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2004-08-19 - 11:30 a.m.

Alright, I know people are weird about money. I am. My parents are. Unfortunately, our weirdness plays off each other and it always escalates into anger or extreme unrest.

One of my many money weirdnesses is that I don't like to talk about it, but I do think about it. So when I voice an opinion about my various money issues over the years, it makes sense to me because I've been following my very logical train of thought, but to every one else, it seems to come out of nowhere. My parents, and in particular my mom, seem to take everything personally whenever I mention anything about money. So this morning in the car, I said that when I was in high school and had a job at Cub Foods, I just pissed all the money away. I didn't comprehend the idea of a savings account. We had been talking about the bakery I used to work at, which led me to think about other jobs I used to have, which led me to wonder about where all the money went from these dumb jobs I used to do. Then I remembered the Rennissance festival this weekend and thought back to the time I bought an $80 corset type leather shirt, and only wore it once. I spent my money on other similar dumb things, and for some STUPID reason decided to voice this.

My mom, of course, read this to believe that what I was really saying was that she never taught me about money and that I was chastizing her parenting skills. No one would really come out and say this, so what my mom said was, "I can't believe that you didn't know what a savings account was. I don't believe that for a second. ONE SECOND!"

I don't think my parents have a grasp of how naive I really was. If you think I'm naive now, multiply that by a million and you might have an idea of my personality in high school.

In any event, my mom's overt chastizing of my lack of monetary skills as a high schooler put me on the defensive. I said I save now, probably forcefully, and my mom replied sarcastically, "How's THAT working out for you?" Then I said, "I was just stupid in high school about it," and my mom said, "No you weren't!" Before I got out of the car, I just said, "You're right, you're right." Inwardly I was thinking that I was stupid to bring up anything about money in front of one of my parents, and also seething about yet another comment about how I spend my money.

My parents have a real issue with the way I spend, especially when I'm about to go into college. I think they would like to see me working and saving and not doing foolish things like go on trips. I agree that this would be the responsible thing to do, but I also think that when you're young is the time to do these things. If capitalism has taught me anything, it's that there's going to be plenty of time to pay it all back later, as long as you don't mind paying the intense amounts of interest.

I don't mind paying the interest on trips.

I think they're annoyed that I went to Georgia for so long. I think they don't like the fact that I'm going to go on vacation again with Jacob in less than 2 weeks. And I can understand this concern.

What I DON'T understand is that they're equating my spending this money as money coming out of their own pockets. They treat it like I'm spending without a care in the world for their own financial situation.

THIS is why I want to pay for college myself. This is also a big part of the reason why I joined the military. My parents will never begrudge any money they give me. However, this also gives them the right to complain about how I spend it. And COMPLAIN AND COMPLAIN. It just pisses me off that they give me so much grief about how I spend the money that I earned. And I don't think it would piss me off so much if I didn't have a younger brother who's never held a job and whose bills my parents pay, and they even gave him a credit card that he doesn't have to think twice about charging stuff too; my parents pay that bill as well. I don't mind that they give him this money. What I mind is that they give me the business about spending the money that I earned, myself.

In all fairness, I get VERY defensive about this, and I hate it when they give me money to do anything. I've learned that it's best just to take it and inwardly hate it than to have the same damn money arguement every time they try to give me $20. I just know that every $20 they give me is one more valid complaint they'll have about how I shouldn't go on vacation. With my parents paying for college this fall, it's going to be even more of an issue later.

I think it's best to sit down with my parents and discuss this, and let them know my own weirdnesses about money and use those "I feel that when you do this, it makes me..." sentences, because my parents are very receptive to that sort of thing, and I'm sick of getting so defensive over the dumbest stuff, like how I spent money when I was 16.

I was hoping Josh or somebody would get online today so I could just complain to him, but alas I had to vent on Diaryland, which will probably embarass me a year from now for reasons I can't begin to think of.

And speaking of vacations, Jacob has mono, so we might not be able to go anywhere at all; my parents might get their secret wish.

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