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  • Mahmoud Said

Lower Mid

I grew up in what could be considered Middle Class family, father and mother working government jobs that provide wages on the lower end of the spectrum. my frugal mother ran a pretty tight financial ship where she managed to save on what she deemed unnecessary spending. She focused on giving us a good education, sending us to a private French school. We didn’t go on vacations or indulge in luxuries, I didn’t have many toys, or books. My mother relied on having me spend my free time outside with other neighbors and schoolmates. It was fun for the most part and I learned a lot experiencing life with many other kids, each bringing a different skill to the table.

Mother’s frugality had negative side effects on my behavior, feeling the constant pressure from society to own and experience luxuries, I lied and stole money from her pocket purse.



I remember my first major lie was to a first-grade friend from school, a rich kid that I shared a solid bond with. I told an extremely silly lie about owning horses and ponies in my backyard. A lie that quickly hunted me when my friend wanted to visit me at home. I think my constant need to show off motivated my friend to expose my lie once and for all, I couldn’t pivot and ended up exposed when before leaving my house, he told my mother about my lie. I made up another silly lie to her about how confused my friend was and how misunderstood I was.



Owning a dog was so cool when I was young, another way to show off among friends and I was desperate to own a pup. I made a deal with an older kid who owned some pups in an empty apartment adjacent to where he lived, I told him I’d pay him in weekly installment the price of the pup and would in return keep the pup in his possession until it’s paid off. I would make daily visits to spend time with the pup with no regard to how I’d bring the pup home when my debt is paid. I stole from my mother’s pocket purse to make my payments. My mother eventually found out and my plan collapsed, I paid a heavy price in form of a memorable rare beating from my father using his belt. Fair to say he took his frustrations on me that day, and I haven’t forgotten it.



I stole other things at various stages of my life, I stole a book from a book fair once, this incident led to a web of lies that I had to weave to cover my action. I stole what I thought were rare stamps from a friend’s house, it was a popular trend at one time and I wanted to keep up with my friends, I still have those stamps and the full extent of the regret that I still fills my heart.

It’s hard for a frugal person to sacrifice frugality for the sake of a kid’s wants or needs, I can’t blame my mother for my actions, she could not have done it any differently, neither could I. it’s all predestined.

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