What a Teenage Boy Will and Will Not Do for Money

Up until this afternoon, I thought my soon-to-be 14 year-old son Ben would do pretty much anything for money.

Once, during a combined youth/adult sunday school class at church, I whispered in Ben’s ear that I would pay him $1000NT (about $30 U.S.) if he would raise his hand and make an intelligent comment.  It took a total of one nano-second for Ben to raise his hand.  Our bishop called on him immediately, and soon after I handed Ben a $1000NT bill.

Last month, when we were in the Taipei airport waiting for our flight to Bangkok, Ben’s older sister Cecily was mortified to realize that her chemistry teacher and her boyfriend were on our flight (the teacher’s boyfriend, not Cecily’s boyfriend;  Cecily will undoubtedly want me to make that fact very clear).  Cecily could see that her teacher was correcting the exams that the class had taken earlier that week.  I told Ben that I would pay him $500NT (about $15) if he would walk up to the chemistry teacher, introduce himself as Cecily’s brother and ask what grade she got on her test.  To Cecily’s horror, Ben was on his feet before I had a chance to exhale after making the offer.  Ninety seconds later, he was taking a $500NT bill from my hand.

So given Ben’s willingness to do just about anything for money, today I thought I had made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.  It was easy money!  So, so easy! This is how it went down: I was in the lobby of the school waiting for Cecily when Ben happened by.  It was just as both the middle and upper schools were letting out and kids were pouring into the lobby.  Ben told me he was STARVING and asked if I would give him some money to go to the snack bar.  I told him that I would give him $100NT (about $3 U.S) if he would kiss me on the cheek — right there, right then.  (So, so easy!)

The look on his face said it all.  He had met his match.  I had found the one thing that he would not do for money.  Kiss his mom in public.

(Cue the evil mom laugh).

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2 comments

  1. Erin · April 30, 2012

    Hello. I hate to sound stalker-ish, but my husband is (almost) on the IMS registry. We’ve passed the orals and the medical clearance. Just waiting on the security clearance, which should be fairly simple. They think we will probably be offered a spot in September. My name is also Erin and we’ve been married 18 years this summer:) We have 3 kids — 5, 11 and 13. I found your blog (running a search of foreign service family blogs) and it is fascinating reading. I was really struck by the similarities between our situations. My husband is an IT Manager for a well-known retailer. My kids have been in the same schools forever. This would obviously represent a huge change for us. I wanted to leave my email address so that you could make contact if you were so inclined. I’d love any insight you have into this process. We change our mind on a daily basis as to whether it is the best idea ever or completely crazy:) I’m ercarson@sbcglobal.net. Thank you.

  2. Lisa · May 1, 2012

    Too funny maybe you needed to offer more money?!! My teenager would have my 10yo not in this life time.

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