Workin' For a Livin'

"Hey, I'm not complaining 'cause I really need the work!
Hitting up my buddy's got me feeling like a jerk.
Hundred dollar car note, two hundred rent.
I get a check on Friday, but it's all ready spent.

Workin' for a livin'. . ." - Huey Lewis and the News

As yet another of my offspring takes those first faltering steps down the road to self-sufficiency, I find myself doing a little secret dance around my kitchen.

Teenagers have a sense of entitlement that is difficult to understand. Perhaps it forms early on when we parents pop something in their mouths at the first hint of fussiness. The need for immediate gratification, and the fact that we are its suppliers, lasts well beyond the point where it is cute or called-for.

When desires are not easily attainable, the teen must become more cunning at securing funding. Promises to "work it off" or "pay it back" have left many parents with an extra cell-phone bill or a knee-high lawn and little relief.

And yet, when we hear the words, "Mom! I got the job!" it restores our hope that some day, they'll actually move out and pay their own bills.

So, I am off to procure a pair of khakis and some dark, comfortable, inexpensive and yet strikingly fashionable shoes for the young employee. "Do you have any money?" I ask.

"Mom! I haven't even started working yet. I'll pay you back. . ."

I know. I don't really expect it when they say that. But, if it happens, it will be a nice surprise.

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