Cheap Bastard

My husband is so well known for being a tightwad that a co-worker framed a dollar he won from him in a bet. Spanky and Blane II inherited this “illness.” I’ve always had to force those two to buy new clothes, with my money.

Sweetpea is quite the opposite, she could easily blow $40 on t-shirt. Funny thing about her, though, if she can haggle over the price, watch out vendor. This is a skill she got from her dad and her older brother. Last year she brought a dude to his knees over a lamp at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. It’s a game, a challenge. It has nothing to do with how much money she actually has. It’s about how far back she she can get someone to bend. She’s also all about making money too.

A couple of weeks ago she came home, slammed her keys on the counter and scurried out the back door mumbling, “I’m going get that stuff.”

Cue the Sanford and Son theme song…

She bustled back in with an armload of someone else’s junk she found in the neighbor’s trash. Claimed she would either take it to the consignment shop or sell it on EBay during the holiday break.

Now back to the Cheap Bastard. He refuses to go Christmas shopping with me because he can’t stand to see me spend money. See, I don’t listen to his “Don’t spend any money,” and I continue to buy “As Seen On TV” trash (can’t help it, it’s a disease).

Spanky agrees to come. So we’re looking around in Target and she hauls off somewhere with my shopping cart. I finally find her, place the goods I’d been forced to hand-carry into the cart and scold her for running off like that. When we get home, I notice some things aren’t in my shopping bags.

Then I see Cheap Bastard high-five Spanky. Getting to the bottom of things, I find out Spanky has been working for her dad. She gets 10 cents for everything she sneaks out of my shopping cart. Things she decides I don’t need. I also discover this has been going on for a long time. Finally I know why the kid takes off with the cart while I’m shopping. It is to limit what I buy to what I can carry by hand.

This is good enough reason to give out some Christmas coal. Thing is, that’s exactly what they want. Ain’t gonna happen, and if I have to steal Sweetpea’s junk and sell it to buy presents, that’s what I’ll do. The way I see it, people’s jobs depend on mass spending this time of year. I’m not encouraging you to go into debt, don’t spend money you don’t have. If you do have it? Spend some, get those dollars circulating. It is, after all, how it got into your pocket. Right?

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42 thoughts on “Cheap Bastard

  1. Tell Sweatpea that dumpster diving is an old and honored tradition. My mom was horrified when I started doing it at Family Student Housing at Berkeley. At least, she was until she went with me and found a Laura Ashley dress with the tags still on. :>

    Of course then you aren’t circulating dollars but that will make CB happy.

  2. Indeed it is Kym…the next time you’re at a Mall drive around back and look at the dumpsters- most stores put padlocks on them.

    They DO NOT have a sense of tradition about them.

    And Kitty…tell your kid that for risking the ” Wrath of Mom ” she should be getting at least a buck for each item she returns.

  3. Hey Kym, I’m all for free-cycling. : )

    Anita Marie, I told her she’s been getting ripped off, big time. She should go for a percentage.
    I’m going to have to raid her piggy bank, now. For damages.

  4. Kitty, she’ll only sue her dad for damages if you do the piggy bank. And she’ll win. Corrupting a minor, oh he’ll be paying for that. You’ll do her for treason of course, punishment will be to run around putting ALL the stuff you want INTO the shopping cart, while you have custody of the cart.
    Freecycling is the way to go. I’m a member of a freecycling web site, and have gotten many real good things (like a couple of glaced doors, vaccum cleaner, DVD player, paving slabs and bricks etc…) from it, and have gotten rid of stuff I no longer need too.

  5. Dumpster diving and pile sorting is only 1/2 step down from classy thrift stores anyway. And, jiminy christmas, how about striking a blow for recycling as a green practice in the face of successive waves of commercialism. Check out that container ship pulling into Port of Oakland with containers stacked six high on the deck. Get one of those containers on the dock and break the seal on that puppy. Whattayagot ? scandinavian sweaters, christmas ornaments, a Hobby Lobby load of xmas ……….uh, crap, all of which is hailing from downtown Shenyuang province, assembled by small hands. Another little pathetic piece of the human condition.

  6. 2.0, LOL. I call him that with affection, btw. He’s a proud cheap bastard. I showed him this post and he laughed.

    He’s actually an extremely generous man. He just has no tolerance for waste, only likes to buy things we need, like ramen noodles. Since none of us actually need anything right now, he doesn’t want me to buy any presents. None. He does this every year and changes his mind at the last minute.

    Ultimately it is probably a trick to make me do all the shopping.

  7. Hey Liv and Betty, I didn’t see your comments from earlier.

    Liv, I love it that your area has a freecycle program. I hope someone starts something like that around here.

    Betty, laughter is free, something CB approves of, let it rip. : )

  8. He turned your own daughter against you?!?!?!?
    You must buy him something obscenely expensive for Christmas (if you can afford it). Teach him not to come between a mother and daughter! 🙂

  9. I live in abject fear of the day my kids are old enough to collude with their father.

    BTW, loving this whole, post every day for Hollidailies thing. It’s my Advent calendar 🙂

  10. Lilith, that is a brilliant idea. Something expensive and useless. : )

    Thanks for reading Ginny. I almost didn’t make it today. I clicked on publish and a page came back reading “server maintenance.” That’ll teach me to wait until the last minute.

