Over the course of the next week, the girls chatted on the phone almost every evening, dreaming about what they were going to buy with their profits. By Thursday they decided to change their upcoming Saturday meet-up to Friday after school.
“Let’s go shopping! I have a lifetime supply of glue and the water here is practically limitless… so I really don’t need to save any of my money dah-lings.” Lydia added a British accent so she would sound like a rich debutant.
“Um… I already gave my little brother half of my cash to buy an extra cookie each day this week. If I go shopping, I won’t have anything left to buy supplies with,” confessed Karen.
“Oh Karen, you deserve to get yourself a gift! A tiny gift!” Veronica piped up. “Well, I am going to treat myself a little. I did slave away on those pot holders you know.”
“Yeah… maybe… Lydia, what are you going to buy?” Karen asked trying to divert the conversation from herself.
“Whatever my heart desires,” Lydia sang through the receiver.
On Friday after the last class bell rang, Lydia met up with Karen and Veronica in the school’s parking lot. Fortunately for them, Veronica was able to negotiate a ride with Jacob to the mall in exchange for three weekends of laundry duty. When they arrived at the shopping mall, their purses full of the hard-earned cash from the prior weekend. They felt like awesome boss ladies walking through the double doors.
“Meet me back here in three hours!” Jacob commanded from the driver’s seat and drove off to find his friends in the parking lot.
The girls linked arm in arm roaming the mall’s various shops searching for things they didn’t really need. By the time the three hours were up, they were already on the curb waiting for Jacob when he pulled up, multiple bags dangling from Lydia and Veronica’s wrists. On the ride home, they took turns showing him what they’d bought on their “shopping spree.”
Veronica’s idea of treating herself was by stocking up on various textures of yarn and sturdy crochet hooks. Lydia ended up spending all her money on a few hair accessories, an adorable teddy bear, and six glitter bath bombs. Karen was the only thrifty one in the bunch, spending a mere fifty cents on some gum from a candy machine.
After dropping Karen off, Lydia’s house was the next destination. When they arrived she thanked Jacob, gave Veronica a best friend squeeze and bounded up the path with her shopping bags swinging wildly in her hands.
“Welcome home, kidlet!” her dad greeted her enthusiastically. “I’ve got some wonderful news!”
“So do I!” Lydia couldn’t wait to show her dad everything she could afford just by selling a few tin cans and some slime.
Mrs. Wyley was still at her yoga class, but neither wanted to wait till she arrived to discuss their day.
“You go first!” Lydia beamed.
Mr. Wyley pulled a flyer off the dining room table and handed it to her to view while he explained. “One of my buddies had to cancel their booth at the annual downtown Craft Crawl and I offered your business club up to take her place! Your first craft show, can you believe the luck?!”
Lydia’s eyes widened with greedy delight “Ohmygosh! That is so awesome dad! The girls are going to freak out when I tell them!” She examined the flyer to make sure she had all the details.
“Wait! It says the Craft Crawl is next weekend…We’ll have to work extra hard to make enough products sell and we need business cards!”
“Hey, I have tomorrow off… we can pick up more supplies and a few things for your booth if you’d like.”
“Oh, I don’t need any more supplies, I have unlimited supplies!” and she proceeded to show him how many glue bottles she had left.
When she held out the almost empty box, she added, “Well I’ll need another box refill since this one is almost out and I need a LOT for my slime recipe.”
He looked at her with disbelief “You’re joking right? We were joking… Thirty bottles just seem like a lifetime supply! I thought you were going to occasionally use it to glue some paper bits together.” He put his hands to his face to muffle his laughter. “Ok well, you made a good amount of dough from your sales last week. You can use that to buy more supplies. That is usually how business works in the real world anyways.”
He looked at her, she looked at him and he looked back at her. He raised his eyebrows and she broke down and told him she didn’t even save a quarter.
“Broke already? Lydia, that money just burned a giant hole in your pocket and you had that itch to spend it. Is that what happened?”
Lydia nodded her head, slightly ashamed at her money managing skills.
“I knew there was a lesson I was forgetting to give you guys.” He groaned.
“Should I cancel the booth then?”
“No! Anything but that… please?” she began to beg, but he put his hand up to quiet her.
“How about asking your mother when she gets home if you can work out a deal to exchange allowance for extra chores around the house?”
“Allowance for chores?” giving him a disgusted look.
“Yep, you are going to have to earn money the good old-fashioned way – cleaning up the junk your mom doesn’t want to deal with.”
He scuffed up her hair and went into the kitchen to cook dinner. Mrs. Wyley floated through the front door shortly after, looking extremely serene from her yoga class.
“Memaw! Mooooother! Mama!” Lydia galloped towards her, barely letting her pass the front closet. “Let’s make a deal!” she announced as if she were a game show host.
Mrs. Wyley listened to the story of how Lydia went from princess to pauper in a few hours’ time and agreed to make a chore list for which Lydia could earn allowance money.
That Saturday, she dedicated herself to the chore list instead of joining her friends on the beach to catch some rays. Lydia cleaned out the gutters, re-lined all the kitchen shelving and organized the garage. Satisfied with the results, Mrs. Wyley handed her a fifty dollar bill.
“Wow, mom! Thank you so much!”
Grinning with greed, she found her dad relaxing on the couch. She waved the large bill in her dad’s face.
“Oh, look at you. Making money like the olden days.” He grinned and snatched the money out of her hand. “Thank you for the rent and utility money, you have officially stopped being a freeloader at the Wyley residence!”
She tried to grab her the bill back, but he held it out of reach.
“In all seriousness how about I hold on to this until we go pick up more supplies? We wouldn’t want any more holes burned would we?”
Lydia rolled her eyes, but ultimately agreed it would be a lot safer in his wallet than in her shoebox or purse. She went to bed that night feeling completely satisfied with her new path in life. She was a successful businesswoman and the world needed to watch out!