Family Discussions

The kids are really into this slang word right now – “savage.” Savage is what you say when someone insults someone else, or something bad happens, or something good happens to someone else but not to you. It’s not really for use when something good happens to you – yet – but as far as Sir Monkeypants and I can tell, throwing it out there, followed by a couple of dabs, is pretty much always cool.

As a result, we’ve been trying to slip it into conversation as much as possible so we seem young and hip. I think it might finally replace “totes” and “word” in my vocab.

Oh, I just remembered! If something is really good it’s “legit.” I’m so hip it’s painful.

In other news, for the past few weeks I have been doing the grocery shopping on Sunday mornings with Captain Jelly Belly, while Sir Monkeypants takes the girls to swim class. The Captain and I talk about all sorts of things, some silly, some serious, and that’s cool (“legit” for you young folks out there).

This weekend we got to talking about what it would mean to win the lottery. We talked about how sure, it would be great, but it also means a lot of stress and strained family relationships for the winner. Family will feel happy for you, at first, but it’s always hard to see someone who has been on a par with you suddenly have no worries. He said he’d gift his family members a one-time payment to placate them, but then we talked about who would be chosen (siblings? cousins? close friends? how far does it go?) and what would happen in a few years when someone fell on hard times, while he was still getting new cars and taking family vacations and paying outright for his kids’ educations. Does everyone get the same, regardless of their status? How firm would you be with the one-time thing, if it meant causing hard feelings?

So that led to an interesting point: how much money do you think would mean that your family and friends might come looking for a payout or helping hand? If you won say, $50 on a scratch card – obviously not. What if you won 100 thousand? Is that enough that your parents and your siblings might expect a bigger Christmas gift, or for you to pay for a group vacation? What if you won a million – not quite enough to retire for the rest of your life, but enough so you wouldn’t have to worry about university or braces or a sudden flood – is that the level when you’d be expected to share the wealth?

And what if you won something like, 20 million dollars? Would each of your siblings expect say, a million a piece? What if you have 10 siblings? What would be fair, and what would be expected?

I wonder.

That led to a discussion of how borrowing money among family members sometimes (ALWAYS) leads to trouble, and I shared my personal rules: if you’re the borrower, don’t be a dick when it comes to putting everything in writing and setting a payback schedule, and then try to stick to that schedule as best you can. And if you’re the lender, be sure you can afford to view that money as a gift – always hope for repayment, but don’t lend it in the first place unless you can afford to ruefully-but-cheerfully write it off (and then refuse future loans).

Hopefully that sunk in – it got a little lecture-y. I think he was still dreaming of winning the lottery.

7 thoughts on “Family Discussions

  1. Smothermother

    Max has been using savage all the time too. it irks me a bit when you think of the anthropological use of it in the past, but that’s more because of my career background. I know no harm is meant it it’s use.

    money has caused some issues in my family. so I would steer clear of any sort of loans. but the question of how much you would give if you win the lottery is interesting. but I guess I’d have to actually play it to really think hard about the outcome of a huge win. :p

    1. It’s irksome to us too, which is why my husband has taken to using it about the house in awkward and weird ways to illustrate how odd it is. But I suppose all slang is weird like this, paying no attention to the actual meaning of the word.

      I remember when I was in grade 4 or so, the big slang word was “decent.” Everything cool was “decent.” Two boys in my class were offered $5 by their parents to stop using the word. It took a while but they eventually were able to transition themselves onto “excellent,” much like Bill and Ted. I’m sure their parents were much happier :).

  2. The only thing I noticed here was the kind of language that is coming into my son’s phone via text. I almost wish we had the contemporary slang you speak of. I noticed too that my son is receiving but not responding the same way. I’m hoping our speech that we parents are liable for what he does on his phone sunk in.

  3. If I won the lottery, I would never tell anyone – possibly not even my immediate family – because I wouldn’t want things to be different at all. The money would just cover nice little extras here and there. We also don’t do financial transactions with friends or family (more hubby’s philosophy) because of the potential messiness. At least it needs to be super-clear if you do. It can cause problems. As for the language, well my kids are clearly not super cool because i haven’t heard any of those phrases around here, but you being so hip reminded me of Zaphod Beeblebrox: “I’m so hip i have trouble seeing over my pelvis. I’m so cool you can keep a side of meat in me for months.” I’m so hip that I remember fun quotes from a book that was cool in a nerdy sort of way a generation ago… Sigh…. 🙂

  4. nicoleboyhouse

    Well. I would know what my extended family (sibling, etc) would EXPECT and it would not at all be what I would be willing to part with. Did you know the majority of lottery winners (regular winners, not 200 million powerball winners or anything) are broke within 5 years? It’s true! Because if – say – you win a few mill, you buy a house, you go on some big vacations, YOU PAY OFF ALL YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY (cough cough, deadbeats) and it’s gone.

    Wait, am I sounding bitter? I don’t mean to.

    “Beast” is a big word around here.

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