My father and his closest friend, a man I call an uncle, discovered an easy way to save money: always wet your toilet paper and paper towels. Apparently, once these rolls dry after you have wet them, they no longer roll as easily because ripples have been created. This will slow down your roll, LITERALLY, if you take too much toilet paper when you are on the throne, for instance. People use less paper products, the fewer paper products you need to buy, the more money you save: it’s all a vicious cycle. I hover back and forth between two adjectives for this practice… CHEAP…and… RIDICULOUS. It does, however, offer me endless opportunities for shit-talking with my father. I could tell any array of such stories to convey how frugal my father is, but I hope this lumpy toilet paper saga will suffice.
Unlike some of my peers, I was never the type of child to be embarrassed by my father’s frugality, not even them $2 grocery store sneakers. I think a lot of people could use the character building that comes from building a real sense of worth rather than buying labels as the sole sign of worth. Given the high price African Americans have had to pay for every advancement we have achieved (think back on the parents who sent their children into the terrordome of Central High School in 1957 Little Rock, Arkansas as just one example), paying yet another high price for something as insignificant as a clothing label seems, at best, redundant for us. Continue reading