Shhh! Let’s Talk About Money!



I think my parents had more money than my grandparents… but I’m not really sure. How could I know? It’s not like they ever discussed it around the table at Sunday family dinners. It’s not like any of them ever talked about money at all – except to mention things like: Money doesn’t grow on trees. A penny saved is a penny earned. Money doesn’t buy happiness. The best things in life are free. Money is the root of all evil. We can’t afford it… do you think I’m made of money? ) Money was clearly the elephant in the room – and it was spreading to my head.

My teen years were “spent” in an affluent neighborhood. Huge mansions and sprawling estates overlooked the azure blue pacific.  Between the parks and horse trails were majestic peacock-filled tree lined streets. The high school parking lot was filled with expensive, late model cars and the lawns were neatly and artistically manicured.

We didn’t have a swimming pool. I didn’t have my own car. We weren’t Presbyterian – or even Christian and I didn’t have a princess phone in my room! I didn’t really BELONG in my hood – know what I mean? THEY had everything. We were missing some stuff… (Only the herd in my head knew just how much was missing!)

Shortly after we had moved to ‘Wonderland’ my mother was invited to attend a League of Women Voters meeting at a mansion “behind the gates”. She came home with quite a story to share. The hostess, upon hearing which area of Wonderland we resided in, said simply, “Oh? The slums?” Yup. We lived in the slums. And now I knew it for sure! My mother seemed to be more amused than hurt or angry. That really confused me. I wanted to go find that biatch and punch her in the face!

Then, unable to physically punch, I carefully designed some life-altering decisions and drew a bunch of conclusions… some about people, many about money – most with little basis in reality – except, of course, mine. (All of them, you’ll note, were cleverly designed to protect me in the future, and none of them were open for discussion. My elephants were not talking!)

My family was poor and no matter how good I thought my life was, it wasn’t that good; it could be better with more money.

We didn’t belong and never would.

People with a lot of money weren’t nice. In fact, rich people were mean.

 Men made the money and women lived off of and bragged about their men, so women were stupid and rich women were the worst!

 On the report card of life, I was a B, maybe even a B+… not an A. And, there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about it. I was born a B. Raised as a B. Probably destined to remain a B forever. B wasn’t ‘bad’. It just wasn’t enough. I didn’t have and wasn’t ENOUGH.

 Scarcity! There wasn’t enough to go around ‘cuz THEY had it all. I looked around and there was never enough. I was never enough. And I was an excellent detective collecting tons of evidence to prove it!

I was ‘short’ not petite.

I was ‘cute’ not pretty.

I was popular but not in the ‘A’ clique.

I was ‘smart’ not brilliant.

I got all A’s… and one B (“How”, asked my father, “did you screw up in that subject?”)

I got an allowance but it wasn’t ‘enough’.

I had a job as a popcorn-selling usherette, but I didn’t earn ‘enough’.

So, you ask, based on how cleverly you buried yourself in scarcity and not being ‘enough’, Sandye, how did you get out of that self-defeating mindset? Guess you’ll have to listen to the Motivate and Activate call for March 3, 2016. I’ll tell you then. If I have ENOUGH time!