I love the reference to gas station glasses. Ah, the good old days:

“Are We Rich?” by Erma Bombeck

The other day out of a clear blue sky Brucie asked, “Are we rich?”

I paused on my knees as I retrieved a dime from the sweeper bag, blew the dust off it and asked, “Not so you can notice. Why?”

“How can you tell?” he asked.

I straightened up and thought a bit. Being rich is a relative sort of thing. Here’s how I can always tell.

“You’re rich when you buy your gas at the same service station all the time so your glasses match.

“You’re rich when you can have eight people to dinner and don’t have to wash forks between the main course and dessert.

“You’re rich when you buy clothes for your kids that are two sizes too big for the one you buy ‘em for and four sizes too big for the one that comes after him.

“You’re rich when you own a boat – without oars.

“You can tell people have money when they record a check and don’t have to subtract it right away.

“People have money when they sit around and joke with the cashier while she’s calling in their charge to see if it’s still open.

“You’re rich when you write notes to the teacher on paper without lines.

“You’re rich when your television set has all the knobs on it.

“You’re rich when you can throw away a pair of pantyhose just because it has a large hole in it.

“You know people are loaded when they don’t have to save rubber bands from the celery and store them on a doorknob.

“You’re rich when you can have a home wedding without HAVEN FUNERAL HOME stamped on the folding chairs.

“You’re rich when the Scouts have a paper drive and you have a stack of The New York Times in your basement.

“You’re rich when your dog is wet and smells good.

“You’re rich when your own hair looks so great everyone thinks it’s a wig.”

Brucie sat quietly for a moment, then said, “I think my friend Ronny is rich.”

“How can you tell?” I asked.

“His mom buys his birthday cake at a bakery, and it isn’t even cracked on top.”

“He’s rich, all right,” I sighed.


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