My husband teases me that I should read a book about how to make money. He sees me reading books about weather patterns and thinks that if I focused some of my brain on financials, we might be able to fix up the house. I tell him it will never work because when it comes to buying and selling and general economics, I absolutely stink.
I know this because lately I have acquired a part time job in a few retail businesses and I am failing miserably. These are not normal jobs, mind you. These are fundraisers for groups in which our children are involved. They are groups that I care deeply about, or else I wouldn’t have let them sign up to be a part of them. They are groups that do good, and they are groups that make the world a better place.
But they require money, like most things do, and in order to spread the job around, we are all asked to sell something to show our support.
In a perfect world I might send my kids door to door, asking if our neighbors would like to buy some magazines/pizza/popcorn/cookies/frozen food/wrapping paper/flowers, but sadly times have changed. I can’t in good maternal conscience send them out unattended, and if our great neighbors bought half of what we were selling we would most likely bankrupt them.
So instead, it all falls on mom and dad, despite what the colorful “how to sell!” flyers say. My husband refuses to take things to work anymore. “No one wants this stuff!” he says, and he’s right. A grown person can only eat so many spiced nuts and eventually we reach a point in our lives where collector tins aren’t as special as they used to be.
On our kitchen counter I currently have four different fundraisers going and seeing as I am not the best bookkeeper, there may be another one floating around without me even knowing. I’m sure I’ve lost hundreds of dollars over the years by selling things and not ever collecting money or delivering product, as recognized by a freezer full of Girl Scout cookie flavors we don’t even like. My spare room is a warehouse of products that I can’t keep organized and at some point I’m going to snap like a crispy rice chocolate bar and be buried alive by the all too enticing prize sheets.
“If we sell $10,000 worth of this stuff, I can have a new TV!” they beg.
“If I don’t have to beg relatives to buy this stuff and collect payment and organize orders, I’ll buy you a TV,” I respond through the tears that are stinging the papercuts from tearing out my own hefty checks.
And I think, yes. A new TV. We could put it in the family room next to our assortment of collectable tins and never have time to watch it because we’re so busy running you around to all of these activities that require funds. Maybe eventually we’ll get a chance, and when we do, we’ll certainly have some popcorn for movie night.
Originally written 10.4.15