There has recently been a very disturbing development in the 1500 household. The 1500 children, ages 7 and 5, have started dropping the F-bomb on a regular basis. Every time I hear it, I cringe and want to yell. I never say it. Neither does Mrs. 1500, so they didn’t learn it from us. I place the blame completely on society. It only takes a visit to the local mall or a couple minutes watching TV to see why the children use this horrible word so much.
Since this is a family blog suitable for all ages (most of the time), the F-bomb* that I refer to may not be the same one you’re thinking of. Get your mind out of the gutter please. The F-bomb that I’m writing about today is the word “fancy” and the children use it as much as they can, often to antagonize me since they’re aware of how I feel about the word:
- Look at my outfit, don’t I look fancy?
- I want to be fancy when I grow up.
- That car looks fancy!
The word fancy comes with a lot of baggage to a frugal person. However, I couldn’t quite put my finger on a good definition for it. I consulted Google and Dictionary.com, but Urban Dictionary came through with this ridiculous definition:
Strange, but I think it gets to the point. This horrible word means spending or acting in such a way to impress others. Fancy is the antithesis of who I am. To be fancy is to be insecure. Fancy is anti-frugal. Fancy is bad. Fancy sucks.
Fancy can manifest itself in all types of different ways:
- Expensive cars
- Spending $100s at the salon
- Even purses that look like cheap, paper bags
And I don’t like any of it. I have no wish to stand out in any way. I wish to be judged by my boring personality and not by my boring wardrobe or boring cars.
The non-fancy ones have it going on
It cracks me up that our poor neighbors think that we’re poor because we lack fanciness. It is clear from the way they act towards us that they think we’re struggling. Now, we don’t go out of our way to look despondent either. They have come to this conclusions from watching us do our own work on our home, change our oil and keep our old cars around. Because we don’t pay others to take care of everything and don’t have new stuff, we must be poor. Think whatever you want to think neighbor.
The most important thing you can teach your child
If nothing else, I’m an observer of the behavior of others. Now that I’m at the ripe old age of 41, I like to look back and consider what became of my childhood friends. What surprises me most is who turned out to be successful and who didn’t.
There were a couple of very bright and witty kids in my neighborhood that come to mind immediately. Both have spent extended vacations in penitentiaries in Illinois and Nebraska. The Nebraska one even got addicted to meth and had to have all of his teeth yanked in his mid-30s. Ouch! Big “no thank you” to either of those scenarios. I do like my teeth and value my freedom immensely. Living without either would be horrible.
The childhood friends who are the most successful weren’t necessarily the very brightest bulbs, but the ones who worked their asses off. One became an entrepreneur, opening a fitness chain in Chicago. Another is a tech entrepreneur. These two are kicking ass in life.
What I want to give my children more than anything is a work ethic. They have a chore list. They need to keep their rooms clean. They know I won’t tolerate their work unless they have given it their best.
And what I’ve done about fancy
I’ve recently banned the word from our home. It is not to be spoken by either child or anyone else. Any time the children utter it, they are quickly instructed to swap the word out for “hard working:”
- 7 year old: Don’t I look fancy today?
- Me: You know that word is banned from our household.
- 7 year old: Don’t I look hard working today?
Time will tell if my efforts to impart my values on my children will be successful. My 7 year old already thinks I’m a bit crazy and she’s a bit right. This is just fine as long as she doesn’t drop any more F-bombs.
*Confession: My parents tell everyone my first word was “car.” Not true. The real story is this: When I was a young tyke, my father was swinging a hammer when he hit himself with it. He dropped a real F-bomb with great enthusiasm. Apparently, I heard this and instantly repeated it. That was my first word.
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.