It’s Only $20

At the baseball game last night I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation behind us. A couple had brought their grandkids, who were visiting from another state, to the game. I know Grandpa had put a lot of planning into this outing. I know this because when we purchased our season tickets back in April this particular Saturday was the only date not available for our seats in the 3rd row – the seats where they were sitting. So way back in April, Gramps had thought a night at the game would be a great way to spend some time with his grandkids and had bought these tickets. Sadly, the kids weren’t all that grateful for the effort.

If I had to guess, I’d put the twins at 11 or 12 years old and the girl around 8. What drew my attention to them was the never-ending demands for money and the utter lack of respect for anyone or anything. After a while I began to keep a tally of every time Grandpa opened his wallet: 3 $5 chicken sandwiches, 3 $5 ice cream bowls, and 3 $2.75 sodas. In addition, Grandma had somehow managed to sweet-talk the promo gals into giving each of them a free jersey (2 of them ended up on the ground) and they had accumulated 5 foul balls (one of which was taken right out of the hands of another person). After 5 innings of whining, yelling, and just generally being annoying, grandpa finally said, “This was a waste. You’re not even paying attention to the game.” One of the boys replied, “Don’t treat us like cavemen. We know what’s going on and it wasn’t a waste, it was only $20.”

I shook my head in disgust. 62% of Americans earn less than $20 an hour. I am one of those Americans and it’s irritating to me to hear someone so young say things like, “It’s only $20”. You know they didn’t just pick that phrase out of the sky. Somewhere along the way they’ve been taught to think that $20 is a relatively small amount of money.

I wish I could say this was the only time I’ve ever encountered spoiled kids but we all know that would be a lie. They’re everywhere and unless something changes, they are the future of our society. I can’t help but feel sorry for this Grandpa. I heard him tell the boys not to take the fives out of his wallet when they were digging for ice cream money. “Why not?” one of them asked. “Because Grandma saves those and that’s how we travel to all the places we go.” Wise Grandpa! Here’s hoping some of his wisdom rubs off on those kids before they head back home.

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