  11. Max, that would be a long and hair raising adventure. One of the things that stands out in my mind the most about Venezuela is how many buses were broken down on the side of the road. Buses that were full of people.

    That’s the plan Michele. : )

  12. It’s one thing to be a proud and Cheap Bastard, a label of honor. Little secret to let you in on, you scratch the surface on 9 of 10 husbands and there you have your Cheap Bastard – he’s right in there just like the metal Terminator under the soft exterior of Arnold (the Governator). Why is this you might ask ? Well, the old man is monthy and I do mean monthly trying to keep that roof up over everyone’s head, and it ain’t just the mortgage – Direct TV and this ‘lil broadband are the key things under that roof, natch. There’s about 10 diff insurances to pay on, including the one on the vehicle(s) and that reminds me the car and truck payments and the tires and the new alternator..pay down VISA….and the brakes replacement. The new washer dryer, the plumber, the new dishwasher, new roof, fix the A/C. Let’s go out to eat 20 times a month and head off each summer. And then most importantly Spanky and her sibs are going to have to head off to Illustrious U. someday coming soon to pursue their dreams. And then it’s important for us to set a few drachma aside for …. uh…… our latter years retirement whatever that is… cause S.S. is going broke by then, right ? Cheap Bastards of America, link arms and march proudly into the town square shouting ……. “CHEAP ………and………. PROUD !!!” The old man does comprehend the simple nature of ………………… the family unit by definition is a small business that has to show a lil’ profit at least two quarters out of four. We can take a loss in Q1 and Q3, but we better get ’round to making that up in Q2 and Q4.

    ok I feel much better now. Don’t mock the old man for being cheap, honor and exalt the old man for it. It was passed down from his great grandpa before him. And oh BTW, how I would long for a marriage where one spouse can routinely refer to the other as a Cheap Bastard in light humor, where they can live, laugh and blog together for eternity. Cuz let me share another lil’ secret…..what is one key ingredient in a successful marriage/family ……… small talk and the sometimes-rare ability to lighten up in laughter. Russ’ Fenders signing off his Love N’ Family monologue for now.

  13. That’s what he says, Russell, that his being a cheap bastard is what keeps the machine running. LOL. That is a joke too. We both work. I don’t have to, but I do.

    I do adore my cheap bastard. He does not have to wear designer labels to make people think he’s got money. He doesn’t have to drive a hot car to make people look at him. He’s a confident man without having to throw money around to boost his ego.
    He is not penny wise and pound foolish, either.

    I can be a cheap bastard at times. I was raised by the cheapest bastard of them all – my mom. She wrote the book on it.

  14. “that would be a long and hair raising adventure”

    More long and hair raising than being hunted and skinned by Blane?

    Maybe longer but more hair raising?

    I think not.

  15. Oh Blane adores you, he would not skin you. LOL.
    He also secretly adores Macs. If I bought him one for Christmas and threw away the receipt so he couldn’t bring it back, he’d enjoy the hell out of it. You and I both know he would.

  16. Ripping off his own daughter is taking his tight-wad cheap-bastard status to a new level.

    If I were Spanky, I would be charging him interest for this currnet scam and next time, be drawing up a written agreement so the shonky bastard is glued.

  17. I was coming in here all full of righteous indignation on your behalf Kitty (and I’m still kind if miffed on your behalf that your own child was workin’ against you…) but now I am just laughing and laughing… The word “shonky” is going to show up in my dreams….

  18. “The way I see it, people’s jobs depend on mass spending this time of year”

    Yes! That’s the way I feel about tipping, too.

    Is your hubby a stingy tipper? Do you end up adding a few of your own bucks on top of his? hahaha

  19. Kitty : It is rich that you would not only refer to the old man as a “bastard”, but to your own madre, your own flesh and blood who bore you and gave you life, skills and nurture as a “bastard.” That is so cool ! that you and your madre can josh about stuff and pull each others legs and not go around all stiffened up like you’ve got a ……….. never mind all that.

    Then again, Elizabeth I of England, aka “the Virgin Queen”, was universally referred to by the nobility of Europe as a “bastard” because of some tempest in a teapot between her pop Henry VIIIth, the nascent Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church. And so ………….. I submit that Elizabeth I did all right with it. Another famous bastard ……..William Jefferson Clinton, two term President of the United States of America.

  20. Stil, he is a good tipper. When it really counts, he gets the money out from under his mattress and spends it.

    Russell, when my mom is around we have “cheap bastard” contests. One time, my son won, but I don’t know if this story is true. His friends say when he was in high school they went to Wendy’s where he ordered a hamburger. Not his usual cheeseburger. When he sat down to eat, he yanked a slice of Velveeta from his pocket to add to his burger. He didn’t want to spring the twenty extra cents for cheese.
    Like I said, I don’t know if his friends made this up but my mom was happy to give him the title for that one.

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