By: Ann Brown
I really should have more money than I do. I have no idea where it all went.
When I was in third grade, our entire class opened a bank account. Every Monday we had to bring 50 cents to school in one of those envelopes with the wraparound string closure and we’d all walk down the block to the bank to make our deposits. I think that was a stellar idea, emblematic of the many stellar ideas of the 1960’s, none of which, in my opinion – save for the Epilady and Caller ID, have been improved upon by much of anything in the ensuing decades although, granted, a lot of the late 60’s to the the 80’s is pretty much a blur to me.Especially the 80’s. What the fuck was with the 80’s, anyway? I wasn’t even smoking pot anymore by then and it’s still all hazy and rainbow trails in my mind. What the hell was I doing in the 80’s?
Oh right. I was having babies. And it was the Reagan years. And GHW Bush for a year there, at the end. Fuck. I shoulda just hit myself over the head with a hammer until that decade was over.
Anyway, back to my first bank account.
Even back then it was hard for me to give up my 50 cents to the bank. I can’t really remember what I would have preferred to spend my allowance on, but I do recall that when I had to put it in the stupid envelope from school, I knew I was being screwed.
And I was right. I never saw that money again. On the other hand, I heard my third grade teacher moved out of the San Fernando Valley and to the beach.
I have never been money savvy. Even today, as I write this blog entry, I have a nagging bad feeling that I left my debit card in the ATM again this morning.
When I was three years old, my five-year-oldsisterpimp paid me good money to stand out in the middle of our street and pull my pants down. Her original start-up money came from the neighborhood boys from whom she collected a nickel a piece to watch me. Now Karen, there’s a girl with money savvy. She had probably been planning this scheme since the day I was born; fattening me up with extra French toast, making sure Mom kept Desitin on my diaper rash, talking me up to the boys in the hood. That my horrible eyesight rendered me practically unable to see anything past my nose, keeping me oblivious to an audience hiding behind their garages was, I bet, just icing on Karen’s cake.
This thing went on for, oh, an entire summer and ended only when I discovered she had been paying me by stealing the previous day’s money from my piggy bank and using it over and over again. I confronted her about it and she explained that the boys were no longer willing to ante up to see me strip anymore so she had to offer it free, and even then only one of them still bothered to come outside to watch.
It was only recently that I realized the full insult of that situation. They didn’t even want to see my naked butt for free???? Fuuuck. No wonder I have body issues.
It was at that point in my life that I decided a life of stripping was probably not going to pay my rent. So I chose, instead, to attend UC Santa Cruz and major in Ethnomusicology of the Balkans, a slam dunk major leading to a profession guaranteed to rake in the big bucks, especially in the trickle-down Reaganomics years.
After the Revolution, when I rule the universe and we all live in next door yurts on the commune, I will make Balkan musicians the highest paid people in the world. Next will be strippers. Then bloggers.And then sisterpimps. Although Karen has done alright for herself.
Last I heard, she was taking a Mediterranean cruise with a friend who looked suspiciously like my third grade teacher.