Grocery shopping has always been one of my favorite chores. I enjoy cutting the coupons in advance, perusing the aisles in an effort to locate the items, and the feeling of accomplishment when I save hundreds of dollars at the checkout line. For me, I thought nothing could make grocery shopping more enjoyable — until my daughter, Shannon, got a job at Safeway.
The reasons I am revelling in her new employment are varied. I now get a discount on groceries, for one. She is learning the value of money. She has to balance work, school and a social life. But most importantly, I am estatic that her job consists mainly of chores.
Shannon, like her older brother, consider chores around the house to be nothing more than a nuisance. I’m not sure if their aversion to cleaning is genetic, general laziness or just plain apathy, or possibly a culmination of them all. However, in a cruel twist of fate, Shannon’s job entails cleaning, and lots of it. She has to sweep the entire store, bring carts in off the lot, clean the bathrooms and assist customers with their groceries. While these duties are not exactly equal to what is requested of her at home, they are chores nonetheless.
“Mom, you have no idea how hard it is to push all those carts,” she complained.
“Actually, Shannon, I do,” I countered. “It’s one of my duties at my weekend job. Try doing it in 30 years,” I laughed.
“It’s so hot outside, though,” she continued.
“You think it’s hot now? Wait until it’s 110 degrees outside this summer,” I said. She screwed up her face at me as she normally does when I speak to her. Regardless of whether I am asking her to put the toilet paper on the roll or if I tell her I am going to give her $50.00, I get the same face. “Don’t you enjoy having your own money?” I asked her, trying to make the focus on work a positive one.
“Yeah, I do,” she answered. “I want to save up so I can move out.”
“Sure,” I said, trying to contain my initial feelings of elation, quickly followed by an underlying feeling of sadness. The idea that she wants to be away from me so much that she will complete chores for others stings just a bit. However, I remember being 17, when the thought of true independence was king and I would have done anything I could to gain that crown.
So as Shannon earns her own money and her independence, I will leave her with one thought: cutting coupons is worth it!