February 1980

Save Like a Beaver


My friend, Linda, asked me to go on a cruise with her this summer. I’ve always wanted to go as a passenger instead of as staff; I’m working full time and have enough to make it happen.  She picked out a trip in August, which works out great right after my 18th birthday.

When I said I’d go, I really didn’t even consider what Lou’s reaction would be.  Not good.  I don’t know why, but I assumed he’d be happy for me since I was so excited. He didn’t say a whole lot about it for a long time, and just got really quiet and  sulky.  When I asked what was the matter, he said nothing was wrong. But I could see in his face he was pissed about something.  I pressed for the issue and soon found out.

He was upset that I would even consider going on such a trip without him.  How could I say that I cared about him and still go away on vacation with a friend?  I said that I didn’t think that he could afford to go on a trip like that. Well, that was just the problem.  Since he didn’t have the money to do it, then he felt  shouldn’t be spending my money that way either. He pointed out that he can barely afford to stay in school, never mind paying for gas and car repairs.  I reminded him that I pay for gas just about every time, but he says that’s not the point. In his opinion, if I have extra money, then I should be saving it for us, not going on a trip by myself.  He totally freaked out in his dorm room, and started yanking everything out of the closet, ranting about how he doesn’t even have decent clothes that fit him.  He pulled on a shirt to show how the sleeves are too short, so he always has to wear them rolled up, and then he tore it off with buttons flying, ripped it up, and threw it in the trash can.  I guess he has a point, but I committed to the trip and put down a deposit, and I intend to go.

We compromised when I agreed to start a joint savings account at the bank downtown next to Proctor’s Theater. They gave us a stuffed toy beaver named “Bucky” for opening the account. I had no idea that beavers are known for their savings skills. We both put some money in the account, and Bucky sits on his bed to remind us of our savings plans. I’m going to put in some funds from my paycheck every week, and he will do what he can when he has extra cash. I don’t know how I’m going to add to the savings and make the remaining payments on the cruise, but I’ll figure it out. He seems happy about the savings plan.  They gave us cards to withdraw or deposit money at the bank or at the customer service counter at Price Chopper. We set an identification number that we enter on a keypad to prove it is our account. Our ID is 7684 to match S-N-U-G on the pad. I won’t forget that password, because we usually call each other pet names like snug, or snugs, or snugger, or snerg, or curd, or curdles, bird, birdles, nerd, nerdles, and an occasional turd. It all started one night when I was lying in his bed while he was studying at his desk.  He always studies at his desk, and I prefer to lie on the bed or lounge in an armchair. One evening, I was reading in bed and wanted some company; I tried to coax him into coming up asking him to snuggle and cuddle with me.  We started joking around and playing with the words. He called me a snuggler, and a cuddler. From there we just started rhyming a bunch of made up words.  It ended up sticking.  So now, instead of Joey and Louie, we usually just use one of those silly names for each other.

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