When I was in elementary school, my teacher asked me “Jerry, if you have five dollars and you ask your Dad for five more, how many would you have?” I said “Five.” She said, “You don’t know addition very well.” I said, “You don’t know my Dad very well.”

Parents need to be frugal for sure but sometimes it can get to be a little weird. My Mom used to make our shirts herself. I know! She was a wizard with a sewing machine, a pattern and some fabric.

I badgered her to sew in Calvin Klein labels so it looked cool if anyone ever asked why my shirts looked homemade. I would show them the label and tell them that Calvin Klein made my shirts himself. They were blown away.

My mother ended up getting busted for making counterfeit clothing and spent some time in the joint for a few years. I felt bad but the kids at school didn’t know so I still had their respect and that’s what really matters.

Everything turned out ok for her. She had a lot of tattoos when she got back home, including a couple of tear drops on her face below one eye, went to rehab to kick the drug habit and told us to start calling her “Kiki”. Weird.

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