What's Wrong With Parents?
By Johnny Betts
This is a special installment of WWWP called "What's Wrong With Parents?" When I was in
elementary school my mom would buy me the cheapest clothes she could find. Every other
day I'd wear my ONE pair of Levi's that I was able to convince my
grandmother to get me. Oh, my grandmother would get me anything I wanted, but I couldn't
ask for much or my mom would get mad at me. "You need to stop asking your grandmother to
get you that expensive clothing! You've got a drawer full of perfectly good clothes
that I got you." Depends on what you're definition of "perfectly good clothes" is. If
by good you mean not-yet-worn, then you have a point.
So I had one pair of Levi's that I wore as often as I could to avoid wearing the Rustler's
that my mom bought me. And not just the regular Rustler's, oh no, she always bought me the
Rustler's with the extra orange trim. My teachers would have to sit me away from the window
so that the sun wouldn't hit the trim and reflect into their eyes. It was just downright
I remember at a PTA meeting once my teacher said something about how I "was
just beaming the other day". My mother asked, "Oh, did he make an 'A' on his science
project?" The teacher replied, "No, he was literally beaming. It was the extra orange
trim on those Rustler's he has to wear. Poor kid." Did this affect my mother's attitude
toward my clothes? Not even a dent.
Then one day my mom overstepped the line. She bought me a pair of Athletixx tennis shoes.
Yep, that's spelled correctly. That's not one "x" you see; it is indeed TWO.
This was the cheapest pair of tennis shoes I've ever seen in my entire life. They
looked white at first, but then I realized that it must've been white paint because
after a couple of days of wear the white started to flake off! What's up with
THAT? Do you know how much I did NOT want to
wear those things to school? Alas, I didn't have much choice.
So there I was, little 5th grade Johnny Betts wearing his Athletixx with the white stuff
flaking off when a 6th grader walked past me, saw my shoes and said, "Nice shoes, dude."
Hurt my feelings. When I got home I immediately hopped on my bike and proceeded to use the
tops of my shoes as brakes in an effort to justify going up to my mom and saying, "Hey mom,
I already need new shoes!"
My mom never learned. She'd buy me an $8 pair of shoes that would be messed up in a few
weeks and then would have to turn around and buy me another pair of $8 shoes. All she had
to do was buy me a $30 pair of Nikes and they'd last me about 4 years.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH PARENTS????
I give my parents credit for the efforts they've made, and I can certainly understand the
desire to save money, but parents aren't perfect. Sometimes their decision-making can make
children wonder what exactly is wrong with them.
Mother Betts: Vice Versa.