When I was growing up, my parents were always pretty good with money. After all, they did pay for two of their son’s college educations, not a small feat for first generation immigrants.
Since my parents became empty nesters, though, they have been a little frivolous with their money. Now as readers of this blog know, we’re not ones to shy away from luxury or the more-than-occasional-treat. Her and I get a good laugh out of some of things they buy, since we know that the cost really isn’t that significant.
For example, when Her and I went to my parents’ home during the holidays last year, my mom kept telling us about the wine that she bought from (the now extinct) Marshall Field’s. We opened up a bottle, and offered my mom a glass. She refused because “it all tastes like vinegar and makes her dizzy.” When asked about why she bought the wine, she had no trouble bluntly saying, “Well, your aunt and uncle had it at their house last year.”
Those same relatives who had the wine at their place also like to travel. They became empty nesters a few years before my parents did, and decided they would take a European vacation. Until then, my mom said absolutely nothing about wanting to ever travel in Europe. Lo and behold, the first year that my parents became empty nesters they took a European vacation, much to the chagrin of my dad. He was so not psyched to go that he didn’t pack until an hour before they had to leave for the airport.
Have I mentioned that my mom has 2 cars? One that was bought…you guessed it…after my parents’ became empty nesters!
My poor dad just goes along with all of this. I think he’s okay with it though, because my brother and I helped him put together a home theater for him. Admittedly, he didn’t really want a nice home theater until he saw how awesome my brother’s is, but it genuinely makes him happy to have and use it. His main vice is action movies on DVD, no matter how bad they are; thus, their house is littered with movies starring “Bruce Li” or “Chuk Noris.”
I don’t feel bad at all empowering my dad to buy crappy DVDs from the $1 bargain bin.