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If I never have a cent, I'll be rich as Rockefeller.

Indignantly, my sixteen year old self would wonder if Dad expected me to change my own flats and check my own oil. Just in case. You need to know how, he would say, but I couldn't hear for my silent pouting.

I wanted this info about as much as I wanted to see the inner workings of the butcher shop he managed. But, there we were of a Sunday afternoon while I wore my lavender dress with matching undergarments. It did not smell like the freshly painted halls of my private school. And it was cold enough to give a man arthritic fits even during sunny seasons. Although, the neurotic dog my sixteen year old self could not live without seemed to enjoy the smell and taste of his Reeboks when dad returned home on Saturday evenings.

Several times each year, I was allowed a clothing stipend which I spent at discount department stores as I was forced to choose between a wardrobe or a single outfit. Of course, Dad got those new Reeboks that time.

I could have done without all those chores Dad had me doing too. An endless cycle of vacuuming, dishwashing, vent cleaning. Even potato scrubbing. I much preferred those rowdy sleepovers I hosted in the master bedroom of our house on Friday nights. Except some of my friends left water drops on the sink of my private bathroom. This was almost as unacceptable as being required to take out the garbage. My protestations were to no avail. Dad refused the Girl Card.

Poor attitude regarding garbage duty notwithstanding, Dad sometimes insisted on eating at home instead of in restaurants. Those nights we didn't go to movies either. I would protest this injustice by locking my sixteen year old self in my room for hours on my landline while Dad dozed in a recliner as a dog gnawed on Reeboks nearby.

These deplorable reports are all too common among children and I could personally continue to wallow in them but I've come to understand how these injustices shape a person. Over time, one's worldview is forever changed. Eventually, one must realize the perpetrators of these injustices for exactly who they are.


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