When I say “sprawling lawn” I mean the lawn was so big it could accommodate around 50 of my house with lots of space to spare.
In fact, when I arrived in the party area, there was a Shakey’s bus (they call it Shakey’s on Wheels) parked at one end of the lawn. Despite the bus’ imposing presence, a large space was left on the grounds for the chairs-and-table setup and for the guests to mill around.
You heard me right. It was a Shakey’s bus. Not a Shakey’s food cart, but a bus.
I didn’t even know Shakey’s can send to your party a bus load of pizzas, but, as I discovered last Sunday, they can.
The birthday party was not that lavish compared to the other elaborate parties I attended in the past, despite the fact the parents were obviously wealthier than wealthy.
The birthday mom just hired a party host to run the program and play games, magic show by me, firework display at the end of the program, and a Lazer war game in the evening. And of course, lots of foods and ample drinks.
And here’s what surprised me: when it was time to say goodbye, the birthday mom told the party host and me to collect our TF from the Yaya. I can’t forget her exact word: “I don’t have money with me.”
Well, I’ve heard of the idiosyncrasies of rich people. Steve Jobs wears sneakers and denim pants during product launches. Mark Zuckerberg wears the same T-shirt color and design every day he goes to work. And I heard stories of rich people not carrying cash on their person when they go around town.
So off we went to find the Yaya in the crowd. When we found her, she appeared unmistakably a Yaya, because she was wearing a Yaya uniform. But she was business like. She asked how much her boss owed us, had us sign a piece of paper, paid us and handed tips.
The “I don’t have money with me” stuck in my mind until this morning. I thought I’d use it to trick my brain to believe that I, too, am stinking rich.
So when my youngest son came to me this morning and asked for his “baon”, I told him, as closely in the tone as I remember how the phrase was uttered last Sunday, to go to our household help, ask money from her, because “I don’t have money with me.”
And so off my son went to our house-help in the kitchen. Tell you what. I felt rich just saying the magic words, “I don’t have money with me.” I couldn’t believe how powerful these words were. It helped me imagine I had a mansion with sprawling grounds and a Shakey’s bus on my property, even though if it were true, the Shakey’s bus would be bigger than my house.
My feeling of wealth was short lived, though. My son came back from the kitchen and said, “Ate has no money either. She said you haven’t paid her salary yet. Where’s my baon?”
Irked that my son broke the wealthy-feeling spell, I opened my wallet, showed my son it’s empty, and told him the bad news, “I really don’t have money with me.”
This time, these words felt just not right as a wealth-inducing feeling.