May 8, 2009

Confessions of a paranoid cheapskate

Before I get into today's topic, I want to first say thanks to all of you for not rubbing it in that I sent my sick child off into the countryside with a bunch of healthy kids. K is top fit today, by the way, and polished off two plates of rigatoni with ketchup for lunch.

But rest assured that there is Justice in this world for I have been scolded twice in the last two days on other topics.

First by my husband, who got an earful from K's Kindergarten teacher about his crazy wife and her unfounded paranoia about children being left behind in the countryside.

OK, I deserved that.

And just now I was cut down to size by little Kaye from next door because I didn't give Julia any money for hauling away my to-be-recycled paper and plastic in her little wagon. She rang the doorbell, asked if I had anything to recycle, I gave it to her and off she went. OK, yeah, she said something about pocket money but I assumed she was taking it somewhere where you get money for recycling, like aluminum cans.

Although come to think of it, if there were a place that gave you cash for paper and plastic we would probably go there twice a week instead recycling for free.

What can I say, I wasn't really paying attention. I was trying to decide what to do about the tick repellent, remember?

Anyway, Kaye rang the bell today and asked if she could brush our rugs for money. She asked very sweetly, then suddenly fixed me with a stern, fishy eye and advised me that she would only do it if there was actually some sweet lucre to be made. 'I mean, you, like, totally stiffed Julia!'

Note that these were not her actual words but they do pretty well represent the general tone.

I managed not to burst out laughing until after I closed the door. Then I felt kind of bad and decided to be more open and trusting from now on and also pass out coins to small children.

In he meantime, I guess I owe Julia a Euro.


  1. What a funny kid! And what in the hell is brushing your rugs?

  2. Ah, I'm glad you asked that. That means brushing the fronds or strings or whatever you call them on each side of the rug so they lay straight and symmetrical. Apparently my rug fronds are a disgrace to the neighborhood.

  3. Shame on your fronds!!!
    But how nice to see capitalism alive and well in Germany!

  4. Rug fronds? Oh my, whatever next?

    I would definitely never have sent my kids away for three nights when they were five. Heck, they are 6 and 7 and I still wouldn't do it...

    Yikes - that makes me more paranoid than you... or what? I'd just miss them too much. THere - I said it!

  5. I was just at a playdate with a friend of T1's who will miss ballet(t) on Monday because she is off on an Kinderladen Ausflug for three days! Yet my husband has never heard of it and finds it freaky scarey:). I wonder how much it differs by State?

  6. I hate rug fronds - I cut them off. No frond cleaning here. Nice to know what they're called btw. I always called them, "Those ugly bits sticking out."

  7. I call them rug tassels or fringe... either way, the messier they are, the more character you have... just leave 'em alone!

  8. Pasta and ketchup what a great idea

  9. Rug fronds make me think of palm fronds. Palm fronds make me think of the beach. Which makes me think of white sand, cold beers, breezes . . . Err, I better stop now before I totally hijack your comments.

  10. she'll know to get her money up front next time

  11. Haven't checked your blog in over a week (seems like a year as crazy as my life has been lately), and I missed TONS of good stuff!!!
    You (Du or Sie?) are great at writing about those daily tribulations of motherhood -- I'm laughing out loud and wake up my husband who's already asleep!

    Keep your good humor amongst those German Weiber -- the longer I've been gone from Germany myself I find that it's nice to occasionally have the "I'm-not-from-around-here-excuse" for not being quite sure how things are done...

  12. Perfect rug fronds... don't think my rugs are up to scratch either! Send her over!

  13. Perfect rug fronds... don't think my rugs are up to scratch either! Send her over!

  14. Your life seems completely bewildering to me... not only do you have all these weird cultural things but also a different language with people who don't say "you". I'm getting all stressed out on your behalf, just so you know.

    And then to top it off, little neighborhood girl thugs trying to get all your coinage. Whew. I have to go lie down.


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