Saturday, March 4, 2017

UFF Frugal Dilemma

Another day, another frugal dilemma.

from miners

This one is particularly relevant to this time of year. Parents of graduating seniors, there sure do seem to be a lot of fees associated with graduation, do there not?

One of those is the obvious expense of purchasing a cap and gown. For students in my town, at my son's public high school, this means buying a single-use item in a bright and unattractive color. Grape.

I should add that as a minimalist-ish mom, and as an individual, this is not the sort of item I can imagine hanging onto sentimentally. UFF Dad, a sentimentalist and packrat historic preservationist to the core, feels differently. He still has his grad school graduation gown, hood, and cap. I rented the gowns I wore for all three of my degrees, and kept only the tassels (neither of us have need for academic regalia).

Given UFF Dad's tendencies, hanging in his office closet is one bright purple high school graduation robe (with cap) in perfect condition, only one size too large for UFF Boy. It was previously worn by his brother, UFF Son, a few years back. Reusing this robe would neatly solve the need to shell out $33.00 for a second bright, shiny, polyester, purple graduation robe that will hang forever in UFF Dad's office closet!

However, as anyone with older siblings (and frugal parents) knows, the younger ones are fated to a childhood and adolescence of hand-me-downs. While this is a good thing for our planet and the family budget, it can be a somewhat sad thing for younger sibs, who may have trouble finding their own sartorial style. UFF Boy is an easygoing and nonassuming sort, and if asked directly his feelings about wearing his older brother's graduation robe would likely say "Oh, it's okay". He might say that even if it really didn't feel okay to him.

I know, it's just a robe. A costume, worn for no more than a few hours and for a few snapshots. But I'm sensitive to not wanting UFF Boy to feel overlooked, since he is not especially likely to assert himself. He once commented to me that he didn't really like blue, but most of his clothes were blue since it was his brother's favorite color (sniff!). On the other hand $33 for a single-use item that we will then have to keep for eternity (I kid you not, UFF Dad has our pregnancy tests tucked away somewhere) is difficult  for me to swallow.

What do you think? What would you do?

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