The Pinnacle of Wealth

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Growing up all I ever wanted was the Fisher Price Tree House. I never achieved my dream, and had to make the most of my friend’s Fisher Price Tree House when I went to her house after school for a “play.”

“Play” is now referred to as “play dates” and they are highly organised fun hours with hovering parents and craft activities. But I regress.

I grew up in a typical suburban suburb but our house was the exception rather than the rule, as there was only a Mum on the scene. We were from what was referred to back then as a “broken home” and I took full advantage of the pity shown to me by the glossy, shiny stay-at-home mums in our neighbourhood. I was always having a “play” at other kids houses after school as my Mum was busy hustling with her own small business.

Back then, there were several things that indicated to me that a family was loaded. Let’s start with the two-story house. In my mind, if you had a two-story house, you lived in a mansion! Many a trip was spend sliding down balustrades before the Mum would announce that the cupcakes were ready! Bliss.

One of my school friends had a sunken lounge room which was carpeted with the fluffiest white carpet, like a Snow White Pomeranian. It was lush. Although we were not able to eat on it, or wear shoes in that room, we were able to play with her full range of Strawberry Shortcake Dolls, even the evil and obnoxious Purple Pieman!

If your house had a pool, you were particularly cashed up! These were before the days that you required a pool fence, mind you. Even if you had a round, above ground pool, you were a star in my eyes. Oh, many whirlpools were made in the summer of 1979 at one particular pool which eventually got fed up with our shenanigans and burst one day, just as we began to attempt to turn back and swim against the flow. The Dad of the house stood on the back veranda and swore at us. There would have been a dozen of us kids, being spewed out across the grass, with gushes of water pushing us along in peril.

That family. Instantly no longer rich.

BUT they redeemed themselves when they got a brand new car. It was a Nissan Bluebird. I had a bit of argy bargy with my little friend whose family purchased the new car, only to be told by her that I was not allowed to go in it EVER. What. A. Fucking. Bitch.

There were many a material items around at the time which signalled to my tiny little brain that I was in the presence of the affluential. These include, but are not limited to, the following –

Two cars or a two car garage

Two televisions or even one television that had a remote control

Any independent body of water ie pool, spa, pond etc

Stairs

Pacman or any gaming devices

Commodore 64

A passport

Regular trips to Australia’s Wonderland or El Cabalo Blanco

Holidays to Daydream Island

A phone in the shape of anything rather than a phone. Such as a hamburger or banana phone

A Sony Betamax

But you see, don’t sit there and feel sorry for me! While all my friends had hard working Dads who were able to stock up on all of the stuff, I had the one thing that made me the envy of every single little girl in the whole goddam town.

Fuck yeah! I had a PONY and it wasn’t Barbie’s shitty plastic pretend pony. It was the real deal. And you want to know something? I would much rather ride my pony Peter, than drive around in some stupid car named after a bird.

What was the pinnacle of wealth to you as a child?

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