Writer, editor, professor, etc. For more information, see jaygabler.com.
The average American child’s first experience spending his or her very own money comes at…yep, a convenience store. The Mount Royal Drug and True Value in Duluth wasn’t where I made my very first-ever purchase—that was at Target, when I bought a Millenium Falcon on post-holiday clearance—but it was where I made a lot of my boyhood purchases, including my first Transformer, Cosmos the flying saucer.
This receipt is from our last spring in Duluth; I would have been 11 years old. The 40-cent confections were probably collectible Peanuts stickers to go in my book. I was trying to fill the entire book, but the stickers were like baseball cards: you knew how many you were getting, not which ones. To fill the book, you needed one of each.
I was once at Mount Royal with my grandma, and I borrowed five dollars from her to buy stickers. I genuinely believed I had five dollars back in my room, but when we got back to the house I was devastated to remember that I didn’t have it: I’d spent that five dollars on something else. I’d lied to my grandma. I cried, and Grandma said I could pay her back later.
I was a sensitive child.
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