Dear Mouthy Housewives,
If I’m doing my family’s laundry and find cash in my teen’s pocket, I’m keeping it, right? But the question is do I rub his face in it to teach him a lesson or just enjoy the new found wealth?
Dear Kash Keeper,
If you’re doing your family’s laundry? If?! I’d like to know what kind of magical kingdom do you live in that lets you talk about laundry hypothetically and is that magical place accepting new citizens? Because my doing laundry every freaking Saturday is a fact of life, starring Lisa Whelchel. A fact that you can take to the bank and put on deposit. Together with all the recently laundered cash that you’ve recovered.
But let’s get to the heart of your question. Your kid leaves cash in his jeans pocket and it comes out all nice and clean in the wash. So like any normal person, you keep the cash, because it’s annoying enough to wash and fold other people’s socks without having to wash and origami their dollar bills as well. So far I’m with you.
Where you lose me is this crazy talk of keeping quiet about your loot. By which I assume you mean not saying anything directly, but merely directing his attention towards the new bling you’re wearing or the Porsche that’s now in the driveway, with a wink and a “miss any bills?” muttered under your breath. If that’s what’s happening, then, by all means, continue.
However, I’m concerned that you’re merely gathering the damp bills and stuffing them in your own pocket, leaving your teen oblivious as to his loss. (I’m also worried that if your teen isn’t noticing that his cash is missing, he has way too much of it and you should transfer his allowance/earnings to The Mouthy Housewives’ Chardonnay Fund immediately if not sooner.) The gathering of bills may be good for you, but you are missing out on a teachable moment with your son. Tell him that if he doesn’t check his pockets before putting his stuff in the laundry, you get to keep whatever it is. And then show him a wad you collected (feel free to add a few $50s to make it more interesting.)
Sure, your kid may put up a fuss that the money belongs to him, but those pleas will fall on deaf years with plugs in them for good measure. Hopefully this financial loss will make him check his pockets before throwing jeans into the laundry. Or better yet, ask you if he can be in charge of the laundry himself. (Hey, stranger things have happened. Probably.)