birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The More you Have...

I was brought up to think there were two subjects you don't talk about it in mixed company. Money and sex. Of course it was my mother who told me this, and of course I've heard her on numerous occasions talk explicitly about money and sex with family and friends. My mother's side of the family had big money issues, all having to do with the death of a parent, numerous wives, children, half brothers and half sisters. Of course, no one was happy with the will, and in fact, there was a big blow out between my mother and her side of the family over her father's will. Never mind the details, but needless to say, she was left out. In the end, her father's will impacted the rest of how she lived her life and it caused a rift between her and her half siblings.

A friend once told me you have to learn to get along with people who have money and with people who don't have money. I know this in theory, and it's taken me a long time to put theory into play. The beauty about going away to boarding school(one where many students had scholarships) is that everyone is more or less on an equal playing field. We all wore the same uniform and I usually wasn't privy to their family's vast wealth. In college, I had a friend whose family was extremely wealthy. Once, when I borrowed $20 from her, I "neglected" to pay her back. When she called me on it, I didn't know what to say. Of course, I thought, what's $20 to her because at that time $20 was a ton of money to me. I knew I was taking advantage of her situation, and that was wrong, but the extent of her wealth was so staggering I really didn't know how to deal with it properly. Anther friend of mine, lives frugally in a million dollar house (courtesy of her wealthy parents), continues to work as a college professor, and is thankful she really doesn't have to worry about money anymore. If only.

My daughters talk about the difference between "entitled" and "privileged" and who of their friends are one, or the other, or both. I'm glad they grew up in a culture where a college education is valued and expected and that they had a variety of friends with money, and without money.

Money still continues to be a source of tension in my mother's side of the family. Now that she has passed away, those issues are rising again to the surface for both of my siblings. This time, I'm stepping in, making sure everyone gets their equal share, and frankly not talking too much about it unmixed company.

Shaped Like as Serpent

Money Doesn't Grow On Trees