1988: Wads of Dough

“Jenny, you know that money that Daddy’s been having you hide from me since last year?

My eyes grow wide. “Well I need it now. You must have a couple hundred saved up!”

Excited, I reply “Yes Daddy! It’s all in my closet on the shelf.”

Impatiently, I wait for Dad to retrieve the money but he returns empty handed.

“Jenny, I thought you said you hid the money on your top shelf.”

“I did, Daddy. I put it all in tissues.” Dad looks bewildered.

“I wrapped the money in tiny tissue envelopes so you wouldn’t find it. Just like you wanted me to.”

“Wait a minute! Jenny, you put the money in tissues? How? You’re scaring Poppa.”

“Well each time you gave me five or ten dollars I wrapped each one in a tissue.”

Dad puts his hands up to his face and shakes his head. “Motherfucker!”

Why is Daddy mad? Is he mad at me?

 Shaking his head in disgust, Dad boils over, “Jenny, I threw the fucking money in the garbage! All of it! Why the fuck would you put real money in tissues? You know Daddy doesn’t trust the goddamn banks. That’s why I gave it to you.”

I gaze down, blankly. Why did he throw the money away? Isn’t this what I was supposed to do? Wasn’t he saving it?

 Blaring, he explains, “Jesus Christ! I was cleaning last month and I found all those tissues in your closet. I thought you were nuts saving used tissues. So I threw them all in the trash. My fucking luck!”

My heart sinks. Oh no!

 I run to the closet. Way in the back, I find two tissues that Dad has overlooked.

“See Dad, just like this.” I unwrap two five-dollar bills, and hand them to him.

“Yes those were it! Fucking shit. Not even enough to bet the late double. But what can Daddy do except laugh, right? I guess we’re going to starve again this month, baby girl.”