Weed Out The Cheapskates In Your Life

, , , , , , | Related | July 28, 2020

My paternal grandmother is notorious in her cheapness. She will have a pantry full of canned goods and take out one can of soup every two weeks, mix just a bit of the contents with a quart of tap water, and cook that on the stovetop. She does this to “make it last.” She will also go to swap shops and come home with the same junk my father is trying to get rid of. This is just to set up for the story of her greatest incidence of cheapness.

Almost twenty years ago, my church’s youth group is trying to raise money to send the kids to a weekend convention. The youth leader has figured that for tickets, accommodations, and gasoline for multiple vehicles, they’ll need to raise six hundred dollars.

My grandmother has a job they can do. Her property has a clay tennis court and a gravel driveway that needs to be weeded. Twelve teenagers arrive at her house at 8:00 am and weed both surfaces until 7:00 pm. As I am one of those teenagers, I am hoping we’ll get what we need for the trip.

I walk in to hear this exchange between the youth leader and my grandmother:

Youth Leader: “All right, [Grandmother], do you need to go to an ATM to get the rest of the payment?”

Grandmother: “Oh, don’t be silly. That’s the whole payment.”

Youth Leader: “[Grandmother], we just had a dozen people working in hundred-degree heat for eleven hours, and you’re saying that was only worth eighty dollars?”

Grandmother: “Well, of course. They’re not adults, so why pay them as adults?”

Some of the oldest kids in the youth group have joined me in time to hear this and, while the leader is biting his tongue, the oldest kid lets her have it.

Kid: “That explains why you couldn’t find a professional to do it. You probably tried to cheat them, too. Next time you need some chores done around here, don’t come to us.”

Even to her dying day, my grandmother never saw anything wrong with underpaying us that day. It’s part of the reason I cut ties with her before she died.

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