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Money: Guilty as Charged

Joined: 12/23/2010
Posts: 4
It cost a dollar. The stupid golden cat statue cost a dollar. It was chipped right above the black dot of its right eye. It had probably received the injury when it was rattling around underneath my seat as my car rolled over twice in a ditch beside the road.

“Ma’am, please grab anything you want to save. You probably won’t be seeing anything you leave ever again,” the wrecker had said a minute before. I had meant to grab my sneakers, but the glimmer of gold in the bright flood lights of the fire truck had caught my eye. Now I was standing in front of my destroyed car with my one dollar prize.

My 2000 Ford Escort had transformed into a battered piece of red metal– previously worth four thousand times as much as the cat in monetary and sentimental value. Little Red was disgusting – it smelled like dead animal mixed with mulch and hardly looked better. Once my general layer of debris was added to the mess, poor Red added the label “teenage girl” to its list of characteristics.

With the attainment of my CD-less, automatic-window-less, painted-chipped car, everything became expensive. Gas. Car washes. More gas. Even more gas. It soon became clear.

I would have to spend my college savings on gas.

Well, not really. I’m a lucky kid – my parents pay for my gas. But that doesn’t mean that every swipe of the special gas-only credit card didn’t feel like a sword ramming into my conscience. Money makes me feel guilty. Not I-just-stole-a-cookie guilty, nor I-just-killed-someone guilty, though, admittedly, I’ve never know how the latter feels. (Yes, my little brother is still alive).

It is flipping-my-perfectly-solid-car-over-twice guilty. Because although it’s not my fault that Little Red skid on the gravel, not my fault there were ditches on the side of the road physically enabling my car to roll over twice, I’m still the one driving. Without me, no one would be driving, and the accident would never have happened. Without me, my parents could spend their money on something else, something for themselves. A useless golden cat statue, perhaps?
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Comment by bugcandy

Joined: 11/5/2008
Posts: 286
I'm the CEO for the Stage of Life project here on

Congratulations - your essay has been selected as one of the finalists for the December student writing contest.

Check this page within the next few days as we'll be announcing the winner soon. If you are selected as the winner, we'll contact you about where to send the prize package (look for an email).

We look forward to reading more of your writing on the site! Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.

The Stage of Life Editorial Team & Eric Thiegs, CEO

P.s. By the way, if you haven't entered the current month's writing contest, we hope you do. Please feel free to tell your friends and family about being named a finalist. Congrats again!
Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2011 4:52:59 PM
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Comment by Justina

Joined: 8/20/2010
Posts: 168
Though I don't have a car yet, I can definitely empathize with you in regard to feeling guilty about money. I felt especially guilty when I have to use my parent's money to pay for my AP exams and college application fees. eek. But I guess it's sorta their job to pay for certain necessities - and when we're older and we have our own well-paying jobs, we'll take care of them. So don't let the guilt overwhelm you.
Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 9:50:22 PM
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