Just like that, a week has gone by. Tomorrow’s Friday once more and Sam will be home for the weekend. Speedy will pick her up late in the afternoon and I bet they will go through the whole “I haven’t eaten lunch yet” routine again. What routine is that? Okay, let me explain.
Sam gets a weekly allowance that covers three meals a day (she doesn’t bring cooked food anymore because she moved from the condo to a dorm) plus a little extra for unexpected expenses. Her toiletries come from the house. Her bottled water, bath soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, deodorant… all these I buy together with the weekly grocery and Sam just brings what she needs. Lately, however, her list of what to bring every week has gotten longer and longer. Instant noodle soup which isn’t even included in our regular grocery items (in case she’s too busy to go out and buy food), cereal bars with specific brands and flavors (quick breakfast because there are days when her classes start at 7.00 a.m.), bottled juice (has to be Minute Maid)… With all those extras, of course, she is able to save a substantial amount of her weekly allowance. She has a fat wallet, I tell you. Really fat.
You’d think too that with all those extras, there wouldn’t be any reason for her to skip meals. But, every Friday, she skips lunch. She waits for her father to arrive and the moment he does, she greets him with “I haven’t eaten lunch yet.” What’s a father to do, right? Especially a father who hasn’t seen his daughter for a week? So, Speedy brings her to wherever she wants to eat and pays for the food leaving Sam with an even fatter wallet.
But it isn’t just Sam who utilizes that gimmick. Even when they were still both in high school, they were given monthly allowances and the agreement was that if they wanted to go out with friends or buy some things, they’d take it out of their allowance. Books and clothes (including shoes and bags) were on Speedy and me. And food. But things like nail polish and whatnots, well, those were on them. Supposedly. As agreed upon.
But these girls… Alex, especially. They’d wait until we’re out over the weekend. Weekends, it’s mostly just a movie and dinner out. Oh, but they’re so good at dragging us inside stores and then start with lines like, “Mommy, can we buy…?”
Naturally, I ask, “Where’s your money?”
And the very convenient answer, “At home. I left my money at home.”
And they’d ask me to pay for their purchases with the promise to pay me back as soon as we got home.
But, see, I have this fault. I forget. When Speedy owes me, I never forget and I exact payment to the last centavo. But with the girls, I tend to be forgetful most of the time. The even bigger problem is they are more forgetful than I am. If they’re not reminded, they happily forget that they’re supposed to pay me back. If I count the times when they forgot their wallets and I had to pay for their purchases, I’d say that nine out of ten times, I never got paid.