to accrue. Scrooge offered Brokovich a ‘way out’.

“Sell me your bed for five dollars. That way you can clear your debt and have money left over.”

What a wonderful proposition that seemed to silly clueless Brokovich. “Okay!” And off she went to buy herself some more lollies.That night, as she was about to get in to bed, Scrooge stopped her. “What are you doing? You can’t sleep there, that’s MY bed now. I own it remember?”

“Where am I supposed to sleep?” Brokovich wailed pitifully.

“On the floor. OR you could pay me rent for the bed. I’ll let you sleep on it but you have to pay me when you get your next allowance.”

This carried on for several weeks until the inevitable occurred. The rent piled up, the interest added on and soon, there was no way in heck that Brokovich could ever hope to pay Scrooge back. Not unless she robbed the bank. Or sold a kidney on the black market. At age five, the child had spent more than she earned. So she started sleeping on the floor.

Which is where my mother found her one night. “What on earth are you doing sleeping on the floor?”

“I can’t sleep on the bed because it belongs to Scrooge and I can’t afford the rent.”

My parents had to explain some important details to both sisters. Like, hello WE own this bed and neither of you should be selling or buying it! Or ransoming the other for it. And how it bordered on exploitative, cruel and rather illegal to be a Biblical (greedy) moneylender to one’s little sister. Especially when she was only five…

Yes,my Bella’s offer of hugs for cash reminded me of my little sisters. Which may not be a bad thing. Because the miser Scrooge grew up to be a chemical engineer who travels the world doing chemical engineering stuff. And who still has way more money than the rest of us. Brokovich, the previously exploited sister grew up to become a high-profile lawyer who helps rid the financial world of crime. (And money-lender exploiters probably.)

Yes, either way, I have high hopes for the 4yr old Bella Beast. Her future looks bright.

9 thoughts on “"Sell me Your Bed"”

  1. Hahaha!! LOVE IT!! I love a good mean sister story. Mine was awesome with money and still is to this day. She's also quite the sweet-talker. I always said she should go into politics, but maybe it's good she didn't. She'd probably be my president;)! Love this story! It will make me appreciate my nice, rent-free bed tonight!

  2. Thanks Elizabeth – I have mean sister stories galore! LOL glad Im not the only one. Im just waiting until one of them reads this blog and then we'll see what their reactions are…could be in trouble, lolGreat to have you visit the blog Sherre!

  3. Wonderful post Lani!I think your precious little bella will grow up to be just like the fabulous women she has been brought up around.

  4. hahaha… Before you confirmed which sister it was, I had an idea who Scrooge McDuck would be! lol. That was really clever. And 50c for a hug? Bella's selling herself short but it sounds like she'll quickly learn about inflation.

  5. shh Elizabeth youre not supposed to be able to guess so easily which sister Im talking about! lolJoAn – Theres certainly lots of very strong-minded and assertive women in our family so Bella will fit right in.Thankx for the feedback Pusinofo.

  6. Big Son and Bella exchange is the CUTEST! I have to remind my 10yr old, "Hello! Do you not hear your sister saying Hi to you for the hundredth time? Geez, give her a damn hug!" lol He's getting better at it.

  7. Oh my gosh that is so cute…I mean devious, yes..that's the word I was looking for..LOL That story was hilarious! I wish you could turn it around and charge your kids rent. Oh well…:)

Comments are closed.